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I'm Not Smirking Inside

Daily Reading: Acts 6

Scripture Focus: And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel. (Acts 6.15)

Devotional Thought: "You're smirking!" That's what my wife told me a few weeks ago when we were playing a table game and I was winning. I apologized and told her I didn't mean to be smirking, but I don't think she believed me. The sad thing was that my smirks just came right on through even when I tried to stop them.

Stephen, the first Christian martyr, had a similar experience, but instead of a smirk, he couldn't hide the angelic expression on his face. He was on trial before the council - on trial for loving Jesus! - and as those angry men gazed at him, heavenly glory shone on his face. I don't know about you, but I think I would have had a different expression on my face. I would have had a hard time concealing fear and anger.

What shines through you when the heat is on? When you are being unjustly accused, does your face shine like an angel? When you get blamed for someone else's mistake, does God's grace show through? When you are not getting the attention and service you think you deserve, do you display patience?

"I'm not smirking inside!" is sometimes the only answer we've got. For the fact is, we cannot always control what our faces are "saying." What we can do, however, is to control what is in our hearts. Like Stephen, may our hearts be filled with love - love for Jesus and love for those around us, even our accusers!

Prayer: Holy Spirit, pour your love into my heart right now. Fill me with heavenly glory so that those who see me will catch a glimpse of you. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. 2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. 3 I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. 4 More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. What I did not steal must I now restore? 5 O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you. (Psalms 69:1-5)

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