Be Like Stephen

“Stephen, brimming with God’s grace and energy, was doing wonderful things among the people, unmistakable signs that God was among them. But then some men from the meeting place whose membership was made up of freed slaves, Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and some others from Cilicia and Asia, went up against him trying to argue him down. But they were no match for his wisdom and spirit when he spoke.

  • Stephen: He was full of Holy Spirit. Scripture even states “brimming” which means- to be full to the point of overflowing. He was full of energy. It was obvious that God was within him and the works being done. He was full of wisdom and the Holy Spirit when he spoke.
  • Reflection: Stephen shows us how we should be as christians. We should be so full of Holy Spirit that we’re overflowing. We should be energetic, ready to take on the day and to bring people into the Kingdom. Our words should reflect wisdom and the Holy Spirit when we use them. Our lives should be evident that Christ is our vocal point. Our actions and who we are should display God 100%. 

So in secret they bribed men to lie: “We heard him cursing Moses and God.””‭‭ Acts‬ ‭6:8-11‬ ‭

  • Stephen: Faced people who came against him. They wanted to argue him down.
  • Reflection: We as christians will face the same kind of people today. People who are against what we stand for. They will try to tear us down. It’s not always going to be easy, people aren’t always going to like us.

“As all those who sat on the High Council looked at Stephen, they found they couldn’t take their eyes off him—his face was like the face of an angel!”‭‭ Acts‬ ‭6:15‬ ‭

  • Stephen: Stephen reflects God. His face was like the face of an angel.
  • Reflection: What do people see when they look at our face? God or the world? 

“At that point they went wild, a rioting mob of catcalls and whistles and invective. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, hardly noticed—he only had eyes for God, whom he saw in all his glory with Jesus standing at his side. He said, “Oh! I see heaven wide open and the Son of Man standing at God’s side!””‭‭Acts‬ ‭7:54-56‬ ‭

  • Stephen: Amidst chaos he only had eyes for God and was still full of the Holy Spirit.
  • Reflection: No matter what we face in life we should keeps our eyes glued on God and be full of His spirit just like Stephen!

 

“As the rocks rained down, Stephen prayed, “Master Jesus, take my life.” Then he knelt down, praying loud enough for everyone to hear, “Master, don’t blame them for this sin”—his last words. Then he died.”‭‭ Acts‬ ‭7:59-60‬ ‭

  • Stephen: Stephen was persecuted by the people, but even so he prayed for them. His last words were a prayer for someone else, someone who had hurt him to the point of death.
  • Reflection: Wow. Be like Stephen. That is  what I gather from all these scriptures. Even when people are saying the nastiest things to us or beating us down to our breaking point, pray for them. We’re quick to want revenge or feel hate. Stephen didn’t. He prayed. How amazing is that? How hard can that be for us? To pray for the people who hurt us. It’s inspiring to read of what Stephen did. Let us pray for those and love those who come against us. Matthew 5:44 says “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” and wow can that not be hard to do. Strive to be that kind of person, a person like Stephen- Full of Holy Spirit, Eyes completely on God, Loving and Praying for your enemies. 

Crown

This morning God showed me a vision of a crown of thorns placed in the middle of this empty white space and surrounding it were many other crowns. They’re were all different shapes and sizes. They had different jewels on them. They were scattered everywhere. I felt God say that we are apart of His kingdom. We are heirs to him. We have royalty running through our veins. All we have to do is pick up our crown and claim the victory. Claim the Power of Jesus. Later on in prayer I began to see that each crown had a different word on it. Such as: joy, hope, peace, comfort, forgiveness. God is saying whatever it is you need pick up your crown and wear it. You have the victory and power. 

Your heart. ❥

“Even hell holds no secrets from GOD — do you think he can’t read human hearts?”‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭15:11‬ ‭MSG‬‬

God can see behind the mask. He sees the purest and true heart of a person. Your darkest thoughts, deepest secrets, they’re all out in the open with Him. There are no secrets kept from God. For Him it’s like reading an open book. It’s all very clear. Re-evaluate yourself. What is in your heart? Are you holding on to things you need to let go of? Are worldly things taking up God’s space? It’s always good to take a step back and check yourself. Where are your intentions and are they true. You have to learn your heart, God already knows it from left to right. Take that as a security. No matter what others say, God knows the real you, your heart. The heart of a person reveals everything. Only worry about what God is seeing, not what others are saying.

