Hi. I am Howard Myers. I will be married to Joy for 28 years in December 2013. We have two children, Cyle and Amy.
I was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa and so was Joy. She was a teacher when I met her and she still is. I was an Engineer at an international oil company but left after many years to answer the call of God on my life. Thankfully, my wife and children supported the decision fully and I never “looked back”.
I pastored at Harvest Christian Church in Port Elizabeth, South Africa from 1997 to 2007. During the latter part of that period, my wife and I felt a strong call of God to minister in Singapore (Our family spent the year 2001 in Singapore learning about cell church at FCBC). Since January 2009 we have been serving in CPBC and now God has opened the door for us to plant a new church, C-WAM.
What a joy the serve these amazing people!
1Sa 7:12 NLT - Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means "the stone of help"), for he said, "Up to this point the LORD has helped us!"
God through Joshua shows Israel how far He has brought them: Jos 24:2 NLT - Joshua said to the people, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Long ago your ancestors, including Terah, the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River, and they worshiped other gods.
Jos 24:3 NLT - But I took your ancestor Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him into the land of Canaan. I gave him many descendants through his son Isaac.
Jos 24:4 NLT - To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I gave the mountains of Seir, while Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.
Jos 24:5 NLT - "Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I brought terrible plagues on Egypt; and afterward I brought you out as a free people.
Jos 24:6 NLT - But when your ancestors arrived at the Red Sea, the Egyptians chased after you with chariots and charioteers.
Jos 24:7 NLT - When your ancestors cried out to the LORD, I put darkness between you and the Egyptians. I brought the sea crashing down on the Egyptians, drowning them. With your very own eyes you saw what I did. Then you lived in the wilderness for many years.
Jos 24:8 NLT - "Finally, I brought you into the land of the Amorites on the east side of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I destroyed them before you. I gave you victory over them, and you took possession of their land.
Jos 24:11 NLT - "When you crossed the Jordan River and came to Jericho, the men of Jericho fought against you, as did the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. But I gave you victory over them.
Jos 24:12 NLT - And I sent terror ahead of you to drive out the two kings of the Amorites. It was not your swords or bows that brought you victory.
It’s Important to evaluate where we’ve come from because it has a bearing on our destiny. We need to do that as a church community,
We need to do that as families,
We need to do that as individuals.
Analogy: Running the Two Oceans Marathon It’s regarded as the most beautiful marathon in the world:
Running a marathon can be compared with our journey as a church or our personal spiritual journey.
1Cr 9:24 NLT - Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!
1Cr 9:25 NLT - All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.
1Cr 9:27 NLT - I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
In context, Paul is talking about is talking about his “calling”
1Cr 9:2 NLT - Even if others think I am not an apostle, I certainly am to you. You yourselves are proof that I am the Lord's apostle.
I ran ten Two Oceans Marathons but I quit once, so I only have nine finisher medals.
I know what it is like to quit – you never live it down – everyone asks you “how was your race” and you have to tell them that you quit.
I was on the 47th km or 56 km, only nine to go and almost all downhill, and I could not take another step. A mini bus came and picked us up and the driver announced over his two way radio “I’ve picked up all the quitters”
It was one of the most humiliating events of my life: travelled 800km to run a race and then to go home without a medal!
Some lessons I learned about: How Not To Quit!
1. Your training must be effective.
Simulate race conditions, run in the heat and the cold so that you are prepared for both. Two oceans is very hilly – choose a hilly training rout to run at least once a week
Don’t wait until you are fulfilling “that” position in ministry – practice now: at home, at work. How can you change the atmosphere and bring the light into your situation at work? What about practicing the gifts of the Spirit at work. Praying for the sick, prophesying over your colleagues? You need to “stick your neck out” and see how God will honor you.
In your home: pray over your family – be a true spiritual leader there first. Mentor your family by being the example that you want to see in them. It’s much easier to shout at the kids than to treat them with love and respect even when they are disobedient. Practice there!
