Daily Devotional – ‭‭‭‭‭‭Acts 7:54‬‬ – February 27, 2024

“Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him.”
Acts 7:54

This verse comes near the end of the story of the persecution of Stephen in the Acts of the Apostles. Stephen was arrested because of he was teaching the gospel of Jesus. When he was accused and seized, he was given a chance to respond to his accusations. He used that opportunity to give a short summary of the early history of Israel, including Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses. He explained to them that throughout their history, the Israelites had continually rejected God and his prophets. He recounted several instances of the people of Israel turning away from God and persecuting his prophets.

Then he told them, “Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom they have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”

That was the final straw. They were enraged. They ground their teeth at him. They rushed him and forced him out of the city and stoned him to death.


Because he exposed their sin. You will hardly ever meet more resistance as a Christian than when you rebuke someone’s sin. People get defensive. They dig in their heels and deny. They project their own guilt and shame as anger toward you for bringing it to light. And for the record, “they” can also be “we.” It’s a common tendency of human nature.

We know this to be true almost instinctively. That’s why we are often shy or timid about rebuking sin in our neighbors. However, as we can see from Stephen’s example, the truth must still be spoken, even at the risk of persecution, even at the risk of death. Granted, this is a far-fetched possibility, but it is still true. The gospel of Jesus must be spoken. To those who claim to believe in God, especially those who claim to believe in Christ, sin must be brought to light and rebuked.

Of course, there is a way to do this with grace and love, not in a way that tears someone down or humiliates them. But nonetheless, it must be done. We must hold each other accountable. We must build each other up. We must make the truth of Christ known, no matter the cost.

Let Stephen be an example to you in his boldness, his Spirit-filled words, and his great faith.


Thank you for the great faith Stephen. Thank you for the example that he can be to us. I pray that you’d help us to be bold in exposing sin and holding each other accountable and also to be humble when we are on the receiving end, because we know we are not perfect. Give us the gift of the Spirit to speak truth at all times.
In Jesus’ Name,

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