“Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from the members of the Synagogue…But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.” – Acts 6:8, 9a, 10
It’s been said that most heroes are just normal people doing the same thing day in and day out when a crisis arises. Other times, it’s specific events that lead people to step-up and respond in a way that reveals tremendous courage or bravery. Sometimes it’s a combination of the two. From the classroom to the military, heroes willing to risk it all are found in all spheres of life.
The early church was no different. The Scriptures are filled with stories of heroic individuals willing to risk it all for their faith – Stephen was one of them. What made Stephen a hero? Take a look at his character.
- GRACE. (Acts 6: 8) Grace is what God demonstrated by forgiving our sins even though we are guilty and deserve judgment. Grace is Christ taking OUR sins and dying in OUR place on the cross. Stephen was full of gratitude and humility for what Christ did for him on the cross.
- HUMILITY. (Acts 6: 10) The Bible speaks of Stephen’s great power as he performed incredible miracles. Rather than letting this boost his ego, Stephen remained humble and grateful, always pointing to the source of his power – the One True God.
- WISDOM. (Acts 6:9) Stephen was smart. As a speaker, he was intelligent and knowledgeable, always relying on the Holy Spirit to guide his words even when attacked with manipulative “half-truths.”
- FAITH. Stephen truly believed that because Jesus rose from the dead, he would overcome death, as well. For him, death held no fear. Christ had conquered it.
How about you? Would people describe your character as full of grace, humility, wisdom, and faith? We all have heroes in life. Ask God for a heroic character like Stephen by being faithful to the Lord and walking in His strength each day.