2. On the race: start slow
If you start too fast you WILL soon out of ‘steam’. You training will give you a good idea of how fast you can go but you must build up to that speed. The biggest mistake is to start ok, then you feel good at about 20km and you start running too fast. You WILL run out of steam later. I’ve learned that the hard way.
The Christian walk is the same when it comes to calling: [1Jo 2:13 NKJV] 13 I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him [who is] from the beginning. I write to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father.
You have to crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run. You cannot be a pastor if you didn’t ever run a cell group – you can’t run a cell if you were never involved in helping in one and overseeing some areas of the cell – we need to grow in these things.
You can’t be a worship leader if you don’t have some experience in leading in small group (for example). We need to grow in all these things.
3. Keep your eyes on the road in front and your mind on the finish line (prize)
If you try to look too far ahead you will probably get discouraged.
When I’m running up a steep hill, I’ve learned never to keep my eyes focused on the top – I will almost definitely stop and start walking. But it I look at the road just ahead – the next few paces – then I know that I can do it.
Keep your eyes focused on the next thing that God is telling you to do Keep your heart focused on the ultimate promise of God’s calling on your life – maybe it’s to pastor your own church, maybe it’s to run your own cell, of business, or have an international ministry etc. If you don’t yet have that dream then ask God to put it in your heart.
4. Always hydrate well
Keep drinking, don’t run past a watering point. Preferably drink an isotonic drink that replaces electrolytes, carbohydrates and minerals in your blood stream.
Feed on the word daily – you will not finish the race without it. You also need to keep being “hydrated” with the Spirit. “drink” as much as you can, then those miles will seem like a breeze.
[Jhn 4:10, 13-14 NLT] 10 Jesus replied, "If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water." ... 13 Jesus replied, "Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life."
5. When the going gets tough, the tough keep going
In the Two Oceans Marathon, the toughest part of the race is just after the marathon mark, at about 46km. In the two oceans, you know this so you prepare yourself physiologically.
The most important thing you remember: NEVER GIVE UP!
In life, you often don’t know when the hard times are coming – but sometimes there are indicators
[Hbr 12:1 NKJV] 1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares [us], and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Why should we never quit?
Because Gods love never quits! He is relentless in His Love for us! Psalm 136 (MSG)
136:1 Thank God! He deserves your thanks. His love never quits. 136:2 Thank the God of all gods, His love never quits. 136:3 Thank the Lord of all lords. His love never quits.
136:4 Thank the miracle-working God, His love never quits. 136:5 The God whose skill formed the cosmos, His love never quits. 136:6 The God who laid out earth on ocean foundations, His love never quits. 136:7 The God who filled the skies with light, His love never quits. 136:8 The sun to watch over the day, His love never quits. 136:9 Moon and stars as guardians of the night, His love never quits. 136:10 The God who struck down the Egyptian firstborn, His love never quits. 136:11And rescued Israel from Egypt’s oppression, His love never quits. 136:12 Took Israel in hand with his powerful hand, His love never quits. 136:13 Split the Red Sea right in half, His love never quits.136:14 Led Israel right through the middle, His love never quits. 136:15 Dumped Pharaoh and his army in the sea, His love never quits. 136:16 The God who marched his people through the desert, His love never quits. 136:17 Smashed huge kingdoms right and left, His love never quits. 136:18Struck down the famous kings, His love never quits. 136:19 Struck Sihon the Amorite king, His love never quits. 136:20 Struck Og the Bashanite king, His love never quits. 136:21 Then distributed their land as booty, His love never quits. 136:22 Handed the land over to Israel. His love never quits.
136:23 God remembered us when we were down, His love never quits. 136:24 Rescued us from the trampling boot, His love never quits. 136:25 Takes care of everyone in time of need. His love never quits. 136:26 Thank God, who did it all! His love never quits!
Consider the following:
Where are you in YOUR race right now? How far have you come? What has God put in your heart to do/to accomplish? Set your sights.
Tuck in and run with endurance the race that God has set before you – without complaining and grumbling – just run with Joy.
How Does This Apply To C-WAM?
