September 9, 2018 Stephen’s Calling (Acts 7:30-60)
befriended Abraham and promised him,
“Your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies” (Gen 22:17).
Just as He said,
He raised Israel in Egypt
and sent Moses for His people to leave there.
At that time, the angel who appeared to Moses said (Acts 7:30),
“I am Jehovah,
the God of your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Ex 3:15).
He said, “Jehovah is My eternal memorial” (Hos 12:5).
He gave the Law on Mount Sinai (Acts 7:53)
and stayed with the desert church with Moses (Acts 7:38).
Stephen was a powerful saint with a promising future.
He laid down his life
for his people who could not be saved
and who only relied on the angel named ‘Jehovah’.
He loudly proclaimed that Jehovah condemns us
but Jesus saves us from sin and death.
He corrected the root faith of the Israelites.
◌ Stephen said this once,
completed his duty and was martyred.
He was a true witness to Jesus.
there are those who cannot distinguish Jesus and Jehovah.
They are still bound by the Law.
◌ Jehovah gave the Law
and Jesus gave grace, His blood
and the Holy Spirit.
※ Let’s know God. Let’s press on to know Him.
Knowing God and Jesus is eternal life.
We are all witnesses like him.
Even today your servant has received slanders. But even though my spirit receives slanders, the love from my friends and companions has been greater, and because of this my spirit receives healing. If this is what you, O Lord, desire of me, then I will all the more endure it eagerly.
Your humble servant has not yet received the discipline that he deserves. The name and honor of your servant has been given disgracefully treated.And it is continuing to be treated this way. But this is only because your servant has been foolish. It is because your servant has valued his honor like his life and has treated his honor like a great possession. The only true possession is your precious blood that you have given me, and the precious office of duty that you have given to me.
In the world, there are countless numbers of theologians – they are all wise and intelligent. But I marvel at how you have chosen a worthless servant like me! You have loved your servant so much, that I believe and endure for the sake of the great reward that you will give me from heaven, just like your servant Stephen.
Your servant has his whole life labored in this one place. Your servant remembers that he swore that he would only retire once he has breathed his last breath and has received your calling to come back to you. However, there are zealous sectarians who are calling to bring me down. Your servant has insisted that there is no such thing as retirement for your servant.Your servant has his whole life been preaching here, pouring out his blood, and he has regarded it as a great glory to labor to the death until you call him back to you. You, O Lord, came on this earth.You have given life to your servant, you gave your blood, you gave your flesh, you gave your name, and you gave your clothing. Yet even men today desire and gamble to get it for themselves.
O Lord! Even if someone would kill your servant, this church is still the church that your servant has established, and I am the Senior Overseer of Sungrak Church. In the same way that you and your Son had worked together, your servant and his son have determined to labor until our deaths. Although the position of the Overseer has legally been postponed, it does in no way deny the Senior Overseer himself. No one can deny that your servant is the Senior Overseer. From the moment that you called me and until now, I have been your servant, and I will continue to be your servant until you call my soul back to you. Please give strength to the speech and bodily endurance of your servant.
Just as there are four seasons in this world’s natural climate, there seems to be four seasons within this church. In the same way that the state of the world changes by its seasons, so does the state of this church. There has recently been a hot summer, but now a cool wind is starting to blow in this new autumn season. And just as the grain ripens in the open fields, I pray that the faith of Sungrak Church will also ripen. Even if the winter season comes, this church, which has completed its Passover, will surely endure.
The simple wish of your servant is that he could die for you. I pray that your servant would not die a foolish death, but that he would received your calling back to you with great glory. This is my lifelong prayer that I deliver to you.