And Stephen replied: “Brothers and fathers,
listen to me. The God of glory appeared to our ancestor Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, ‘Leave
your country and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you.’”
–Acts 7:2-3

Acts 7:1-29

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Acts 7 is one of the longest chapters in the Book of Acts and records the speech Stephen gave to the religious leaders after he was arrested (see Acts 6:8-15). I encourage you to read the entire speech in verses 1-53 both today and tomorrow.

Today's reading is the first half of the defense Stephen gave before the council.

He begins with the story of Abraham (v.3-8), recounts the story of Joseph (v.9-16), and tells the story of Moses and the Exodus (v.17-43), Leviticus (v.44), Joshua (v.45), and David and Solomon building the temple (v.46-50).

In less than five minutes, Stephen retells the entire story of the Bible up to the coming of Christ and gives his defense for the hope he has in Jesus.

I wonder if Stephen's time before the council is what inspired Peter to write 1 Peter 3:15?

“Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence.”

Stephen was ready to make his defense for the hope he had in Christ because he had deeply learned the stories of the Bible and knew them by heart.

How would you retell the story of the Bible if someone asked you?

Take some time today and think through how you would summarize the big themes of the Bible story and how they give you hope.