Today’s Defeat Is Tomorrow’s Victory
Daily Bible Reading – Exodus 28,29; Acts 7
Today’s Key Passage – Acts 7:44-60
The members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen had accused Stephen of blasphemy (the same charge against Jesus) and brought him before the Sanhedrin for trial. When the high priest asked Stephen if the charges against him were true, Stephen could have used his time to mount his own defense. Instead, Stephen used his time to recap Israel’s relationship with God. He spoke about the many times in Israel’s history in which God was faithful to his promises yet the people rejected God and His prophets, including the Messiah Jesus Christ. Even when faced with untrue charges against him, Stephen stood firm in his beliefs and spoke of his Lord to the very end when the religious leaders got so caught up in their anger that they stoned Stephen to death without even giving him a proper trial.
At first glance, Stephen’s stoning and death following his preaching about Jesus may appear to be a defeat. While it is true that no one in the council repented that day and came to Christ because of Stephen’s speech, there is fortunately more to this story. One of the people standing in the crowd that day listening to Stephen’s last words was a man named Saul. Saul, later called Paul, would eventually convert to Christianity after a miraculous encounter with the resurrected Jesus, and would go on to become the greatest missionary in history. While Paul’s conversion was not the direct result of Stephen’s speech, there is little doubt that Stephen’s sermon as well as his death must have had a profound effect on Paul.
When we share our faith with others, we may not always see immediate results. We all know that not everyone we talk to will come to Christ. Some people will hear our words and will immediately want to run to Him, while others will reject the message and harden their hearts toward God. There is a third group, though, who will hear our words and something will begin stirring in their hearts. It may take days, weeks, or even years and it may take other events to get them to the right place, but eventually these people will give their lives to Christ. These are the people we may never know about, and these victories of tomorrow may appear as defeats in the present. All God needs to work with is faith the size of a mustard seed in a person, and our call is the help plant that seed. When faced with what appears to be defeat while sharing your faith with others, do not be discouraged. You never know whom you are talking with in the present. That person who seems to dismiss you and reject Jesus today might just end up running to Him and turning others to Christ in the end.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.
Posted on January 31, 2014, in 05 - Acts and tagged Bible, Christian, Daily Bible, Daily Devotional, Evangelism, Faith, God, God's Character, Jesus, Perseverance, Religion, Service, Waiting. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.