We too have a race to run as a family of believers: Praise God – we are off to a great start:
- There is a great sense of unity in the house
- Everyone is getting involved and not standing by just watching idly
- There is no (obvious)competitiveness or petty jealousies, no jostling for position
- We are setting the foundation firmly in place
- We are a church with passionate worship, authentic community and a genuine move of the Holy Spirit (Ps Keith observed)
But…… We still have a long way to go!
What do we see? Dream with me!
- The manifest presence of God in our midst,
- A river of the supernatural power of God flowing through the church,
- Cells growing and multiplying
- Many people finding salvation each week in our cells and in our services
- People everywhere – bursting at the seems
- Multiplying and planting churches.
- Multiple mission trips, feeding the poor and building orphanages
God is able to do far more than we can think or imagine!
Let’s set our hearts on the prize that God has in store for us! Let’s run together with endurance!
Look at these pictures – what do you notice about them, what do they have in common?
When things are out of alignment they can cause damage, and in some cases, huge destruction. At the very least, and will never run efficiently or accomplish its purpose effectively.
We also need to be aligned spiritually to receive the full blessing that God has in store for us:
We need to be aligned in the area of:
1. Authority and submission
The story about my experience while working as a young project engineer in the oil company:
Worked under a boss that was unfair – away for various reasons whenever a large and difficult project came along but when my colleague and I had worked out all the difficult details and nearly completed the design, he would reappear taking all the credit and the best part of the project – the site supervision. This became a pattern. He was also a freemason and an alcoholic. Very anti-Christianity not allowing me to take leave for church conferences. I never submitted to him (in my heart). One day I reported to his boss what was actually going on in our department. He was immediately called in and reprimanded. Life became very difficult for me after that. I was given a very bad rating at my assessment and as a result had to forfeit a merit increase.
The Lord spoke at that time about “submitting to ones earthly boss”. I changed my attitude towards him, serving him as best as I could, and 6 months later I got a big increase in salary and a year later I was promoted to Regional Engineer with a company car.
a) What is submission?
Greek word translated submission:
1) to arrange under, to subordinate
2) to subject, put in subjection
3) to subject one's self, obey
4) to submit to one's control
5) to yield to one's admonition or advice
6) to obey, be subject
This word was a Greek military term meaning "to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader". In non-military use, it was "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden".
1. The Principle of submission and authority
. Matt 8: 5
And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, 8:6
and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented." 8:7
Jesus *said to him, "I will come and heal him." 8:8
But the centurion said, "Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8:9
For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, 'Go!' and he goes, and to another, 'Come!' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this!' and he does it.
Now when Jesus heard this,
He marveled and said to those who were following, "Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.
The Centurion understood that you only truly HAVE authority when you are under authority. He did not say “I too am a man IN authority”, he said: I too am a man UNDER authority.
We must place ourselves UNDER authority willingly! 2. Submit to earthly “masters”
Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;
(Titus 3:1 NKJV) - "(1) Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work," 3. Government
(Romans 13:1, 5 NKJV) - "(1) Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. ... (5) Therefore [you] must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake." So what if the government is evil? “Remember the context — Paul has just written several verses about how we should respond to evil, and he concludes, “Overcome evil with good” (12:21). Although government authority is established by God, and is good in itself, it is sometimes used in an evil way. Christians should not fight against the government, repaying evil for evil, but are to respond with good behavior. Paul is giving a general principle, not writing about specific rulers. We do not subject ourselves to specific people, or pay taxes to specific people — rather, we submit to the office, and when a new person is in office, we submit to the new person, not the old one. Once a person is out of office, we do not owe that person any allegiance or payments. The “authorities” that Paul writes about are roles, not specific people. “Submit” does not always mean “obey,” but it usually does, and Christians should be willing to obey civil authority. If the government commands a sin, then we have to disobey (Acts 5:29) — but that does not mean that we can fight against the government on other issues. We do not conform to the world (12:2), but neither do we try to overthrow it.”
