“. . . a man full of . . . the Holy Spirit, . . .” Acts 6:5
Your life is a lesson to others. If others were to look at your life, listen to your words, what would they learn about you, your God, your values and your vision of life?. To any who pay attention to Stephen’s life, they would discover that his words and ways both preach and teach us about the things that matter most.
Stephen teaches us to distinguish between the temporary and the timeless, and to hold onto all that belongs to the timeless. To live and die for the things that can never die. And let the rest go away with the winds of change, regardless of how valued it may have been throughout history, simply because the culture had esteemed it to be worthwhile. The temporary will never be more valuable than the timeless.
This is the lesson the church needs to relearn in every generation. There has never been a generation more in need of this lesson than the church of today. We need to follow Stephen’s example of discerning between the timeless and temporary, between what is certain and what is accidental between the moment and what has always been and will continue to be abiding and eternal, and hold fast to it.
Stephen’s life teaches us the timeless is not bigger buildings, or better bottom lines. All that is worth living for, is the living God Himself revealed in Jesus Christ. Full of salvation to save all from their sins and lead others forward into a new truth.
For Stephen, the timeless wasn’t curated out of a history book. Although Christianity has its roots in history, it is not restricted to the past. Stephen learned about the timeless in real time. He learned the difference between illusion and truth. By the hard, joyous, practical work of the imitation of Christ. The fruit of pursuing the timeless Christ is faith, a faith which results in the gift of the Holy Spirit living within.
Are you pursuing the timeless or the temporary? What percentage of your day is concerned with eternal things?