Sermon in a nutshell: Acts 6:8-15 “A person full of God’s Grace and Power.”
Today is Thanksgiving Sunday. We gather together to count our blessings. What is the most significant blessing that we can share together? It is eternal life that we have now through Jesus our Lord! It is like the feeling of a prisoner who had a death sentence and is now released from death’s door by special immunity granted by the authorities.
That is the meaning of the charge that people brought against Stephen. Let me explain this further. They said, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.” What were they talking about? Even though they did not know the full meaning of it, they said that Jesus now had nullified the power of the temple and the laws of Moses!
The power of the laws of Moses is the power of death. The laws of Moses constantly remind us of the fact that we are sinners. We are not perfect. We have made so many mistakes in our lives. We could have done a better job raising our children. We should have done a better job with our spouses. We should not have done so many foolish things. When we were young we did not know how foolish we were. But now we know better. We do not deserve God’s love, not to mention human respect. Still here we are as God’s children and the heirs of God’s Kingdom. We are called to help others and to serve the community. What a privilege and what a joy it is! That is what Jesus has done on the Cross. God has forgiven our sins and does not require any more animal sacrifices. In fact, Jesus destroyed the Temple! The Temple does not have any more meaning and function because sin does not rule over us anymore. Death cannot control our eternal life anymore!
This is why Stephen’s face was shining with joy! People saw that his face was like the face of an angel. I can tell you that your faces are like the faces of angels! You are released from judgment and punishment through the grace of our Lord. We want to share this Good News with others, especially with our loved ones, our family members, and our close friends! That was what Stephen did. The Bible says, “Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.” What could be a greater wonder than saving people’s eternal lives? What could be a more wonderful sign than serving others with what we have? Evangelism and ministries here and abroad are the only worthwhile things that we can do here on earth for the rest of our lives! Those can be the treasures of the heart that our loved ones can keep for the rest of their lives.
Brothers and sisters, let us give thanks to God first for this eternal life that we have. Let us give thanks also to God for all the things that we can share with our loved ones. Let us also give thanks to the missions and ministries that we can participate in while we are alive here on earth. Amen!
1. What are the missions and ministries that you use to express your thanks to God?
2. With whom do you want to share this Good News of forgiveness and eternal life?