Listen to this devotional:
Acts 6:10 – But they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke. (NIV)
Eric Alexander was the most wise and spiritually gifted pastor that I have ever known. He used to preach at the St. George's Tron Church, which is situated right in the heart of my old hometown of Glasgow in Scotland. The church is located at one of the busiest junctions in the city, and when Eric was preaching there, it was hard to find a parking space within walking distance of the church.
He was a powerful preacher, and I can remember being in his church one lunchtime on Good Friday. My wife Evelyn was with me, and we were both reduced to tears as Rev. Alexander graphically portrayed the agony and loneliness of Christ on the cross. He was truly inspired by the Holy Spirit, and the doleful tones of his Scottish accent just added to the power of his sermon. It was a life-changing experience for the both of us, as well as many others who had given up their business lunch to hear the preacher.
I also firmly believe that Stephen from the Book of Acts must have been a powerful and Spirit-inspired preacher in his day. From Acts chapter 6, we read that no one could "stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke." It must have been both remarkable and challenging to hear him preach. He was utterly devoted to Christ and fully open to the Spirit's bidding. Stephen must have known that the religious authorities would try to shut him down, but he still persevered; he still valiantly preached the truth.
In today's highly sophisticated and technologically driven world, preaching might seem outdated and redundant to some people. However, whenever and wherever a preacher is truly inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit, lives are still challenged and changed.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today we thank You for the preachers that have impacted our spirits and changed our lives through their wisdom and the presence of the Holy Spirit within them. Keep raising up new preachers among us who will grow in wisdom and be truly touched by God's powerful presence in their lives. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.