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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Adventures in Courage

Oct. 24, 2013

What is courage? Do you suppose it would take courage to skydive, wrestle an alligator, or climb a mountain? Do you think of police officers, firefighters and soldiers as courageous?

Courage comes in all shapes and sizes. Often it isn’t defined as much by what you do as how you live. It takes courage to do the right thing.

Stephen was a faithful follower of Jesus. The Bible says Stephen was “a man full of God’s grace and power.” After Pentecost, the Church grew quickly. But not everyone was happy about this. Some people did not want the good news about Jesus to spread. They arrested Christians and told them to stop preaching.

Stephen was not afraid. He wanted to please God, so he kept sharing the truth. Stephen’s enemies spread lies about him. Finally, they brought him before a group of leaders called the Sanhedrin.

Brave Stephen stood strong. He spoke up and told the men all about God’s Word. This made the Sanhedrin furious. They grabbed Stephen and dragged him out of the city. Then they picked up rocks to throw at him.

“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God’” (Acts 7:55,56, NIV).

Sadly, the men killed Stephen with the rocks. But they could not keep him from Jesus. Stephen went to heaven to live with the Lord forever. The Church’s enemies could not stop the gospel either.

Courageous Christians kept preaching, and the Church kept growing.

A man named Saul witnessed these events. He saw Stephen’s bravery and faith. Saul didn’t yet know Jesus. But God was working in his life. Saul’s gospel adventure was about to begin.

You can stand up for Jesus by telling people about Him and making right choices — even when it’s not popular. God wants to give you the power and courage to take His unstoppable message everywhere you go.

— By Christina Quick

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