November 6, 2016

Stephen, Full of Faith

Acts 6:5 And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith…

In Acts chapter 6, Stephen and six other men were selected by the apostles to be the group to attend to the needs of the widows in the early days of the New Testament church. He is described as a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit.

Stephen spoke boldly of Jesus and caused quite a stir which led to being falsely charged with blasphemy, although while under this duress the council of his accusers observed that his face shone as an angel.

He answered their accusation in Acts 7 as he takes them back to the days of Abraham, Moses, through the Patriarchs and all the way to the days of Jesus and points out that they are the ones who murdered Jesus and continues to speak to the truth of who Jesus is–which they absolutely do not want to hear.

The angry crowd despised him and picked up stones and threw them at him. Their hatred for our Savior and for Stephen was aimed at him with every hurling rock that resulted in a horrific killing. Stephen died uttering these words in verse 60, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.”

What a strong man of conviction. He didn’t back down and he was murdered for standing for Jesus. Yet, his dying words were of love, compassion and forgiveness to those who killed him.

I want to be someone who doesn’t back down when the world attacks me for what I believe. I want to be known as someone who lives by their convictions. I want to be like Stephen—full of faith, standing for Jesus. 

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.