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  • Living For An Audience of One

    1 posts, 1 voices, 353 views, started Jan 2, 2011

    Posted on Sunday, January 2, 2011 by Denise Richardson

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    • Diamond
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      Living For An Audience Of One
      By Dr. Jack Graham
      This week’s topic: A New Beginning

      Who would you say today is the most important person in your life? Who is that one person of whom you would say, "I live my life for him...or her?"  

      Maybe you are living your life for your spouse. Or maybe you find yourself living your life for your children...or for another family member. Or maybe you're honest enough to admit that you are living your life for yourself!

      Whatever your answer, I want to help you understand that there is just one Person worthy to be the primary focus of your life. And that Person is Jesus Christ.  

      One of the greatest examples of a man who lived for Christ was Stephen, the first Christian martyr.  

      When we meet Stephen in Acts 6, we find that the first century church has a serious problem. Some within the congregation are grumbling and causing dissension because they feel they are not being adequately cared for.  

      So the leadership of the church chose seven godly, devoted men to serve as deacons to help minister to the growing congregation. And the first man on their list was Stephen.  

      Acts 6:8 says that Stephen was a man full of faith and power. Yet as a result of his beautiful testimony for Christ inside and outside the church, Stephen eventually began to draw fire for his faith.

      In fact, a group of Jews—because they hated Stephen's passion for Christ so much—began to falsely accuse Stephen of blasphemy. And their lies eventually led to Stephen's violent murder.

      Let's pick up the end of Stephen's story in Acts 7:54-60:

      “When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

      Notice that Stephen saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. In Ephesians 1:20, Paul tells us that after Christ's resurrection, He was seated at the right hand of the Father. But now, as Stephen is martyred for His faith, we see Christ standing.

      I can't help but believe our Lord was standing to applaud Stephen's commitment to Him. Stephen was living a beautiful, godly life in the midst of the ugliness around him. He stood for Jesus...even to the point of death...and Jesus stood to honor Stephen's unwavering faith.

      When you live your life for Jesus Christ, you may face the fire, face the flack, and even face the fury of those who reject the Lord Jesus. But they should not be your concern. Your concern ought to be Jesus. Will He be standing to honor your commitment to Him?

      While you may never face the threat of execution for your faith, I want to ask you today, What are you willing to pay to carry the cross of Christ? Are you willing to make Christ your Audience of One...that He might be glorified and magnified in your life?

      Stephen was...and, as a result, God used him in a powerful way. In fact, the life of a young terrorist who celebrated Stephen's stoning would be changed. That young terrorist was Saul of Tarsus, a rabid religionist who thought he was doing God a favor by killing Christians.

      The day Stephen was murdered, something began to happen in Saul's life that he would talk about years later. There was something about the shining face of Stephen, something about the dying grace of Stephen, something about the powerful life of Stephen that Saul couldn't get past!

      Saul would ultimately be confronted by the risen Christ on the way to Damascus and his life would be changed forever. Saul the murderer would become Paul the missionary. And it all began that day as he watched Stephen die for his faith!

      I challenge you today to make Jesus Christ the one Person you are seeking to please...the one Person you are standing for no matter what difficulties you face. As you stand for Him, the lives around you will be impacted for eternity...and Jesus will stand in honor of your commitment to Him!

      Scripture Of The Day: "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." - John 14:6



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