Monday: The High Cost of Obedience
avatar

One of the early examples of faith, and the cost of faith, can be seen in the life of Stephen.

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

How is Stephen described in the following passages? Acts 6:3-107:55.

The infilling of the Holy Spirit led the disciples to live unselfish, godly lives. Their faith led them to obedience. At times the spiritual warfare was fierce, but Jesus, their Savior and Lord, was by their side to strengthen their faith. They were stoned, imprisoned, burned at the stake, and shipwrecked. Their obedience also often came with an unusually high price. Many of the disciples suffered a martyr’s death.

In Acts 7, Stephen preached a magnificent sermon outlining the history of Israel. He described the experience of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, and Solomon. Throughout his appeal, Stephen describes God’s faithfulness in the light of Israel’s unfaithfulness. Stephen concludes his sermon by charging that the religious leaders of Israel violated God’s covenant and resisted the influence of the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51-52).

What happened to Stephen because of His witness for Jesus? What does this teach us about what the cost of faithfulness can be? Acts 7:54-60.

Stephen was obedient to the call of God and faithful to the mission of God, even to the point of death. Though we might not all be called to die for our faith, we need to be so committed to our Lord that, if we were called to that, we would not back off but, like Stephen, remain faithful to the end. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that someone reading these words right now will one day have to give up his or her life in the cause of the Lord.

What would happen were you to face a life-threatening situation because of your powerful witness? Though you might not be able now to predict what you would do, how have your past actions revealed the way in which you might react if one day you were brought into such a situation?

Share Button

Comments

Monday: The High Cost of Obedience — 16 Comments

  1. God please strengthen us to remain faithful and obedient to you even in amidst of persecution till your second coming. In Jesus name ♡☀Å♏ΈN☀♡

    Like(25)
  2. This lesson signifies first of all that obedience to God does not bring favour with man. Mostly we assume that when we walk with God then everything should be fine,but it is an error. Secondly,it teaches us that in our troubles we should not expect deliverance from any harsh action. Like Stepehen,he had to die for his faith,but Jesus Christ was there strengthening his faith through it all and even unto the point of death,Stephen saw Jesus on the right hand of the Father. Had he expected that God would deliver him by stopping those who stoned him,I believe he may have run and therefore decrease his faith's strength. Lastly the lesson still emphasises that have the Holy Ghost changes completely how we lead our lives. It does not mean we will have this warm feeling that "I have the Holy Ghost in me" but our doings and life will show those around us that surely we have received Him (Holy Ghost). How I pray that we do not learn all this in vain,but that we getter closer to God such that we receive the power of the Holy Spirit and stand up for Jesus!

    Like(53)
  3. Stephen and his group provide a great challenge to the modern Christians. They gave it all and preached the word at the time of high intolerance. Though a certain time of persecution will come, most of us are lucky to be living at a time and places where there is great freedom of speech and several platforms for mass communication. We have interactive radios, TVs, social media, print media where we can express ourselves with little censorship. May God enable us spread his word through these platforms as we prepare for the coming of Christ.

    Like(16)
  4. My past actions have not been consistent. Sometimes I have stood for the right especially in matters concerning the sabbath. I pray that the Lord may strengthen me and my fellow believers to be like Stephen so that we can overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony and love not our lives unto the death.

    Like(12)
  5. As it was with the three hebrew boys in Babylon, even if God was not to deliver them from the fire they were willing to obey God also to the point of death like Stephen. It always come as an important lesson for us that the road we are on is not an easy one. As told by our master & soon coming savior Jesus Christ, as they persecuted him so shall it be with us his disciples. Lets always give heed to the Holy Spirit's voice as we so journey awaiting the second advent of our Lord & soon coming savior Jesus Christ without compromising the truth.

    Like(12)
  6. What hits me the hardest, when my memory is refreshed by reading the events associated with Stefen, are these words of his... ”... Lord, do not charge them with this sin."
    Just the image of their cruelty as portrayed by the words "gnashing of their teeth", in my mind creates a degree of anger and desire for Stefen's revenge. Yet, his heart/mind is full of love and forgiveness toward his killer's.

    What would my mind/heart be full of if I was in his shows?

    Like(11)
  7. Lord, I pray today that you will allow your holy Spirit to fill our hearts that we may be obedient to You. The daily struggles we face and the temptations we may encounter are but to strengthen us as we walk daily with You. Lord I ask that you cover us in your righteousness and strengthen our faith with your undying love that we too may come to a proper knowledge and acceptance of You and may we be more than willing to bear the consequences that come with serving a Mighty God. Amen

    Like(19)
  8. I am sorry that the title of this day's lesson is "The high cost of obedience". What if Jesus had felt the same way about how much His obedience was to cost Him? I have no desire to die for being a Christian. But if that became my lot, may God strengthen me to not disobey, for how could I do otherwise. Peter's death glorified God, so it was not wasted.

    Like(5)
  9. Life is full challenges and Christians we are not exempted from all the the cruelty of these world....Jesus in his pa thing shot, reminded the disciples that He was to go but was to leave us with a companion--The Holy spirit!!So let us soldier on brethren!!

    Like(1)
  10. I heard someone say it's harder to live for Christ than it is to die for Him. Living for him requires daily denying of self (in essence daily dying.) The enemy knows this is true. That's why He is rarely challenging our freedom. He can ensure most people will lose their salvation in freedom than in persecution. We're getting doped by him. Let's wake up and work out our salvation and prove to Him he is wrong (in essence hastening the coming of our Lord.)

    Like(8)
  11. We only need to truly surrender our lives to Jesus and live His truth. Our biggest problem is that we compromise too much, we want to be accepted and acknowledged by the world. Stephen knew that he is risking his life by preaching but he did it because he knew who he was doing it for. I pray that The Good Lord transform everyone that is weak, compromising and staggering in this journey like me.

    Like(5)
  12. Obedience calls for self re-examination of our lives and who really our master is.
    Stephen knew fully who his master was & so he journeyed on. Rem' he promised to be with us till d end of time. What a wonderful promise within a promise.

    Bros, in dis journey, we have a cost to pay inorder to be fully furnished. Check d movies u watch, d food u eat, d drinks, d clothes, d life u lead at sunset, d way u answer God's call.

    Obedience involves a change of heart, behavior & life in general.

    A young man went grazing animals & his dad instructed him to make an alarm whenever he saw a LION coming towards d animals. So on day one he shouted at d top of his voice " DAD d lion is come,plz hurry.only to reach & there was no lion. His dad was anoid.
    - day two he did d same thing. Dad came & yet no lion attacked. -on day three it was real. Shouted for help but dad didn't come thinking it was his usual joke. Only to wait in vain and when he went looking around, his blood, intestines were scattered allover.

    So obedience involves doing right thong at right time and all the time. If we remain obedient like Abraham, we will be counted righteous.

    Lord Jesus help us lead obedient lives and not disobey you like the young man disobey instructions.

    Like(2)

What do you think? If you like a comment, just [Like] it or post a thoughtful reply. Please provide a working email address and your real first AND last name to have your comment published.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.