Showing posts with label Stephen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stephen. Show all posts


A Result of Hatred - 31 Days in Acts

Once again a new chapter  Acts ch 7 but continuing the story of Stephen which we started in yesterday's blog post about the 3 Characteristics of Service

Yesterday we saw how the church leaders recognised Stephen as having those 3 Characteristics that were necessary for service, then outsiders charging him with blasphemy and today we see how he reacts to the charge and the result of it all.

Usually when we are asked if something held against us is true or not we want to immediately speak in our defence to show how it is a false accusation and this will focus around ourselves. This was not the case here with Stephen, instead he started with God’s call on Abraham’s life and and then went on to Moses and further through the history of the Israelites to the prophets.

Stephen speaks out the gospel because the Gospel is the answer.
Through history, well-known passages of scripture he brings the thread throughout the lives of the Jewish race which ultimately leads to the sacrifice on Calvary.

Then he made an accusation about the mistreatment of the prophets and also the mistreatment of Jesus and the responsibility on the Jewish leaders for the death of Jesus.

Not surprisingly they were furious with him.

Then he maddened them even more because he stated that he saw Jesus standing by the Father in heaven.

Their response to this was to take him out of the city and stone him

His response was to ask forgiveness for them and their actions against him.

To make up the accusations of blasphemy (which was counted as a very serious sin) the Jewish leaders must have already hated Stephen and this could have been as a result of the characteristics pointed out in the previous chapter. They would not have been happy that he was respected, that he showed wisdom and that God was working through him.

So we see here how this hatred led to false accusations which led to Stephen pointing out their faults and evil actions against Jesus which led to their extreme anger which led to the murder of Stephen. Once something is set in motion it is hard to stop and can get out of hand very quickly with disastrous results.

This is proof of the necessity of those 3 Characteristics for Christian Service.

Join me tomorrow for more about the result of this response by the Jewish Leaders.

You can find the other blog posts in this series at


Wise & Respected Men - 31 Days in Acts

Starting a new chapter in Acts today for Day 12.

For the last few chapters the Book of Acts was centred around the actions of Peter & John with a prison sentence, anger towards them and of course and angel and a wise man (and no I am not suddenly thinking of Christmas) but referring back to Day 10 and Day 11

Now in Acts ch. 6 we have a charge of discrimination brought and we see no questioning of who is or is not guilty but rather a solid solution of putting specific people in charge to make sure that the distribution to the widows is meted out fairly and properly.

Clearly the important thing here was to act quickly to solve a problem and the solution was far more important than spending time over finding who may have been guilty of the charge.

Those in charge do not have to do it all, they don’t have to make the decisions of how it is done they simply say that others are needed for the job. Perhaps it was becoming a problem because they were having to do too much but they have a good solution and then to make it even better they decide on characteristics of the best suitable people for the job.

High standards are required even if it is a manual type job in contrast to their job of preaching. The obvious signs of a spirit-filled life is a must. 


Because they need to have the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit to do this job too.

We see that 7 men were chosen and they were
  • Spirit-filled men
  • Respected men
  • Wise men

This was for a job to work with people on a daily basis in an organising capacity, not a preaching or teaching or discipling situation.

Yet it still required spirit-filled men.

This should be the same today in our church situations where we are working with the community around us
  • Food banks
  • Organising free dinners
  • Visiting
  • Etc.

If done on behalf of the church, it is a job done on behalf of God, so it must be done by people with these three characteristics as was expected of the 7 men chosen in verses 1 - 6.

Because these three characteristics are the signs of Godly men who will do the job God’s way and will look to God for help and be led by God and then the whole situation will glorify God.
After all as Christians our purpose is to glorify God, bring all the focus and honour to Him and not to ourselves.

What are the 3 characteristics for serving God?

So the right men are chosen for the job and the Apostles are then left in the best position from which to do their job  - in prayer and study of God’s word.

But of course someone has to be unhappy when God is working among the people and we see here that another charge is brought this time against one of the 7 men chosen whose name was Stephen.
A trumped up, false charge with false witnesses claiming blasphemy.

What will be the result? 
Join me tomorrow as we go on to the following chapter and read more about Stephen.

You can find the other blog posts in this series at