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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

the Anointing pt9

Dear beloved: An interesting transfer of anointing and of destiny took place in the life of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Stephen was selected as one of the seven deacons set aside to serve the tables of the Hellenistic Jews in Acts chapter 6. Acts 6:3 But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. v4 But we (elders) will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. v5 And the statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit..v8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. And so we see that Stephen was originally ordained by God to be a deacon, a servant of the widows, and then he flowed into the calling of evangelist, full of grace and power, with attending signs and wonders. Acts 6:9 But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Silicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. v10 And yet they were unable to cope with the wisdom and Spirit with which he was speaking. Verse 15 tells us that Stephen had a powerful anointing upon him,v15 And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face as the face of an angel.
Acts chapter 7 is the powerful message that Stephen spoke to the council, and it cut the unbelievers to the quick. Acts 7:54 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. v55 but being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; v56 and he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." And then we are introduced to a man named Saul who is standing at the scene, maybe even the ringleader, v58 And when they had driven him(Stephen) out of the city, they began stoning him, and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. v59 And they went on stoning Stephen as he called upon the Lord, and said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" Acts 8:1 And Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. v3 But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house; and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison.
And so we see that the destiny of Stephen was cut short, hastened and facilitated by a man named Saul, a man who interestingly enough, becomes the focus of the rest of the book of Acts. Saul was on a mission to round up and quench the message of these upstart followers of Christ, but God had a much different plan for his life; God's plan was that Saul take up the anointing and destiny of Stephen and finish what Stephen had started! The story of Saul's conversion unfolds in Acts 9:1 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, v2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. v3 And it came about as he journeyed, he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; v4 and he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him,"Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"v5 And he said, "Who art Thou, Lord?" And He said, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting." It is interesting to note that Saul immediately knew that his jig was up, he even knew that it was Jesus the Lord who was talking to him. The transfer was completed in Acts 9:17 And Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit. v18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he arose and was baptized. v20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "He is the Son of God."
And so God used Saul in a mighty way to fulfill the destiny and calling of Stephen; and we know the exploits of Saul as he became Paul and all that he did to spread the gospel to the gentiles. Beloved, seek the Lord while He may be found and you will avoid the painful ordeal that Saul went through. Psalm 105:4 Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually. May God bless you this day as you seek Him, in Christ, Jim

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