In Acts 17 the apostle Paul is in the city of Thessalonica. When the Jews in that city learn he is there, they try to stir the people up against him. They cry to the leaders, “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also” (v. 6). The Jews had heard of Paul and what followed the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They were afraid if that Gospel was allowed into their city, that the world as they knew it would be turned on its head. The Gospel proclaimed and lived out in the power of Holy Spirit, in the lives of regular people, turns the world upside down. What Christ began He continues to do through the Holy Spirit working in our lives today. We can turn the world upside down.
In this passage we learn more about the man Stephen, who will become the first Christian martyr. His ability to face death with serenity and calmness—his accusers “saw his face as it had been the face of an angel” (v. 15)—is the result of being full of the Holy Ghost (cf. vv. 3, 5). We may never face martyrdom. But as we try to image what we’d do in Stephen’s place, Pastor Logan challenges us start not by asking, “Would I die for Christ?” but rather, “Am I living for Him?”