Stephen Was A Meek Martyr

Daily God Walk for Friday, August 28, 2009

  While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”When he had said this, he fell asleep.   – Acts 7:60

 Stephen was not an apostle; he was not a prophet; he was simply a young man who was passionate about God. He was among the seven chosen to serve the body of believers so that the apostles could be free to pray and minister the word of the Lord.

The first mention of Stephen is in Acts 6:5 when he was mentioned as one of the seven. His introduction is simply, “They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.” Wouldn’t it be a good thing if when we were  mentioned it would be as a person full of faith and of the Holy Spirit?

God honored the sincere heart of this young man by confirming his preaching with “great wonders and miraculous signs” (Acts 6:8). Stephen held nothing in reserve but gave himself entirely for the gospel. When the elders of the synagogue heard of his following they questioned him and when they could not dispute what he was teaching they got false witnesses to tell lies on him.

The entire chapter seven of Acts records the message Stephen spoke and the charge he laid against the leaders of Judaism. It was his charge that they had murdered the Christ that angered them to the point that they took him outside the city and stoned him, thus Stephen became the first martyr of the faith.

It was when Stephen was being stoned that we learn just how meek he really was.  As they were stoning him he fell on his knees and prayed, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” He was not angry and he did not ask God to avenge him against these evil people. He was more concerned about how their actions would affect their relationship with God than he was about what they were doing to him.

Stephen meekly endured stoning and still had compassion for others.

 Principle: Meek people are more concerned with others than with themselves.

 Affirmation: My focus is on the needs of others rather than my own desires.

 Prayer: Lord, Stephen is a hard model to follow. Grant me the passion and conviction to proclaim your word even in the face of opposition. Amen.

 Bible Reading: Psalm 101   – Isaiah 51-52 – Philippians 2 – Proverbs 28

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

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