Nothing and No One

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ‭Romans‬ ‭8:37-39‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:37-39‬ ‭NLT‬‬
“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one. None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothingnothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.‭‭” Romans‬ ‭8:31-39‬ ‭MSG‬‬

I love these words. In all versions. There is nothing and no one that can come between you and God. You can’t separate yourself from Him because He will never leave you. You can try your hardest to push him way, but He is always there. No force from the enemy or our enemies here on earth can drive us away from Him. He is here for the long haul. He gave His all for us. Someone who gives everything and puts it all out on the line must really love us, and He does. It’s evident in these scriptures. I’ve been hearing the word evident over and over again. Howver, this is the first time I’ve put it together in this way. God’s love is evident, it is so evident. We can never doubt it. It’s there. It’s unending. It’s forgiving. I love how in different versions of this text it reads “No.” No as in don’t fear, don’t doubt, dont worry. No as in you are a victor. No as in we are concquerors, it says so in the text. No as in there’s no need to question it. No as in don’t hesitate. It also says the “overwhelming victory is ours”, not just the victory but the overwhelming victory. Meaning He has so much for us, more than we can imagine. God loves. He will never leave. And it’s those two statements that mean everything. 

No Other You

“I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is He is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has for His followers, oh, the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust Him—endless energy, boundless strength!” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:15-19‬ ‭MSG‬‬

God has a plan for your life. He wants you to flourish. He has created you and only one you. You have a purpose and a destiny. No one can fulfill the plan for your life but you. There is no other you. You are one of a kind. No one else can do what you are called to do in life. That is why you are so important. The world needs you. You are the missing piece to the puzzle. You are special. He gives you energy and strength to take on each day of your journey. Prosper! Be a victor! Be focused! The same words in the book of Esther apply to you also:

 “If you keep silent at this time, liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s house will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” ‭‭Esther‬ ‭4:14‬ ‭HCSB‬‬ 

Who knows? Maybe your time is now. Don’t miss it by giving up or turning away from who God has called you to be. Have endurance, be persistent. There is no other you. The world needs you. It needs your creativity. It needs your talent. It needs your work ethic. It needs everything you have to offer, you are not a waste. You are everything. God needs you. He needs you be the real you. He needs you to step into your calling. You will change circumstances and lives. God needs your help. If you are who has planned for you to be, then you’re working in His plan. He needs your help in completing the works that He has for the world. 

Compassion vs Love

Compassion:– sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
* The word “compassion” is mentioned 40 times in the Bible.
Scriptures to back up compassion:

  • “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12
  •  “I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Exodus 33: 19
  • “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.” Isaiah 30:18
  • “says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10

Love:

1. an intense feeling of deep affection

2. a person or thing that one loves.

The word “love” is mentioned over 100 times in the Bible. 

  • “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High.” Luke 6:35
  • “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
  • Love must be sincere.” Romans 12:9

Without compassion we cannot truly love and without love we cannot truly have compassion. Compassion is an act of selflessness. Compassion is when we care for others without caring what we get in return. Compassion stirs up our emotions. We grow connections to people through compassion. We feel what others feel through compassion. We relate to others with compassion. Love is how we deal with our compassion. It is how we put compassion into practice. It is how we build relationships. God tells us to love. He tells to be compassionate. He says it time and time again in different several different wordings. Compassion comes from a pure heart. Love comes from a pure heart. The two are wrapped into one. They both must be sincere. Love your neighbor, God says. When dealing with rough situations and difficult people, be compassionate. Know that underneath the face you’re looking at is pain and hurt you know nothing about. Love without making people work for it. Showing love can change someone’s life. If we only showed love and compassion to people who were always nice and perfect, we would reach no one. It’s people with troubled spirits and hearts who need to see God’s love and compassion the most. God is working through us to speak to his people. No matter how difficult they may be, they could be the ones who need it most. Pray for others. Pray for the people you want to give up on, because even though we may fail each other, God doesn’t. He doesn’t ever up on anyone us. God shows us compassion and love every minute of every day. Our testimony derives from the two. We walk on both. They are our foundation and fundamentals. Two words, but the same thing. Have both. Be both.

A lifestyle of praise and worship 

“I will sing for joy in GOD, explode in praise from deep in my soul!”‭‭ Isaiah‬ ‭61:10-11‬ ‭

Be proud of God! Live a lifestyle of worship. You don’t have to be in a worship service to give him praise. Praise him in your morning commute. Praise him while singing in the shower. Praise him when you have your headphones on listening to music on your couch. Praise and worship is a lifestyle. Can people see it in you? 

The Heart of Worship

My heart is yours 🖤

This is my prayer for today:

I give you my life Jesus. You are my God. My heart is yours. Take it all.

“I give you my life

I give you my trust

Jesus

You are my God

You are enough

Jesus, Jesus

My heart is Yours

My heart is Yours

Take it all, take it all

My life in your hands

I lay down my life

I take up my cross

Jesus

You are my God

Whatever the cost

Jesus, whoa Jesus

All to Jesus I surrender

All to You I freely give

Oh I will ever love and trust You

In Your presence I will live”