"And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people." (Acts 6:8)
Acts 6 and 7 is where you will find the story of Stephen. Stephen was put in charge of taking care of widows. That is where I find him hero material. Stephen did miraculous and good things for his people (see Acts 6:8).
Stephen loved the Lord and it shown on his face (see Acts 6:15). One day his difference made others feel uncomfortable. Isn't this how it starts? We do good and others are bothered by the good we do because, perhaps, it's making them look bad?
So, as I was saying, some Jews brought Stephen into the Sanhedrin bringing false witnesses against him and accusing him of speaking against the customs of Moses (Acts 6:9-15,7:1). When asked if these charges were true Stephen replied with a long answer about how the Jews were enslaved, Moses’ leadership, and how the Jews of the time were responsible for murdering Jesus. We see in that portion of scripture, he had knowledge of his forefathers and he basically witnessed to the people in his defense even to the last breath that he took (see all of Acts chapter 7:2-60).
This made those of the Sanhedrin very angry so they stoned Stephen to death. That made Stephen the very first martyr of Christ but I must say a very beautiful and righteous one; because, as he was being stoned, Stephen prayed that Jesus would not hold this sin against his persecutors. Wow what a beautiful request to make after a persecution! I know I wouldn't have that strength to say that. I do however hope and pray if the day comes that I go through something like this that I will have the courage of Stephen, using the very last words that I say to be telling others of this holy truth.
•I personally always admired Stephen because he was full of faith and was chosen by Jesus' own disciples to be of some help to the neglected windows. Talk about your local hero. Yet he was a man of God who did miracles and good amongst his people (Acts 6:8).
•The Bible doesn't say much about Stephen, but I imagine he could have healed someone like Peter and John but personally believe it was literally doing good among his people like helping to fix this and caring and seeing to that. A servant among his people -- maybe a lot like Jesus was before or at the start of His ministry; before it truly began, who knows.
•So the challenge today is to ask God to give you boldness and courage against those who, as Jesus said in Matthew 5:44, "despitefully use you" or mistreat you.
God Bless As You Live For Him!
~by Katy W.
Used by permission