If there was one man in the New Testament who died before his prime outside of Jesus, it was Stephen. He had so much more to offer up to God and His kingdom, but his life was taken away early before he could do much. There were people who were caught up in their traditions of man and old customs that what he was said went against their ways. Therefore, they were very upset. And this is how it began for this great man of God, named Stephen. “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.” (Acts 6:8-11) Wow! This type of person, who is full of faith, doing great wonders and miracles for God, through the Holy Spirit, is hard to find in the days we live in. And when they often are found preaching and teaching, the same things happen to them. People persecute them until many are put in prisons and even executed, in countries that are primarily Muslim. However, just like Stephen, many of them cannot resist their wisdom from God. Where even some come to Jesus because of these mighty men of God later on. Praise God. Amen.
How Stephen was falsely accused continues in verse 12. It reads, “and they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, and set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us. And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.” (Acts 6:12-15) And again I say wow! For this so much reminds me of when the high priests and scribes falsely accused Jesus of blasphemy. And as people could see God’s countenance in Jesus, people rightly saw the countenance of an angel in Stephen’s. Although they thought he was speaking blasphemous things, his countenance told the true story of who was leading him. It wasn’t his own thinking, but the Holy Spirit moving within this special man of God. Now, the question I have to ask you all today is this. Is God moving in your life? Do people see your face as a face of an angel? This does happen with specific people. Where their life is not only for Jesus, our Lord, but He is indwelling in them also. And how would you like to be seen by people and God? Having God’s countenance in me is my desire. May my face also bring out an angelic light all of my days. Amen.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that You will move in us like never before. Yes, God, indwell in us and make our bodies a holy place unto You, our King. Use us mightily for Your kingdom and for Your glory. This life is not mine, but Yours, oh God. Use me as You will, that many more souls will be saved. No matter the detours I have to take in life for Your sake, I will do it. Continue to give me words to speak, that it may be Your words that move people to repent and get right with You. On my own terms, I am so weak and have nothing good to say. I often slip up and say and do the wrong things that hurt people. But when You are living inside of me, I have boldness beyond measure to say and do the thing that comes from heaven. Often times, I leave places and I don’t even know exactly what I said, or how I did it, but I do know that You did it all through me, God. The words I spoke came from You alone, and if people were healed, then You did it, Lord. If there were hundreds of people listening intently to the message at hand, then I know they heard Your voice and saw Your countenance and not mine own. Lord, continue to have Your way in my life. Don’t let these encounters of the past be the last of me in Your kingdom. Until my last breath, I will let You lead me to do greater things than ever before. There are miracles, healings, prayers, and teachings that will cause a revival in your Name, I pray. Amen.