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Worship: February 17, 2018
Pastor Nate Furness: "Acts 7:51-8:3"
Acts chapter 2 demonstrates an incredible response to Peter’s first sermon. Acts chapter 7 has the opposite effect to a first sermon. When we read the Bible, especially the early church, it is easy to skip over the hard parts and to focus only on the victories and the miracles. However, there are many hard moments in life and in scripture. The story of Stephen in Acts 7 is an example of a hard moment that culminates in his death. Many of us also find ourselves dealing with similar hurts and tragedies. The scriptures promise us that during these times of suffering it isn’t the end of God’s story in our lives.
54 When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen. 55
But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus
standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son
of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57 But they covered their ears, and with a loud
shout all rushed together against him. 58 Then they dragged him out of the city and began to
stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 While
they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down
and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this,