He Only Had Eyes for God

Saturday, February 09, 2013

“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, hardly noticed—he only had eyes for God!” (Acts 7:55 The Message).

It is one of the great, dramatic moments in Scripture—Stephen giving his defense before the High Court of Israel. His presentation was masterful and respectful. His recall of history was exact and compelling. The case he presented was flawless and clear.

But as he spoke he saw the smug indifference etched deep into the faces of his judges. Their hearts were hardened by pride, their eyes blinded by bigotry. Stephen, realizing that nothing he could say was going to change their prejudice, shifted gears and got straight to the point.

“You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears!” he cried. “You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!”

As any student of the pugilist arts knows, no champion ever relies on a single punch to knock out his opponent. No, he peppers him with jabs, rocks him with a one-two combination, and then drops the bomb–a left hook and a blinding overhand right. BAM! Stephen does the same.

While the council was reeling from his stunning indictment, Stephen continued, “Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute?” Before they could compose themselves to reply in religious double-speak, he delivered the knockout blow–“Just as your fathers killed those who told us that the Messiah would come, now you, their sons, have betrayed and murdered the very Messiah Himself!”

The Bible says, “Now when they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.” One translations puts it this way, “At that point they went wild, a rioting mob of catcalls and whistles and invective.” We are then told, “At this the council members 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.”

Amazing, isn’t it, the depth of evil that lurks in the hearts of religious people? From the moment Cain murdered Abel, religion has found no other way but violence to force its claims against those with whom it disagrees. Oh how quickly those esteemed as holy and impartial judges turn to nothing more than a band of alley thugs.

But now, set in sharp relief against this dark backdrop, get the point of our opening text: “Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, hardly noticed—he only had eyes for God!”

Wow. How wonderful it must be to “hardly notice” the dumb, outrageous, banal, and vindictive attacks of the devil through people and circumstances around us. What is the key? How did Stephen manage to remain so detached? The word says, “he only had eyes for God!”

O Lord, give us eyes only for you!

God bless you, Pastor Mike
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    To have faith makes us strong.May our eyes always be on God. emoticon
    1875 days ago
    Definitely we need to have our eyes not to mention our hearts only fixed on Jesus/God.

    I often hear that during the crusades the Christians killed many that were not following the same faith. This argument comes up now because of the Muslims and the Jews fighting against each other.

    What bothers me is that I only hear negative stuff towards the Jews yet they are the ones as the Bible says under attack because of the curse so therefore the Muslims are attacking them and they are just defending them.

    Either way I understand fighting is not the answer and definitely a terrible thing. It is what it is.

    Thanks for the reminder.
    1886 days ago
    Times do not change There is hate justification for much that is going on The worst part it comes from those who are the church those who call them self Christians There will all ways be some true believers from every Church .That is how God keeps the faith alive.
    1895 days ago
  • KAREN608
    Thanks for the reminder, to focus on the Lord, and not the negative people and things in life!
    1895 days ago
    What a poweful message! I am proud to be one of His children with my eyes fixed upon Him regardless of critical words, views and eyes of another. Thank you Pastor, for giving great insight to start my day! I have asked Him to lead and guide me today knowing that thru my eyes I may not see perfection, but I pray He will see my willingness to live each day for Him!
    1895 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/10/2013 7:14:41 AM
  • ERIN1957
    When I was very young I was wild. Wild and rebellious. I knew it was wrong and I tried to change on my own. People saw me stumble time and time again. Never seeing my struggle or reaching to help me. Condemning and sneering always saying, "she will never change". They saw me only as I was, not for what I wanted to be. I felt so lost. I needed my Christian Religious family and they turned their backs on me.
    To this day, they only see me as I was, never seeing that HE reached down and helped me up, never seeing who I have become in Him. Never seeing my love for Him and myself and yes even them.
    I finally knew in November 2007 what I had looked for all of my life and it was Him.
    Today, I still would like to have my Christian Religious family back home in my life to share in Him together. But know the human in them will not allow this. They do not see what He does in me...they do not care to see.
    I am sad, that I will always be that wild child to them even though she is long gone. A new child has emerged and I will still love them though they do not love me.
    My eyes and heart are always upon Him.
    Pastor you have brought me to tears; for what they have missed in me, but more so in what they have missed in HIM.

    Joy, Peace and Love!
    1895 days ago
    We all have the potential to saintly life in us, but sadly, it usually drowns in everyday events and desires, even in those who committed themselves to a holy life at some point in time. People like Stephen are rare - back then and today - focused only on God, not vanity, power, or earthly possessions. Thank you for the reminder that they do exist, and that they are examples we should try to follow.
    1895 days ago
    Love this blog. To keep our eyes stayed on God alone - He is all that matters anyway. He will be the Judge of injustice, it is not our place to concern ourselves with wrongs we've suffered. Our concern is forgiveness. Thank you!
    1895 days ago
    O Lord, give us eyes only for you! the echo of my own heart.
    To “hardly notice” the forced religious advice from others who think they have it all figured out for me....LOL!
    My desire is to be given plenty of wisdom with a scoop of discernment, a blending of humility & courage covered with the love of Jesus....what a recipe for living for Jesus & affecting others along the way.

    needed to read your blog today, emoticon Laura
    1895 days ago
    What a wonderful lesson! There are so many times in life where you just feel you've been treated unjustly, unfairly, not the way you would want things to go. But if we keep our eyes on Him, and do what we feel is His will, that is what is important.

    Wonderful blog. thank you.
    1895 days ago
    Amen! May my eyes always be upon God!
    1895 days ago
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