(Titus 3:1 NKJV) - "(1) Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work,"
Remember when Peter & John were thrown into prison for preaching the Gospel, they said:
But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; 4:20
for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard." 4. The Home – submission to one another Col 3: 3:18
Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 3:19
Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. 3:20 Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord
Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart. 3:22
Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely
please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 3:23
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 3:24
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. 3:25
For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality. Eph 5: 5:21
and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. 5:22
Wives, be subject
to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 5:23
For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being
the Savior of the body. 5:24
But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be
to their husbands in everything. 5:25
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,5:26
so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 5. Submission to God & Christ – Through the Spirit Romans 8 8:7
because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8:8
and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 8:9
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 8:10
If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 8:11
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 8:12
So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh- 8:13
for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 8:14
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 8:15
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" 8:16
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 8:17
and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him
so that we may also be glorified with Him.
- The key here is sonship: if you truly a son, you will be able to be fully submitted to God, if you are not a son, you will not be able to submit.
- The Spirit of God that dwells inside of you helps you to fully submit to God and to the people he has put in authority over you.
Are you fully submitted to God? If not, you will never be able to be submitted to anyone else – you will be out of alignment and heading for disaster.
Examine carefully if you are aligned in the area of submission. If not, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you to fully submit to the father.
Take some time to allow the Holy Spirit to fully reveal to you all the areas where you are in rebellion than offer it to the Father and become a true son.
Most activities are much easier to think about, read about, discuss/talk
about than to actually do it
- How about riding a bicycle – recall my first attempt at riding a bicycle with Samuel and Caleb. I was around 7 years old.
- My first attempt at playing golf…..at the driving range with my dad. (talked about the different golf clubs, handicap, strokes
- My Bike:
Again, if I can use an analogy: I have a 10 year old Honda motor cycle. And supposing I got a brand new one delivered to our parking, and I went out, looked at the bike, looked around and in under the seat and found the manual—beautiful, glossy manual, and I thought `Wow, that is fantastic!' Took it indoors and I started studying it. And I got out my highlighter, started underlining bits that looked really interesting, started learning particular bits that I liked off by heart, maybe cutting out bits of it and sticking it on my mirror so I could look at it while I was shaving!
I thought, `Well, maybe we could turn some of this to song’—I asked Tem or Roland to compose a song so we could sing bits of the Honda manual! I thought, `Well, you know, I wonder whether other people like the Honda manual. Perhaps I’ll join the Honda Club. Or maybe I should learn Japanese so I can study it in its original language!’ But I would have missed the point
—the point of the manual is to help you RIDE THE BIKE. And unless we RIDE THE BIKE, unless we have that relationship with Jesus, we’ve missed the point.
Would you agree with me……riding the bike is far better than all the other things we can do about it? It’s much better the going for a ride with someone else in control! Let’s examine some scripture: (James 1:22-25 NKJV) - "(22) But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (23) For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; (24) for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (25) But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues [in it], and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does."(Luke 6:46-49 NKJV) - "(46) "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say? (47) "Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: (48) "He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. (49) "But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.""
2. Listen to God
(1 Kings 19:11-13 NKJV) - "(11) Then He said, "Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD." And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, [but] the LORD [was] not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, [but] the LORD [was] not in the earthquake; (12) and after the earthquake a fire, [but] the LORD [was] not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. (13) So it was, when Elijah heard [it], that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice [came] to him, and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?""
Learn to hear the “still small voice”
You must be quiet to hear it:
Some tips to hearing God speak:
a) Develop an ear.
This takes practice. The more you act on what you think you hear, the more you learn to discern God’s voice
b) Be quiet.
Sometimes we tend to talk too much. We need to sometimes just sit in his presence.
(Ecclesiastes 5:1-3 NLT) - "(1) As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God. (2) Don't make rash promises, and don't be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few. (3) Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool."
c) Pray in the Spirit
I have found that God speaks to me when I spend time just praying in the spirit
e.g. Praying for someone, walking in the shopping mall, running
d) Don’t run after prophetic words; rather let the prophetic words confirm what God has already said to you.
e) Always ask; is there anything that I must do?
