Tomorrow night in our small group I am discussing Chapter 7 of Acts. It deals with Stephen’s sermon and his stoning and death by the Jews while Saul (Paul) watched. In chapter 6 there is a verse that has always captured my heart. “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did mighty works and miracles.” That verse has pushed me into more of God than almost any verse I can think of. Who was Stephen? He wasn’t an Apostle or one of the original disciples. He was an ordinary person like you or me. How did he get to the point in his life where in his death he saw Jesus standing next to the Father? The scripture says that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God. What would make Jesus stand? I think with all that Jesus sees and has seen it would have to be something so great and so amazing that He would just want to stand to honor what had happened.
The apostles were in a mess. They had too much stuff going on and they needed help sorting out the day-to-day things with the believers. In order for them to continue to pray and teach, they had to find some men to help with the day-to-day workings of the church. What did they look for? I mean these men were going to serve tables, divide up food, and make sure everyone got equal shares. These were mundane task. Anyone could really do them. They chose men “full of the Holy Spirit” for these task. These men accepted these task and didn’t theink themselves above serving the body in whatever way that was needed. This is a real example for us today. So many times if we are filled with the Spirit, we feel that it is beneath us to actually serve to meet physical needs. We want to meet spiritual needs, but surly others can meet physical needs. I know that this has been a problem for me. I had much rather prophecy over some one than feed them a warm meal when they are hungry. I have had to repent and ask God to use me wherever He wants me. The pay is the same. I get more of Him. Stephen and the others were full of the Spirit. They were obedient in their task and God rewarded them by releasing signs and wonders in their midst. Stephen was full of faith and power. That’s what I pray will be said of me when I die. I want to do the little things well but I want more. I want the favor of God to rest upon me and to release faith and power. I want to see miracles and might works. But how do we get there? We get there by serving where we are called to serve, to do what we are called to do and to continue to cry out for more. As we serve we need to look for opportunities to release the greater works. We constantly need to realize who we are and what it is that we carry. Serving is good, but the ultimate goal is to release the Kingdom through our service.
I look at Stephen as a role model. Of course Jesus is the ultimate role model, but Stephen did something that I can relate to when it’s hard to relate to Jesus. If he can do it, we can do it. I’m excited about group tomorrow night. I really feel that God is going to release something that will touch many people in many different groups over the next year. Full of Faith and Power! Don’t you want that? I can almost taste it. He is so good.