Monday, August 16, 2010

Meditations: A Dynamic Man

(With some pictures of the kiddos, of course!)

What do most of us remember about Stephen in the Bible? Well, he was the first martyr, and he knew Paul . . . sort of. A few months ago I thought it would be a good idea to go back and review a little bit about the Biblical Stephen, since we'd picked his name to give to our little boy. I'm so glad I did! This amazing man is only around for two chapters, but he bursts off the page like a leftover 4th of July firecracker! Here's a little bit of what I found out about my newest Biblical Hero from Acts 6-7.

There are some things the Bible tells us about Stephen directly:

- He ministered to the practical needs of widows (6:1-5)
- He was full of faith and the Holy Spirit (6:5)
- He was full of grace and power, and he did great wonders and signs (6:8)
- His powerful relationship with God was such that it shone through his countenance (6:15)
- (I love this one!) His enemies couldn't cope with the wisdom and Spirit by which he spoke! (6:10)

How's that for an impressive resume! I'd be thrilled if only some of those things would be an accurate description of my life. But there's more! As you re-read and think through what's written, there are some other things that become apparent about this man.

- He was Forgiving.
Although he suffered a terrible death on the testimony of liars, you see no hint of bitterness or resentment from Stephen. Instead, his last words are a forgiving prayer for his enemies. His prayer was certainly answered in the life of Paul!

- He was Bold.
After answering the charges of his enemies, he didn't mince words! The truth that he spoke cut his hearers to the heart (7:54). Nor was he afraid to relate the vision that God gave him, even though it was the last thing the council wanted to hear.

The little mommy with her baby.

- He was Humble.
We're told that Stephen performed signs and wonders in the sight of the people. But what was the main ministry that he accepted? Serving tables for elderly widows. He never allowed himself to get puffed up and was willing to serve God in whatever needed to be done.

- He was Diligent.
This guy had memorized a lot of scripture (7:3-53)! He knew his Biblical history and also had an obvious value for the Word of God.

- He was Faithful.
All the way to the end. That's something I aspire to in myself, as well as pray for in my children. And while I'd rather not see any of my loved ones martyred, we all have plenty of opportunities to die to ourselves everyday. May we be as faithful!

I've been challenged and inspired by this amazing and godly man from so many years ago. I hope our little Stephen will be inspired too . . . at least someday.

1 comment:

TulipGirl said...

Such sweet pictures! Congrats, again!