3. Just Do It
(Joshua 1:8 NKJV) - "(8) "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."
a) Don’t question, if it’s a good thing, it has to be God.
b) If it’s a neutral thing that could either be good or bad, speak to another Christian with wisdom (known for making good and right decisions)
c) Consistency is the key to being a doer of the word – it becomes easier to hear and easier to do (running analogy – the more I run the more I want to run, when I stop for a while….so difficult to get started again.)
Let’s not fool ourselves – it takes great courage to do God’s will. The further we go in Him, the more difficult it becomes, but with it…..the rewards are greater too. (analogy – Comrades Marathon – you build up to it – obedience in the small things adds up to the big thing)
(Joshua 1:3-4, 9 NKJV) - "(3) "Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. (4) "From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. ... (9) "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God [is] with you wherever you go.""
a) What has God told you……is God telling you to do?
b) Think carefully…..you probably will not move to the next step until you do what God has told you
c) It might be as simple as forgiving someone from your heart.
In one sense, this chapter does not end well – Steven is murdered for the sake of the gospel
In another sense, it has a glorious ending: It all depends where you are looking from – an earthly perspective or a heavenly one.
The Blood of the Martyrs
The famous observation of Tertullian that, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church, has a depth of insight which is all too often lost on believers today. We have no trouble thinking of persecution and martyrdom as a great obstacle to the spread of the gospel which will not, however, be successful in hindering Church growth. We would have no problem affirming that the blood of the martyrs is a hurdle which, by Gods grace, can be overcome. But to say that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church is an altogether different concept. If martyrdom is a surmountable obstacle to the growth of the Church, then the Church might advance just as well, even better, without it. But if the blood of the martyrs truly is the seed of the Church, then without it, the Church does not grow. Without martyrdom, the Church would never have taken root in the world of Tertullian. Without martyrdom, the Church would not have spread to the Auca Indians in South America, or to China or Burma or the islands of the South Seas. The blood of the martyrs is a necessary means for the worldwide application of Christ’s great redemptive accomplishment.
Let’s examine why Steven was willing to GO ALL THE WAY!
1. Steven knew the word
· Steven’s speech was not a Random historical account.
· He chose outstanding heroes of the faith Abraham, Joseph and Moses
Act 7:2 NASB (2)
And he said, "Hear me, brethren and fathers! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,
Act 7:9 NASB (9)
"The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet
God was with him,
Act 7:22 NASB (22)
"Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds.
Act 7:36 NASB (36)
"This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years.
- No Jew would doubt that God spoke to each one of them personally. YET….IT ALL HAPPENED OUTSIDE THE PROMISED LAND
We must know the word of God well!
- Steven’s message was not random – it was carefully crafted and anointed by the Holy Spirit
Jos 1:8 NLT (8)
Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
Psa 1:1-2 NLT (1)
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. (2)
But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night.
Psa 119:103-108 NASB (103)
How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter
than honey to my mouth! (104)
From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. (105)
Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (106)
I have sworn and I will confirm it, That I will keep Your righteous ordinances. (107)
I am exceedingly afflicted; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word. (108)
O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, And teach me Your ordinances.
2. Steven had FAITH – he believed God’s word and acted on it
Act 6:5 NASB (5)
The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith
and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch.
Act 6:8 NASB (8)
And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.
Act 6:10 NASB (10)
But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.
Heb 11:1 AMP (1)
NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we
] hope for, being the proof of things [we
] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses
Heb 11:6 AMP (6)
But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily
] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out
Rom 10:17 NASB (17)
So faith comes
from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
3. Steven was full of the Holy Spirit
Act 7:54-55 NASB (54)
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began
gnashing their teeth at him. (55) 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;
Act 13:52 NASB (52)
And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Eph 5:18-19 NASB (18)
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, (19)
speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
- READ WAYNE GRUDEM P638-639 (Systematic Theology – what is “being filled with the Holy Spirit”)
Because of all this STEVEN HAD POWERFUL VISION – HE COULD SEE INTO THE STIRIT REALM
Act 7:54-56 NASB (54)
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began
gnashing their teeth at him. (55)
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; (56)
and he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
- It didn’t matter what happened to him – he saw the GREATER REALITY
- He was willing to die for it….it more valuable than life itself