6/5/2019 1:23:15 PM
P James Wilcox
Help Me Help the World
Perhaps you remember the day of your confirmation: whether you were confirmed as a youngster or as an adult, I hope it was a happy day. And it should be because confirmation is a celebration of God’s word. He brought you to faith. He keeps you in the faith. And he will bring you to himself in heaven.
So now what? Sometimes confirmation can seem like such a big deal that we put all this emphasis on it without thinking about the day after confirmation, or the life after confirmation. Confirmation means strengthening—strengthening for a life of showing your faith. Because whether you are aware of it or not, there is a world out there that hurts. It hurts because it’s lost in sin. And you and I, who have been confirmed or those who will be confirmed, have the answer for that world.
The problem is sharing that answer with the world is painful. There was a believer from the book of Acts named Stephen who understood how painful it was to share Christ in the world. When you look at his story, you might think, “What terrible experience!” But in the midst of all the bad things that happened to him, Christ was right there to strengthen him. And just like then, Christ knows that we need his help if we’re going to be any help in this world. Jesus helps us help a hurting world: Jesus encourages us, and Jesus gives us love to share.
Acts 7:54-60, "When [the Pharisees] heard these things (from Stephen's sermon), they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed up into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 He said, “Look, I see heaven opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
57 But they screamed at the top of their voices, covered their ears, and rushed at him with one purpose in mind. 58 They threw him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses laid their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59 While they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60 Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” After he said this, he fell asleep.