This Is Your Opportunity

And the high priest said, “Are these things so?” And Stephen said:  Acts 7:1

Almost daily through either email (Junk mail) or by snail mail people receive advertisements for great and amazing opportunities.  The only problem is, “You have to give your social-security number and your checking account number.”  Sadly there are those who buy into these opportunistic traps and find themselves in deep trouble having lost all of their financial resources.

All of this leaves us very skeptical about the opportunities that are presented to us.  However there is one opportunity that is all guaranteed to bring success to one’s life.  This opportunity is the same one that given to Stephen in Acts 7:1-25.

Stephen is one of the seven who was called to become the first deacons of the New Testament Church.  Stephen was a guy who was filled with the Holy Spirit.  Chapter 6:8 records his short ministry, “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people.” 

His ministry landed him in direct opposition to the world.  Stephen is brought before a religious tribunal and given a great opportunity.  This opportunity was his last opportunity because at the end of his opportunity he would be stoned to death.  However he made the most of his opportunity.

2000 years later we are still reading about his one opportunity.  I deeply encourage you to read Acts 7 in one setting to get the full effect.  I was amazed at how Stephen knew the Word of God.  This is why he was filled with power.  There is always power in the word of God.

Follow His teaching through the first 25 verses of chapter 7.  Stephen begins with God’s promise.  Our God makes an unconditional covenant with Abraham to bless him.  The sign of Abraham’s willingness to obey would be in the covenant of circumcision.  Stephen continues with God’s provision while they waited for the promise to be fulfilled.  Here Stephen reminds us of God’s love and care for the Patriarchs.  Finally Stephen shares God’s promise realized.  God would use Moses as his mouth peace to direct a great exodus of his people.

As one looks back over this text, he or she will notice the theme of God’s redemption running through Stephen’s message.  You and I must follow Stephen’s commitment to biblical accuracy in seizing our opportunity.

Imagine what a crowd Stephen faced?  However, he shared with clarity and conviction the perfect word of God.  This is the only way we can win those around us who have never heard the gospel.  This is the only way we can reach our family and friends.

Today, I challenge you to prepare yourself for your opportunity by discovering the wonderful story of creation, fall, wrath, redemption, and return of Christ.  This seamless line runs throughout the Word of God.

For further study consider Carson and Woo’s commentary on both the Old and New Testaments.  

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