MEMORISE : Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to
vex certain of the church. ACTS 12 : 1.
READ : ACTS 6 : 8 – 15.
8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among
9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of
the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of
Asia, disputing with Stephen.
10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he
11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous
words against Moses, and against God.
12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came
upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,
13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak
blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:
14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this
place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.
15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it
had been the face of an angel.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR : 1 CHRONICLES 17 : 19 AND LUKE 17 : 20 – 18 : 8.
Holiness is very necessary for anyone who wants to fulfil destiny and make it
to Heaven. Holiness also makes God to hide you in His bosom ( Psalm 91 : 4 ). In
other words, holiness provides a cover for the holy, whereas sin exposes the
sinner. Sin exposes the one who commits it to shame, disgrace and pain, and it
makes the sinner vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy.
When you combine holiness with being a vessel of honour, you become doubly
precious to God. You become like a delicate egg in His hands. This is why Psalm
103 : 13 – 14 says God will treat such a vessel with lots of care, remembering
how weak and fragile he or she is. From today, the Lord will treat you with
special care. You will be special to God and He will hide you in His love in Jesus’
Moreover, as an instrument of honour, never rest on your oars. Whatever
level you may be on presently, you have only started; you have not yet attained
the heights that God is taking you to. If you think that you have already
arrived with respect to Kingdom tasks, you may attract unwanted things to
yourself. Note however that the more God uses you, the more you will be of
interest to the kingdom of Satan. Satan never wants any believer in Christ to
end up in Heaven; so he will do all he can to stop you. Take Peter for instance:
he loved Jesus so much that he vowed never to deny Him. This he said in spite of
what Jesus had foretold would happen ( Matthew 26 : 34 – 35 ). Satan saw Peter
as a vessel of honour in God’s hands and immediately marked him out as a
target. He did everything possible to bring him down, but Jesus prayed for him
and he overcome.
Similarly, Satan picked on another vessel of honour – Stephen. Stephen was
holy, full of faith and full of Holy Spirit. He was also full of wisdom and was
used to perform mighty signs and wonders in the early Church. Satan
therefore stirred up serious opposition against Stephen, but he overcome
them. When this failed, the enemies connived and brought false witnesses to lie
against him. Satan never keeps to any rule of decency when he fights. He
fights dirty. He kept working at it until he got Stephen killed ( Acts 7 : 56 –
60 ). But unknown to him, when he thought he had won the battle, his chief
vessel of persecution, Saul, was arrested by God and did even far greater
works for God than Stephen did. In the end, the devil regretted his action. He
wished he had left Stephen alone to have been spared the immense
irrecoverable losses he got from his ex-loyal fanatic –Paul.
ACTION POINT :
Pray that every target of Satan in your local church be protected from falling.
AUTHOR : Pst. E . A ADEBOYE.
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