What Do You Have To Say For Yourself?
Posted: Saturday, June 9
1 Kings 5:1-6:38
Verse of the day:
“Then the Chief Priest said, ‘What do you have to say for yourself?" (Acts 7:1 MSG)
Stephen’s sermon in Acts 7 stands as one of the most impassioned monologues in scripture. It’s often categorized as a sermon because of its methodical and articulate nature.
Stephen begins with Abraham connecting God’s divine plan through the generations. The story is juxtaposed by humanity’s nature to reject God and persecute His prophets. If Israel historically rebelled against God and His prophets, could this not be happening again? Was it now possible that the descendants of Moses had crucified the Son of God?
The delivery and structure of Stephen’s appeal is passionate but also academic. The progression of logic could easily infer a great deal of preparation and forethought, but that’s my favorite part about this sermon . . .
It’s not a sermon.
Stephen wasn’t preparing a speech. He didn’t spend the day in the church office mulling over his pros. The only trigger to this masterpiece was the question he was asked: “What do you have to say for yourself?” The question was asked and the most inspiring answer unfolded.
I have to ask myself. If I was arrested for my faith, dragged into court, and falsely accused, how would I respond? If someone gave me one chance and one moment, what would I say? What sermon would come spilling from the center of my soul? I think I might just start preparing my sermon now . . .