2.3.14 Epiphanies come to the humble. . .

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Epiphany- Day 28

Isaiah 66:1-2 TNIV

This is what the LORD says:

“Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me?
Where will my resting place be?

Has not my hand made all these things,
and so they came into being?”
declares the LORD.

“These are the ones I look on with favor:
those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
and who tremble at my word.

Acts 7:48-60 TNIV

“However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says:

“Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me says the Lord.
Or where will my resting place be?
Has not my hand made all these things?”

“You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.” When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

CONSIDER THIS. . .
Epiphanies so often come to the unlikely ones. Our text says it plainly. God favors those who are humble and contrite in spirit and who tremble at his word. If being “in the Spirit” is a precursor for epiphany then being humble and contrite in spirit are prerequisite for being “in the Spirit.”
Note how this plays out in the text at hand. The top leaders of the religious establishment are the ones who “always resist the Holy Spirit” in the words of Stephen. Then comes the “but.” “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to Heaven and saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God.”
Have you ever considered that those who serve in the leadership of the Church– the professionals– often tend to be the ones who “resist the Holy Spirit?” Why is that? Those of us in that kind of role might be well served to ask ourselves the perennial question, “Is it I, Lord?”
Note also how the Spirit tends to favor  the humble. Yes, Stephen was serving in a defined role yet it was a humble one and remember the qualifications for the job? We could track through a litany of scriptures and show this to be true. Can you think of any?
May we learn to stand with Stephen.

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