Tuesday, August 21Scripture Reading—Acts 7:9-16
Life presents us with moments when we need to know who we are, where we’ve come from, and what we stand for. Stephen faced that moment when he was charged with blasphemy and called to give an account of himself before the council with his very life on the line. As he tried to explain to those who vehemently disagreed with him, he told the story that he lived by—the same story that shaped the lives of his accusers. At the heart of this story was the account of the way God used all the hardships faced by Joseph to provide for his family in a time of drought. Though he was falsely accused and imprisoned, Joseph came to believe that God had worked through all these adversities for good. Stephen had the courage to proclaim his conviction that God had entered the world in Jesus because he had a similar faith—even in death, God would not abandon him. When we are challenged or stretched by life’s difficulties, it helps if we can remember our story. Thankfully our story is not merely the store of the nation in which we live, or the nuclear family from which we come, but out story is the story of God’s people that stretches back to Adam, includes Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Jesus, Mary, and on down the line. Knowing that story reminds us of the many ways God has saved people in the past. It gives us courage in the present, reminding us that whatever we face, God will provide the strength and grace we need to overcome.
Thought for the day: We all need a story to live by. The story of God’s saving action we discover in the Bible is a story that gives us courage and hope. It is a story worth getting to know very well, for there will come a time when it may be the source of our salvation!