“But Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit. He looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at God’s right side. He said “Look! I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at God’s ride side” Acts 7:55-56
For a while I have been continually brought back to read about Stephen, not much is written about him but a few chapters in the book of Acts but I believe he has a great message to be spoken of to fellow followers.
He was one of the seven leaders chosen to continue the work of the twelve apostles. Stephen was spoken of as a man with great faith, full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5) He was richly blessed by God who gave him power to do great miracles and signs among the people (Acts 6:8) And as many people were against him and argued “The Spirit was helping him to speak with wisdom and his words were so strong that they could not argue with him” (Acts 6:10)
As Stephen continued to preach elders and the teachers of the law got together to spread lies about him teaching false messages and as they grabbed him to bring him to the meeting place to discuss what would happen to him
“All the people in the meeting were watching Stephen closely and saw that his faced looked like the face of an angel” Acts 6:15
When reading that, I had to stop and stand in awe. at the fact that Our Lord is so great, so faithful that even in the midst of trials and persuction from the world-He will shine even brighter through us into those who are going against Him. Stephen remained faithful even through persecution, he stood before the council and spoke the truth the Lord had given him and as I mentioned the verse in the beginning-once he spoke that, they dragged him out of the city to stone him. While being stonned Stephen prayed
“Lord Jesus, recieve my spirit” He fell on His knees and cried in a loud voice, “Lord do not hold this against them” after Stepen said this, he died” Acts 7:59-60
Stephen lived a life that has encouraged me to see the desperate need for faithful followers and those who even when facing hard times will still love the Lord, will be so fixed on the Kingdom that nothing can shake them-and that they love others even to the point of when being persecuted for them, will pray for them and their sins. Stephen was a man who allowed the Lord to use him in great ways to reveal his kingdom to those around him. Although Stephen may have known what was ahead of him he stilled remained faithful and kept his eyes fixed on Christ through it-even to death.
I am so overwhelmed when reading stories of those in the Bible that were faithful to the Lord-those who encourage me in my faith to persever even when the ending may not be what we would have expected but coming to a point of living for the Lord rather than our own flesh desires.
May you be blessed through reading about a story of a great man who brought the Lord glory through his life, that although most would have been fearful Stephen proved that perfect love casts out all fear.He truly did live a message for others to be empowered by. and as Stephen was filled by the Holy Spirit, we have recieved that same spirit and as the Lord wills, will equip us with what we need to complete His calling upon our lives.
I will extol the LORD at all times,his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast, in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.Glorify the LORD,with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD,and he answered me; he deliverer me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant;their faces are never covered with shame.This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. Psalms 34:1-6