Just wanted to share with everyone what the Lord taught me today. I found it to be very challenging and encouraging. Hope you find it to be the same!
Acts 6:5 – “Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit…”
Acts 6:8 – “Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power…”
Acts 7:55 – “Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit”
What awesome tag lines Stephen has after his name. A man full of faith. A man full of the Holy Spirit. A man full of God’s grace and power. What would my tag line be? If someone were writing about me, would they say, “Jordan, a woman full of faith and of the Holy Spirit”?
Oh Lord, to have you as my label. I don’t want to just be “Jordan, a good Christian girl” or “Jordan, a really sweet girl.” I want to have a tag line that points directly to you.
But how do I get there?...
“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." Hebrews 13:20-21
Let’s simplify this verse…
“May the God of peace… equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him…”
May God equip you and may he work in us.
Father, I need you to equip me. I need you to work in me. Lord, equip me with everything good to do your will. I can’t do it on my own. I need you to work in my heart. I need you to crush this heart of stone. I need you to replace my fleshly desires with desires that match yours. I want to love what you love and hate what you hate. Lord, work in me what is pleasing to you. I want you to look down from your throne and say, “See her? See Jordan? She is my servant and she is full of faith and the Holy Spirit. She is full of my grace and power. And I love using her to bring me more glory.”
Father, I can’t do it on my own. Give me your eyes Lord. Come and change the way I see this world. Show me what is really important. I need you to invade my life supernaturally. Come and invade my whole body, from my fingers to my toes, my eyes, my brain, and my heart. Take it all Lord. I am a weak, sinful person. I want to desire you with all that I have. I want to find my joy in you. I know you are the best for me. I know that by being in your presence I will be ultimately satisfied and fulfilled. But my flesh can’t fully grasp or pursue after that.
Oh Lord, this is my prayer:
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world – the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:15-17
When Stephen was about to be stoned, he looked up to heaven and said, “Look, I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” When he said this, the people covered their ears.
The people of this world don’t understand the things of God. They take offense at the things of God. Christ even said in John 15:19, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
As followers of Christ, we should be so set apart from this world that the world hates us. If the world loves us as its own, I think we should be questioning the way we live. As followers of Christ, we are called to a life of suffering for his name.
Stephen was a true, no-doubt-about-it, follower of Christ:
Stephen was full of faith.
Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit.
Stephen was full of God’s grace and power.
Stephen was clearly set apart from this world.
The world hated Stephen.
Stephen suffered for the name of Christ.
I bet God looked down from His throne and said, “See him? See Stephen? He is my servant and he is full of faith and the Holy Spirit. He is full of my grace and power. And I love using him to bring me more glory.”
Now, let us all “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Let us strive to live lives that separate us from this world and bring glory to our awesome God.