Inspired Witness (Acts 7:59) by Pastor Don Bird

26 Dec Inspired Witness (Acts 7:59) by Pastor Don Bird

stonestephenWelcome God now with this LIFE Group Devotion (FB), provided by LIFE Runners (FB).  Leaders.  Guest Authors.
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” ~ Acts 7:59 (full readings)
Pastor Don’s Reflections:   I am often inspired by the lives of my children.  When my son was 13 years old, he went to spend the night at a friend’s house with a group of friends.  As can often be the case when a group of teenage boys come together, mischief seems to find them.  On this particular occasion the boys, who were left to themselves in the basement, decided they wanted to watch an R-rated movie on Netflix.  My son challenged them and told them they should watch something else.  My son knew that his mom and I did not approve of him watching these kinds of movies and he was trying hard to honor us.  His friends made fun of him and called him some juvenile names.  They put the pressure on him, but he didn’t cave.  Instead he told them if they were going to watch the movie, he would go upstairs and not be a part of it.  Eventually, my son found himself upstairs sitting on the couch watching television with his friend’s parents.  He didn’t act as if anything was wrong and when his friend’s mom asked him why he wasn’t with the other boys, he told them that they were watching a movie that he knew we would not approve of.  The mom was so impressed with the conviction my son displayed that she called my wife that night to share it.  And, by the way, the boys’ movie night ended abruptly!  It can be difficult to go against the popular way of thinking.  It can be difficult to stand upon your convictions.  On this day after Christmas, may we also inspired by the Christ-child who has come to show us God’s way of living!  Who entered a world that tried to get him to be someone else, but yet, He stood strong and brought the light of truth into a world of darkness.  When someone, like Jesus, or Stephen (whose life we commemorate today), or my son, or you/me, speaks the truth of God’s love and the life He offers, the world takes notice.  While they may try to silence that voice, the truth of Christ will reign.  We are reminded today that when we offer ourselves to the Lord, His word lives on in us, through us, and beyond us.  May we be inspired and encouraged, again, by the Child who has come to show us The Way.
* Pastor Don Bird is the Lead Pastor at Hope United Methodist Church in Greenwood Village, CO.  He lives in Aurora, CO with his wife of 16 years, Mandy, and his two children, Ethan and Haleigh.
Faith Challenge:  Stephen found death as a martyr because he was a witness for Christ.  How can you seek life as a Christian and be an inspiring witness for our new-born King?

Counter-Culture News:  LifeSiteNewsLifeNewsAmerican FamilyVaticanProject Rachel.
Our Prayers:  Pray LIFE Runners Creed to end abortion.  Add Prayers. Pray with meals, bedtime, wake up, unceasingly. Consider mid-week Family Rosary (17 min). Let’s pray now.
Feast Day:
  Feast of Saint Stephen, first martyr.
Faith Quote:  “Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.” ~ Helen Keller
Through Christ Our Lord,
Pastor Don 
1 Jn 3:18

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