THEME: MATURITY IN SALVATION
“And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
-Maturity in salvation requires an increase in faith. When a complain arose against the Hellenistic Jews, who were natives of Greco-Roman but neglected their widows. The apostles assembled the disciples and chose seven among them to lead the group. Among them was Stephen who had great faith and wisdom, and worked wonders by the power of the Holy Spirit. They spread the gospel and many came to Christ. It is through such election that God has saved us through faith by grace lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8), and called us to do His will hear on earth. Abraham the father of faith; had great faith and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Romans 4:3). Him having been instructed to go to a land that he did not know yet obeyed and received the promise. Also, he displayed great faith after he had received the promise yet was willing to sacrifice his only son. Through faith he pleased God and he was called a friend of God (James 2:23). It is by faith then that we are sons of Abraham (Galatians 3:7), and friends of God, and have since receive the promise of justification (Romans 5:1). Like Stephen who held fast his faith even when he was confronted by death, we are called to have great faith in God that we may fulfill the purposes He designed for us before the foundations of this world, that we may receive our crowns. Similarly, Apostle Paul declared that he kept the faith and therefore he was ready to receive his reward (2 Timothy 4:7-8). Since the just shall live by faith (Galatians 3:11), and we have been justified by faith, we are reminded to exercise our faith in Jesus Christ and He will use us for the glory of His name.
Abba Father we thank You for You are faithful and Your faithfulness endures forever. We thank You for You have been faithful to us even when we have become faithless. We bless Your holy name for Your merciful love upon us; that You gave Your only begotten Son for our salvation. Thank You for loving us and making us Your sons through faith in Jesus Christ. You are our Father and our Friend we praise You. Thank You for choosing us and for justifying us through faith by grace. We come to Your throne of grace with boldness that we may obtain mercy and grace to help us during our time of need. Remember all the orphans and widows in our society that You may be their ever present help in times of need. Be with all those who are sick and suffering that You may heal them for by Your stripes we are healed Jesus. Deliver all those who are in prison and transform their lives. Bless us dear Jesus and heal all our wounds. Lift us up from our troubles and prosper all our ways. Hear Oh Lord our prayers and answer all our hearts desires we humbly beseech You. Nothing is impossible with You Oh Lord. Increase our faith Holy Spirit that we may not despair during our time of need but hold fast our faith in You. Increase our faith and strengthen us in wisdom even when our flesh is weak, that we may live by the spirit for the glory of Your name. Help us to run the race well and to finish our course, that we may receive our crowns. Empower us Holy Spirit to mature in salvation and walk by faith and not by sight. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now and forever more. Amen
Further reading: Luke 17:5, Hebrew 10:38-39, 2 Corinthians 5:6-8
FB Page: Love of Christ Foundation CBO