Just Go: Acts Chapter 7-8 (June 17-June 23)
About two months ago, I went to an event sponsored by Ohio State called the Veritas Forum. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this forum, it was originally started at Harvard in 1992 by a woman named Kelly Monroe. She saw that colleges were not helping students answer the most important truths in life so, she helped pioneer the Veritas Forum to bring people to the ultimate truth of Jesus Christ. Today, Veritas Forum has grown immensely from its humble beginnings and now hosts friendly discussions around campuses all across the country between some of the most brilliant Christian and non-Christian thinkers in the world. During the course of the discussion, the atheist philosopher expressed his belief that the world was better off and would continue to improve as more scientific knowledge was gathered. Now, I don’t think it takes an expert to come to the conclusion that our vast knowledge hasn’t truly made us a better society. In fact, I would argue that society at large isn’t much better than when Jesus walked the earth almost 2,000 years ago.
As Christians, we know that no amount of accumulated scientific knowledge or technology will ever save humanity. Only Jesus Christ has the power to do that. My point in mentioning this is that I believe the intellectual knowledge of God’s existence will not ultimately bring one to Christ. God reminded me of this as I read Stephen’s speech in chapter 7. In this speech, Stephen recounts the Jewish peoples’ rejection of God since the time of Abraham. One event he recounts is the attempted reconciliation of the two quarrelling men by Moses contained in Exodus 2:11-15. The man’s response in verse 27 gives a clue to the most troubling reason why people reject Jesus. ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?’. The real reason why most people reject Jesus is because of an unwillingness to submit to authority.
I can back that up because I speak from experience. I have an affinity for math and science and consider myself to be a very logical thinker. Certainly when I was in high school I did have some logical questions about God. I still do, as I’m confident most of you do too. However, in retrospect it was my pride and arrogance that were my true barriers to Christ. I know this because when I accepted Jesus as my savior just over two years ago at Orange Friends Church it was not an intellectual epiphany that led to my decision at all. I don’t know how to describe it to you other than to just say that the Holy Spirit finally reached my diseased heart. Even as a Christ follower I still find myself trying to buck God. I constantly have to check myself and pray to God for a submitting spirit.
I don’t think God could have chosen a better devotion topic for this week than submission. Without a submitting spirit, the commitment to Christ I spoke of last week is impossible. As you read and pray this week I urge you to ask God for a spirit of submission. Pray the same for the wild hearts of those in your life without Christ. Go with God and be at peace.
- Kyle Bogner
“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.”
Acts 7:51 (ESV)