September 6: Faith for Every Moment
Hosea 13:1–14:9; Acts 6:1–15; Job 17:1–16
Sometimes it’s tempting to imagine ourselves as the hero of a dramatic scene where we’re called upon to give an account of our faith. But in real life, every action and every moment of our lives is a witness—even the ordinary ones. Stephen, a leader in the early church, knew this to be true.
Stephen was appointed by the apostles to care for widows in need because he was “full of faith and of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 6:5). People recognized his witness because he was faithful when no one was watching. His devotion brought him to a place of influence and leadership in the community.
But Stephen didn’t limit his witness to one area of leadership. In the next verses, we find him witnessing about Christ by performing great wonders and signs. That’s when he came under fire, and his response was above reproach: “And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking” (Acts 6:10). His opponents could not find a way to accuse him, so they resorted to spreading rumors (Acts 6:11). But even when Stephen stood accused before the Sanhedrin, he remained firm. Luke describes him as having “the face of an angel” (Acts 6:15), signifying that a sense of peace permeated his witness, where others might have been fearful or defensive.
It’s easy to think our witness matters only for world-changing events, but we’re in the spotlight all the time. Knowing this, we should be intentional about the way we interact in the small things and in the present time. Pray to be faithful, wise, and full of the Spirit for every moment.
How do you need to change your perspective on your witness?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R.
- When Ephraim spake, there was trembling: he exalted himself in Israel, but he hath sinned in Baal, and is dead. And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding: they were all the work of the craftsmen: they say one to another while they sacrifice a man, Let them kiss the calves. Therefore they shall be as the mourning cloud, and as the morning dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with a whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke that goeth out of the chimney. Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no God but me: for there is no Savior beside me. I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of drought. As in their pastures, so were they filled: they were filled, and their heart was exalted: therefore they have forgotten me. And I will be unto them as a very lion, and as a leopard in the way of Assyria. I will meet them, as a bear that is robbed of her whelps, and I will break the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beasts shall tear them. O Israel, one hath destroyed thee, but in me is thine help. I am: where is thy king that should help thee in all thy cities? and thy judges, of whom thou saidest, Give me a king and princes? I gave thee a king in mine anger, and I took him away in my wrath. The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up: his sin is hid. The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come upon him: he is an unwise son, else would he not stand still at the time, even at the breaking forth of the children. I will redeem them from the power of the grave: I will deliver them from death: O death, I will be thy death: O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance is hid from mine eyes. Though he grew up among his brethren, an East wind shall come, even the wind of the Lord shall come up from the wilderness, and dry up his vein, and his fountain shall be dried up: he shall spoil the treasure of all pleasant vessels. Samaria shall be against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped. O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God: for thou has fallen by thine iniquity. Take unto you words, and turn to the Lord, and say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. Assyria shall not save us, neither will we ride upon horses, neither will we say anymore to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. I will heal their rebellion: I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily and fasten his roots, as the trees of Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They shall dwell under his shadow, shall return: they shall revive as the corn, and flourish as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. Ephraim shall say, What have I to do anymore with idols? I have hard him, and looked upon him, and looked upon him: I am like a green fir tree: upon me is thy fruit found. Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? and prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are righteousness and the just shall walk in them: but the wicked shall fall therein. Hosea 13:1–14:9
- And in those days, as the number of the disciples grew, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians towards the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministering. Then the twelves called the multitude of the disciples together, and said, It is not meet that we should leave the word of God to serve the tables. Wherefore brethren, look you out among you, seven men of honest report, and full of the holy Ghost, and of wisdom, which we may appoint to this business. And we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministration of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude and they chose Stephen a man full of faith and of the holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a Proselyte of Antioch, Which they set before the Apostles: and the prayed, and laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased, and the number of disciples was multiplied in Jerusalem greatly, and a great company of the Priests were obedient to the faith. Now Stephen full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain of the Synagogue, which are called Libertines, and Cyrenians, and of Alexandria, and them of Cilicia, and of Asia, and disputed with Stephen. But they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by the which he spake. Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him, speak blasphemous words against Moses, and God. Thus they moved the people and the Elders and the Scribes: and running upon him, caught him, and brought him to the Council. And set forth false witness, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the Law. For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the ordinances which Moses gave us. And as all that sat in the Council looked steadfastly on him, they saw his face as it had been the face of an angel. Acts 6:1–15
- My breath is corrupt: my days are cut off, and the grave is ready for me. There are none but mockers with me, and mine eye continueth in their bitterness. Lay down now, and put me in surety for thee: who is he, that will touch mine hand? For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not set them up on high. For the eyes of the children shall fail, that speaketh flatter to his friends. He hath also made me a byword of the people, and I am as a taberet before them. Mine eye therefore is dim for grief, and all my strength is like a shadow. A righteous shall be astonied at this, and the innocent shall be moved against the hypocrite. But the righteousness will hold his way, and he whose hands are pure, shall increase his strength. All you therefore turn you, and come now, and I shall not find one wise among you. My days are past, mine enterprises are broken, and the thoughts of mine heart. Have changed the night for the day, and the light that approached, for darkness. Though I hope, yet the grave shall be mine house, and I shall make my bed in the dark. I shall say to corruption, Thou art my father, and to the worm, Thou art my mother and my sister. Where is then now mine hope? or who shall consider the thing that I have hoped for? They shall go down into the bottom of the pit: surely it shall lie together in the dust. Job 17:1–16