now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. [acts 7:54]

this is how the devil reacts to followers of Christ sharing truth. this is how the world reacts to the truth of Jesus. i think i often diminish how much satan hates Jesus, the gospel, and followers of Christ. as Jesus says in john 10:10, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.”


in this critical moment in stephen’s life, he is face to face with satan’s influence on the world. men who’s hearts were not only hard to the gospel he is trying to share, but that want to kill him to silence him.

you and i come face to face with satan’s influence daily, though it may not be quite as obvious against the gospel. lies about our identity, who is in control of our future, or fear of being labeled an outcast, bigot, or weird because of our faith are just a few. whether outward persecution or resistance, or inward turmoil, both distract from focus on the gospel, missional living, faithful living, and the relationship we get to have with Jesus.

many of these are lies that i’ve found myself believing even this week. my question to you is what of satan’s influence is distracting your focus from king Jesus?


praise God that Jesus doesn’t stop talking at that point in john 10:10. he continues on to say, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

stephen knew abundant life. and in the face of the men who would soon kill him, he stood firm, not distracted, and not in fear, because he knew Jesus would come through on his promise.


Lord, focus us on you today. kill the lies, fear, and distractions that pull us from our relationship with you and missional living. may we experience abundant life in you today!


~ john sandman