“Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark.”
Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love
Today, we meet a man called Stephen. The church has grown beyond wildest imaginations, in spite of persecution and threats to quiet down. In case you have missed anything, you can catch up here.
To meet the needs of the ever growing church, the twelve apostles called a meeting.
“We want you to carefully select from among yourselves seven godly men. Make sure they are honorable, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, and we will give them the responsibility of this crucial ministry of serving. That will enable us to give our all attention to prayer and preaching the word of God.”
Everyone in the church loved this idea. So they chose seven men. One of them was Stephen, who was known as a man full of faith and overflowing with the Holy Spirit. ~Acts 6:3-5a TPT
Seven are chosen, God’s message continues to spread. The believers greatly increase in number throughout Jerusalem. Many Jewish priests were converted.
Among the seven, we find Stephen. In the original Greek language, his name Stephano, meaning crown.
Not only did Stephen serve the widows, he won the lost and performed miracles. Stephen was full of grace. Y’all, full of grace, when I so often struggle to give grace, it grabs me. Harnesses my heart, gives me desire to be filled to overflowing with grace.
Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed amazing miracles and signs among the people. ~Acts 6:8 NLT
As I have studied the book of Acts, I have compiled a list. Oh, you know I have! ~smile~
A list of heavenly coffee dates.
After the awe, the worshiping, singing praises; when I make it to the other side of this life I have planned many coffee dates at the corner Heavenly Coffee Cafe. Stephen, among one of many, I long to share a dark chocolate infused croissant(warm) and (strong Columbian)coffee with and hound him with questions.
The next words I pen, the happenings we will witnesses, tenders my heart for our servant Stephen. Can you even imagine? If you do, I suspect you have your own long list of questions.
Acts 6:10 tells us, “None of them could stand against the wisdom and the Spirit with which Stephen spoke.”
Nothing to do, but stir up a big stink, based on a lie. The angry, jealous men conspire against Stephen, persuading some to spread accusation of blasphemy against him.
Stop right there! When we suffer a case of jealousy, our first reaction; to set about tearing apart the other party. What better way than to spread a batch of untruths. We do a mighty fine job of insinuating ugliness, and lies, in what we do not say.
At this point everyone in the high council stared at Stephen, because his face became as bright as an angels. ~ Acts 6:15 NLT
According to study notes from the Blue Letter Bible, “Stephen’s face did not have that mild, soft, angelic look we often see in paintings; nor was it a look of stern judgement and wrath.
Stephens face reflected the perfect peace and confidence of one that knows and trusts his God. His face had the same reflected glory that Moses had as he beheld God intimately.
The description is of a person who is close to God and reflects some of His glory as a result of being in his presence.”
Stephen was at perfect peace, knowing his life was in God’s hands.
I ask myself the hard question, as I ask you too: What does your face, your countenance reflect?
Does it reflect the perfect peace of Christ in you. In the mirror, in the faces of others, we can reflect the joy of our salvation. Through countenance alone, we can either draw others to Christ, or we can send them away.
How wonderful to be wise, to analyze and interpret things. Wisdom lights up a person’s face, softening its harshness. ~Ecclesiastes 8:1 NLT
Psst, come closer as I whisper in your ear, “That my friends is a face lift of the best kind!” Thank you, Beth Moore, for sharing this beauty tip years ago!
Acts, Chapter six ends, Stephen is arrested. Thus begins the longest address in the whole of Acts. And one of the most important.
Tomorrow we will pick up there!
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I love this book, the concept, the stories, and the cover. The fact that I was invited to be tucked among the pages is an honor.
“If you only have one hour in the day to write, don’t spend it frustrated. Spend it writing.” ~@lisajobaker, #FMFbook
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Gifts of Grace