Daily Devotional for Thursday July 16, 2020

Why was Jesus standing? Part One of Two

(Acts 7:54-60; 8:1)

***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Dear Lord, I cry out to You today. I have no place to turn but to You. My life is Yours. Do with it as You will and I will obediently serve You with my very last breath. IN the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ..AMEN!

***THE DAILY LIVEPRAYER TV NUGGET: Please understand, no matter how little your life may have changed over the past 5 months, IT IS CHANGING IN PERMANENT WAYS YOU MUST UNDERSTAND!!! Never in our nation’s history has a legal business been closed by the government and forced to stay closed until the government says it is OK to open. NEVER! Not during all of our wars, not during any of the 6 major pandemics that we have battled across our nation over the past 100 years, not for any other reason regardless the crisis. NEVER!!! Never in our nation’s history have our schools all over the nation been shut down, and apx. 50% will remain shutdown to start the new school year purely for political reason despite the great harm this is doing to students from kindergarten through college. Some isolated school districts closed for brief periods during various pandemics over the past 100 years, but NEVER all schools nationwide. NEVER!!! NEVER in our nation’s history has any church in America been forced to close by the government. Just the opposite! During times of war, pandemics, and every crisis it was the church people ran to seeking Almighty God’s help! The church was the beacon of light and hope people clung to in past times of trouble. Today, it is estimated over 40% of our churches are still closed, and virtually all operating with a limited attendance. Primarily for financial reasons, it is estimated that even when churches are allowed to fully open, at least 20% will never re-open. My friend, if these facts don’t send a chill up your spine you are not realizing the magnitude of what is happening. EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD BE GREATLY CONCERNED ABOUT BUSINESSES, SCHOOLS, AND CHURCHES THAT ARE SHUTTERED! The fact is we now know much about the Chinese Flu. The numbers haven’t changed. Case numbers mean NOTHING and are being highly manipulated as many labs in Florida are reporting 100% positive results, meaning they are not reporting the negative results! Hospitalization numbers are important but must be taken in context. Most hospitals are busy doing all of the elective surgeries put on hold for the first 3 months of the Chinese Flu outbreak. The fact is our hospital systems are equipped and much more adept at handling Chinese Flu patients. The only number that really matters is the death number which is not spiking nationally. 95% of those who die are over 65. 98% of those who die have some sort of pre-existing medical issues. Less the a fraction of 1% who are infected will die. Those number have held constant and are also the same demographic who are most likely to die during the annual flu season. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THE GOVERNMENT HAS NO LEGAL RIGHT TO SHUT DOWN BUSINESSES, SCHOOLS, OR CHURCHES! THEY ARE ONLY CLOSED BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT BEEN CHALLENGED AND ARE NOW USING THIS ILLEGAL POWER IN MANY STATES PURELY FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES. MEANWHILE, THE CITIZENS ARE SUFFERING AND PAYING A HUGE PRICE YOU WON’T HEAR ABOUT IN THE MEDIA!!!

*Don’t miss the Liveprayer TV program, airing “LIVE” every Monday thru Friday from 11pm EDT to Midnight! For details on viewing options for the Liveprayer TV program, “LIVE” or “On Demand,” go to: https://liveprayer.com/liveprayer-show-about.cfm

Part One of Two

Why was Jesus standing? I have always been intrigued by the 55th and 56th Verses in the 7th Chapter of Acts that tells about the stoning of Stephen. In those verses, it tells us that Jesus was "standing" at the right hand of God. Not once but twice for emphasis. The reason these verses have always challenged me is because they are the only verses that say Jesus was "standing." Every other reference to Jesus after His ascension have him SITTING at the right hand of God. Mark 16:19, Luke 22:69, and Ephesians 1:20 all have Jesus sitting.? So I began to ask God why Jesus was standing, and here is what the Holy Spirit showed me.

Jesus was standing to see man's gross wickedness. We live in a time when because of the mass media, we are exposed daily to every kind of sin and evil imaginable. The media feeds us a steady diet of abuse, rape, murder, death, destruction, corruption . . . nothing is hid from our eyes. Even though we have become immune to all of the evil around us, every now and then, something so wicked happens that we can't believe it.

We can't believe how a Jeffrey Dahmer could do the horrible things he did. We can't believe how someone could kidnap, sexually abuse, and then kill a child. We can't believe how a mother could drown her very own children. We can't believe how a dictator like Kim Jung Un in North Korea could allow millions of people to starve to death while he does nothing to help them. We can't believe how a great nation like the United States could allow the slaughter of millions of innocent babies every year. As much pain and suffering and evil as we are exposed to every day, from time to time, we are still horrified by man's gross wickedness.

One reason Jesus was standing was to see the gross wickedness of the religious leaders as they killed an innocent man. Not only had they put Stephen on trial with trumped-up charges, but they committed the ultimate act of killing a man who was guilty of no crime. But never forget my friend, God sees everything we do. He says in His Word, "my eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes." God sees all that we do. What men think they do in secret, God is watching.

Jesus stood and watched the religious leaders turn into a pack of wild animals. The Word says they "gnashed their teeth at him." They were literally biting Stephen. It says, "they covered their ears, yelling at the tops of their voices.' It is like a little child who doesn't want to listen to his parents and how he will cover his ears and yell so he can't hear what mom and dad are saying. These religious leaders were under conviction and didn't want to hear the truth.

There have been many times over the years when I have been preaching and in the middle of the message have watched people literally get up out of their seats and leave under the conviction of God. I have no doubt many people who read the Daily Devotional delete the message half way through under the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

The Bible tells us that they "dragged him out of the city and began to stone him." For what? What did Stephen do? He boldly defended Jesus! He rebuked the religious leaders for their unbelief. He denounced their fathers for killing the prophets and accused them of killing Christ, the righteous one. Jesus stood and watched as these religious leaders killed an innocent man for telling the truth and defending Him!

A second reason that Jesus was standing was to see who consented to this murder by their silence. James 4:17 tells us, "Anyone then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." It is in the anchor verses from Acts 7 that we are first introduced to a young man named Saul. This is the same Saul who would later meet Jesus on the Damascus Road and have his name changed to Paul. This is the same Saul who would live perhaps one of the most powerful Christian lives ever documented. This is the same Saul, who under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit would write nearly half of the New Testament.

Saul's only job was to watch the coats of those who were stoning Stephen. You may say, "well he didn't throw any of the stones." Let me tell you something, he didn't throw any of the stones but he is just as guilty in the eyes of God as those who did. Jesus was standing to see who consented to this brutal murder of an innocent man by their silence. It is no different today. When you are at school or in the office and classmates or co-workers are telling dirty jokes, if you sit and listen you are just as guilty as they are.

When you hear people trashing Jesus, blaspheming the name of God, tearing down the church, if you sit and listen you are just as guilty as they are. When a friend calls you on the phone and starts telling stories about other people and you sit and listen, you are just as guilty as the person who is gossiping. The Bible tells us, "And Saul was there giving approval to his death." Saul's approval was in the form of standing there and doing nothing to stop the killing of an innocent man. God not only sees those who commit the act, but He sees those who watch and do nothing to stop it.

I love you and care about you so much. Know that I am praying for you. Tomorrow, I will share with you the third reason why Jesus was standing and the powerful conclusion to this message. It will challenge you and motivate you in your relationship with Christ, please don't miss it.

*Don't miss Part Two tomorrow!!!

In His love and service,

Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller