Dear Lord Jesus, please help us to recognize, feel, and be faithful to your wonderful presence wherever we are, by your amazing grace.
In one of the most dramatic courtroom defenses of all time, Stephen answers the charge against him by calling on evidence already known very well to everyone at the trial. His detractors charged that Stephen spoke against their Temple in Jerusalem and against their customs and interpretations of the law God had revealed through Moses (Acts 6.13, 14).
In 52 short verses, Stephen rehearsed to the court many of the great events recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures, focusing especially on the lives of four godly people—Abraham, Joseph, Moses, and David. In each of their lives they had experienced God’s profound presence – and they had been faithful in the life changes God provided – largely outside the holy land, and entirely outside the Jerusalem Temple. The point was clear: from the earliest Hebrew history, God is powerfully, personally present everywhere. And, under his leadership, customs always change. These four Hebrew men and other godly people were also rejected by those close to them.
Stephen’s faithful re-telling of their own story so upset and angered the religious leaders conducting his trial, that they killed him. Nevertheless, his defense so pleased God, that Stephen was given a vision of Jesus “standing at the right side of God!” (v 56). Stephen was right: in life and in death we are always in God’s Personal Space (GPS). Hallelujah!
Where do you think God dwells? In church buildings or in the whole universe—including the places where you live, labor, or enjoy leisure? Can we feel God’s presence everywhere? Can we be faithful anywhere?
Ask God to help you acknowledge him wherever you are, and to be faithful to him. In four different places today, thank God that it is his space—God’s Personal Space (GPS). You do not need to close your eyes to tell him. Take a moment to share this divine experience with others!
Gracious God, thank you that my family, friends, and I are all in your personal space. Please help me to know your personal presence – your GPS – as did Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Stephen and so many other men and women.