Summary: Sure anyone can follow God when there is no presure, but what happens when things get tough?

Acts 6:8-8:1

“Standing Tall When It Counts”


A. Do you remember the Dan and Dave Commercials Reebok had back in 1992

B. It was Dan O’Brien and Dave Johnson as there were both competing for Olympic Gold in the Decathlon

C. Dan O’Brien never made it to the Olympics, but Dave Johnson did

D. Dave Johnson however suffered a major set back a couple of months before the Olympics

E. He had a stress fracture in his leg

F. So he stopped training, and tried to rest it

G. When it was time for the completion, he had not trained for three months

H. But went on anyway, preparing to give it all to stand tall

I. He was in pain, but he kept going on

J. Made it thought the first day, considerably off his normal pace

K. The next day with the final 5 events, were excruciating

L. He kept going

M. He was in tons of pain

N. But would not give in

O. Finally the last even that 1500m. Despite everything if he had a good finish he could win a bronze

P. He ran the event with all his might, all his heart, and wound up winning a bronze

Q. Many people would find this a disappointment

R. Not Dave. Dave says, “God has called me to talk about a bronze medal and a broken bone. Kid’s needed to know that there are obstacles to overcome – that they must have faith in God to succeed. Give yourself 100% to God, and although you may not all win gold medals, there will be God in your heart

S. That is standing tall when it counts

T. Today we are going to look at a person in the Bible who was willing to stand tall when it counts, that is Stephen

U. There is a price to pay to stand tall, and we are going to look at what it requires to stand tall

V. The first things we see is:

I. Standing Tall May Require You to Stand Alone 6:8-10

A. Explanation

1. So Here is Steve

a) As the Bible says a man full of God’s grace and power

b) He was doing wonderful things, performing miracles among the people

2. Unfortunately the opposition rose up against him. What is interesting to note is that the members of the Synagogue of Freedmen were of Hellenistic Jew Decent. So was Steven.

3. This opposition was coming form his own people

4. Now Stephen, as we will find out later, was a great orator

5. His speech before the Sanhedrin was masterfully crafted

6. These Members of the Synagogue of freedmen were no intellectual match for him

7. He ripped them up on side and down the other

8. Because of this they arranged to have false witnesses bring charges of blasphemy against him

B. Application

9. So what can we learn from this

10. The saddest part of this whole ordeal is this opposition was not from his enemies

11. This opposition was from his own people. People like him

12. When we stand tall, don’t expect everyone to be standing with you

13. Standing tall might mean standing alone

14. It can be awful lonely

C. Illustration

15. Heather and I are trying really hard to explain this whole night time sleeping thing to Isaiah

16. Often we will put Isaiah in the crib leave the room quietly, go to our bedroom, and then He starts

17. He starts crying and crying, we will go back over to the bedroom, check his diaper, all that good stuff

18. There are a lot of times when he just ate, his diaper is changed, but he is feeling alone

19. Now one likes that alone feeling

20. But if we are going to stand tall

21. You very will could be the only one standing tall

22. Are you willing to stand tall?

II. Standing Tall May Require You To Stand Against Error

A. Explanation

1. Stephen is now before Sanhedrin, and boy does he let them have it:

2. He points out three things wrong with Sanhedrin’s charges’

a) First of all the issue of land:

b) The Sanhedrin were claiming that Israel was Holy Ground and that if it wasn’t Israel, God wasn’t there

c) Stephen Correctly pointed out that error by stating that rue God of glory cannot be limited to Jerusalem, nor even to Israel for he is the God of the whole world

d) Abraham, Joseph, Moses, had all met God outside the geographical boundaries of Israel

3. The 2nd issue was that of the Law of Moses

a) The Sanhedrin argued that Stephen was not following the law of Moses, that he was even as far as Blaspheming the Law of Moses, a crime punishable by death

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