Take In The Beauty
“And fixing their gaze on him, all . . .” Acts 6:15
The central figure of this chapter is Stephen. He burst on to the scene suddenly and without notice. And for a moment we are startled by his grace and power. In a breathtaking flash he flings the apostles and everyone else into the shadows. Then he disappears, he’s taken up by the applause of heaven.
The name Stephen means crown. Like the one given to the person who competed and won an Olympic game. What a perfect name for the one who stood tall on that day and was crowned with the first martyrs’ crown. Stephen shows how to live for what can never die, so we can take in the beauty and characteristics of a life of faithfulness.
He had poise.
It was not his intellect, his eloquence, or service which made him powerful among the church. It was his grace. Grace had given Stephen beauty, symmetry, rhythm, and elegance. The richness of God flowed out of him onto others. He was winsome, just like Jesus.
He had power.
All of his words and ways were driven by the power of Jesus. Today we need to remember the church is a supernatural society, always in need of the power of God. The grace of Jesus is essential to carrying out the purposes of love and mercy.
He had perseverance.
When the mob tore him limb from limb, he was just like Christ. He did not revile or retaliate, he uttered no threats, but kept trusting himself to God. It’s Christ’s power that enables us to do and be witnesses for Him. The display of godliness requires endurance.
He was persuasive.
Stephen had preached the unfiltered gospel of Jesus. He communicated the truth as God had revealed it to his spirit. Stephen’s critics were no match for his wisdom and spirit when he spoke. He was a man with a discerning mind and spiritual insight.
The only way we can possibly stand strong is for the Spirit of God to bear His fruit within us. Surrendering our lives fully will always leave its mark on us and others.
What are the consequences of following in the ways of Jesus?