FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011
|And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.|
Stephen, one of the unsung heroes of the church, was a young man with so much promise in his life. Because of his faithfulness, he was selected to be a deacon in the early church.
Many probably thought that Stephen had a great ministry ahead of him, because he was only a young man. But because of his preaching, he was called before the Jewish Sanhedrin to give an account. Now the Sanhedrin was sort of like the Supreme Court of that day. Its members were very powerful men. They did not like Stephen’s preaching about Jesus Christ as the Messiah, and they called him to account for it.
Now if Stephen had been careful, he could have gone home for dinner that night. But instead, this young man saw the possibilities of reaching the Sanhedrin with the gospel. The Bible says that his face shined like that of an angel (see Acts 6:15), and he began to preach to them. But as Stephen preached they became so outraged, they decided to execute him. So they stoned him to death. And even as his young life was being drained from him, he cried out, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin” (Acts 7:60).
I believe it was the testimony of Stephen that brought Saul of Tarsus (later Paul), under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. For right on the heels of Stephen’s martyrdom, Saul went out to hunt down Christians.
Here is what we need to remember: We don’t know how long our life will last. We all have a task to complete, a calling to fulfill. And the length of our lives is not determined by genes or statistics, but by God. So our objective should be to stay on course and do what God has set before us.
TODAY’S RADIO PROGRAM:”The Church’s 1st Prayer Meeting — I”
Used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, PO Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.