Tag Archives: Opposition

Leviticus 4-7; Acts 6


Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit …

Acts 6:3-5a, ESV, emphasis mine

He was full of faith and the Holy Spirit, a man of good repute and full of wisdom. Full.

And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. 10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. 11 Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, 13 and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, 14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.” 15 And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Acts 6:8-15, ESV, emphasis mine

Stephen was doing, serving and he met opposition. Opposition that rose up and disputed. Opposition that secretly instigated. Opposition that stirred up the people. They set up false witnesses. All this against a man full of grace and power, who was doing great wonders and signs among the people. He was full of faith and the Holy Spirit.

Stephen was resilient. It’s likely the opposition’s efforts spanned days or longer. Stephen kept on. He kept his eyes on Jesus. (To the very end.)

Courtney (66books365)


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Filed under 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan

1 Samuel 18-19; 1 Chronicles 3; Psalm 59; Acts 13

Saul with a jealous eye. Saul with a tormenting spirit. Saul with a spear to throw.

This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.

10 The very next day a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a madman. David was playing the harp, as he did each day. But Saul had a spear in his hand, 11 and he suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David escaped him twice.

12 Saul was then afraid of David, for the Lord was with David and had turned away from Saul. 1 Samuel 18:8-12, NLT.

David plays a harp, fights the battles, marries into Saul’s family–all the while, the target of hate.

24 When Saul’s men reported this back to the king, 25 he told them, “Tell David that all I want for the bride price is 100 Philistine foreskins! Vengeance on my enemies is all I really want.” But what Saul had in mind was that David would be killed in the fight. 1 Samuel 18:24-25, NLT.

Oh, the honesty. Michal intervenes to save David’s life. Saul’s response?

17 “Why have you betrayed me like this and let my enemy escape?” Saul demanded of Michal. 1 Samuel 19:17, NLT.

From that time on … truly Saul kept his eye on David with a single track focus of jealousy, hate, and vengeance–to the death. Insecurity and jealousy, anger and fear–they embed in a heart with a tenacious grip. These things contributed to Saul’s own destruction, though his emotions were directed at David. Is it that negativity towards another really destroys us in the end?

Psalm 59, a psalm of David (about Saul sending troops to David’s house to kill him):

You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me,
    for you, O God, are my fortress.
10 In his unfailing love, my God will stand with me.
    He will let me look down in triumph on all my enemies.

11 Don’t kill them, for my people soon forget such lessons;
    stagger them with your power, and bring them to their knees,
    O Lord our shield.
12 Because of the sinful things they say,
    because of the evil that is on their lips,
let them be captured by their pride,
    their curses, and their lies. Psalm 59:9-12, NLT

Lord, when I find myself the target of verbal spears, be my shield. When my own insecurities put pressure on my heart, be my strength. In your unfailing love, my God, stand with me.

Courtney (66books365)


Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan

Exodus 14, 15; Matthew 26: 36-75

My son, as well as a number of 20 somethings whom I know are taken with the Zombie Apocalypse genre of films and television series. I tried to watch an episode of Walking Dead and the films The Road and I am Legend,  but quite honestly, viewing horror or science fiction (not that those are synonymous) is not my idea of relaxation.  That being said, my son watched these films and pondered  questions with serious theological implications, “What would you do if you were pursued by zombies and how would you behave? Would your life be dedicated to your own personal survival or to a higher purpose?”

Don’t we ask the same question when we read the stories of the Israelites being pursued by the Egyptian army and Christ as he prayed in Gethsemane prior to his arrest, trial and crucifixion?  What would we do?  How would we behave? These very questions get to the core of what it means to be human and who God is.  Should we not be asking those questions of our everyday lives?

On this side of history, we have the advantage of knowing the end of the story. As much as I would like to think the best of myself,  I can not honestly say that my faith would be any stronger than that of the Israelites who initially panicked as the Egyptians bore down on them.  I haven’t faced that sort imminent danger.  Perhaps my zombie attackers are a little more subtle, but no less deadly,  (gods of materialism, comfort and the like).   I fall back on Christ, the one who faced death and danger for my benefit, “the author and perfecter of our faith,  who for the joy set before him,  endured the cross,  scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of God  [Hebrews 12:2].”  I rely on Him when the zombies come sneaking up on me in the most vulnerable moments.

So thanks to my son for asking the question, “What would you do in the case of a Zombie Apocalypse?”  I sleep much better now.



Filed under 66 Books, Exodus, Hebrews, Matthew