March 24, 2006
And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.
Stephen was a giant of our faith. Scripture tells us he was a man of incredible character and commitment.
Through Stephen, you and I can learn how to be a true victor in our day — just like he was. In fact, I’d like to use the acrostic for “victor” to describe the godly characteristics Stephen possessed… and to show what you and I should strive for in our daily lives:
· “V” stands for vision. The Bible explains that Stephen had the uncanny ability to cast incredible vision for the future. You and I must also carry this vision for seeing things from God’s perspective.
· “I” stands for integrity. In Acts 6:3, it says that Stephen was a man of “good reputation.” His enemies may have despised him, but they respected him for the holy man of God he was.
· “C” stands for compassion — serving others through the power of the Spirit. Stephen was strong and courageous, but also tender and gentle, ministering in love and grace to those he came in contact with.
· “T” is for tenacious. If you want to live the life of a victor, you must be ruthlessly committed to the kind of courage that produces faith.
· “O” stands for optimistic. As Paul says in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” No matter what he was faced with, Stephen was optimistic because of his strong faith in the Lord.
· “R” stands for rewarded. