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Showing posts from October 14, 2012

STEPHEN IS FAITHFUL TO DEATH, A LIVING FAITH

STEPHEN IS FAITHFUL TO DEATH

DEVOTIONAL READING: Ephesians 6:13–20
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURE: Acts 7:1–8:1


ACTS 7:51–60

51 Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned …

Persist, Don’t Just Exist

October 14: Persist, Don’t Just Exist
Revelation 13:11–14:13

The phrase “patient endurance” brings to mind the pasted-on smile of a parent regarding a misbehaving child—a parent clinging to the hope that someday this stage will pass. In Revelation the term is used in a much different way.
“Here is the patient endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith in Jesus” (Rev 14:12). The statement is set in the context of judgment. Here the phrase requires more than simply sitting still and enduring persecution. It’s intended to encourage first-century believers to actively abandon the sins of the day: idolatry, pride, oppression.
Encouraging patient endurance was a call for early Christians to persevere by pursuing righteousness—to follow Christ faithfully even while enduring a period of suffering (Rev 14:12). Patient endurance is active persistence, loyalty, and discernment. We get this sense as John continues: “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write:…