Light Up The Room

Jon Burgess


“The lying witnesses said, “This man is always speaking against the holy Temple and against the law of Moses. We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the Temple and change the customs Moses handed down to us.” At this point everyone in the high council stared at Stephen, because his face became as bright as an angel’s.” ‭‭Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭6:13-15


When they are accusing his Lord and Savior of being a liar he doesn't respond defensively or aggressively. He responds the way Jesus Himself did when accused- it's an opportunity for evangelism, to give God glory. His face is glowing with the anointing of the Lord and then he proceeds to call them "brothers and fathers." They dishonored him and His Lord and he doesn't react with vitriol or hatred. Instead, Stephen responds with honor. Though many might look at this as a fatal choice, Stephens message and death prepared the way for Saul (soon to be Paul) to see that same light from Jesus Himself on the road to Damascus.


I've never had a good poker face. I'm pretty much an open book. My face reveals exactly what I'm feeling at any given moment. This is great when presenting the Gospel. This is really bad when I'm mad at the people I'm supposed to be presenting the Gospel to. When someone is attacking me or my faith do I light up the room with the opportunity for hope? Do I see this aggressive action as a chance to give the reason for the hope I have? Usually not. My face doesn't light up when someone calls me a liar. In fact, they can probably read all over my face, "you shouldn't have done that" or "where do you come off calling me a liar when you don't even know me?" Then, any number of arguments begin to fill my head in order to set them straight. I don't light up the room I darken it when I'm attacked. Lately, I've been learning that aggression is a much better alternative then indifference. If they didn't care they wouldn't even say anything about my faith. That's a much harder person to reach than someone who is outright attacking my faith. Could it be that God actually sees them as seekers? Where I would have written the whole crowd off as a bunch of hard-hearted religious wackos, Jesus saw a world changer in Saul and just needed someone to light up for the room to get him ready.


Lord, my face reveals my heart. If I go dark every time I'm attacked or someone disagrees with me then I'm never going to be able to shine Your light of truth. You say that I'm blessed if I'm persecuted as You were. The blessing comes when I realize it was never supposed to be about me or my reputation or comfort. It was always about giving everyone a chance to choose You!

Devotions for October 17

Job 1,2
Acts 6,7

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