Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Call To Arms

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they {began} gnashing their teeth at him. Act 7:55 But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; Act 7:56 and he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." Act 7:57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse. Act 7:58 When they had driven him out of the city, they {began} stoning {him;} and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. Act 7:59 They went on stoning Stephen as he called on {the Lord} and said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" Act 7:60 Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them!" Having said this, he fell asleep.

I love how the foolishness of God is greater than all of man's wisdom, and how the weakness of God is greater than all of man's strength. How much of this life we now have in Christ Jesus is assumed to be either ours in a fixed auto-pilot setting, or it happens by osmosis.

So many have assumed wrongly that this arresting of Saul of Tarsus was done without human agency, but I beg to to differ.
Wasn't it Jesus himself that said a very similar thing in his closing moments on the cross..Father forgive them for they know what they do.
Stephen..Lord do not hold this sin against them--those about to kill him.

A door opened up in Christ Jesus through laying his life down that had been closed since the fall in the garden..salvation for whomsoever.
Stephen laying down his life, opened a door for all that were there that day, but for whatever reason, the only one I can see that was affected-infected by this was Saul.

Why is it that we can not grasp the fact the Father is more than capable of making known His heart to us?
For conversation sake, is it remotely possible that the Lord spoke to Stephen's heart and maybe to others about this murder of the church called Saul?

Maybe it was never meant to be a showy thing at all. Those sensing Father's heart in this case for Saul, simply lifted this man up to the only one capable of reaching a very closed heart?
Maybe there was no need to recruit others to pray for this one Father wanted to meet. Perhaps the Damascus Road encounter with the Living God was a natural out working of something the Father had worked into the lives of those not willing to cling to self, willing to loose their lives in order to truly find them

How did they overcome the wicked one, by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of their testimony and not clinging to their lives.

Maybe there is a militancy in this Life of the Father that few ever get to experience. No greater love has any man than being willing to lay down their life for another.
Except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abides alone, but if it dies, it will produce a rich and lasting harvest.

Even a blind man can count the seeds in an apple, but only our Father can count the orchards in one Seed.

Maybe the church (the family gathering) Jesus is forming is truly unobtrusive (invisible) as far as anyone wanting to be seen for who they are or what they can do.
Maybe we are to live as His works of art reflecting His glory, with no attempt to solicit anyone to join our denomination, flavour or group.
So live as His works of art, that men may see your Heavenly Father!!


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