The first sermon I ever preached was pretty good. I was in grade 12. I prepared and practiced, I was ready and I did well. The message was well-received. When my home church asked me to preach again the next year, I figured I was a veteran, scribbled down three points and thought I would wing it from the front. The ‘sermon’ lasted 30 seconds. My mind went blank and I just slowly recited the three points without all the stellar illustrations I thought would come to my head on the spot. The closing prayer was twice as long as the message. I have preached some not-so-good sermons along the way but none of them went as bad as the one that night. Stephen’s sermon didn’t go so well either, not for lack of preparation like me, but because he really hit a nerve. Hang on to your hats and your nerves this morning!
Acts 7 Study Questions
1. Tell a story that makes you proud of your heritage. Did a relative serve in a war? Do you have roots in the underground railway? Did your mom or dad hit a game winning homerun for their hometown team?
2. How do you think it would feel for Stephen’s audience to hear the stories of their favorite heroes (Abraham, Joseph, Moses and David) but then feel ‘family shame’ for not getting in on what God was doing time after time? Was there ever a time when you ‘missed the boat’ on something God was doing in your life?
3. For some people the temple got to be more important than God. At least the two things got confused and muddled together. Is there anything in your life, even a good thing like the temple or helping people or reading your Bible, that actually gets in the way or takes the place in your life of God Himself?
4. What does it mean to always resist the Holy Spirit (verse 51)?
5. God told Abraham (verse 3) to leave what was comfortable and familiar to go to something new that God would show him. Is there anything comfortable that God might be inviting you to leave in order to step into something new from Him?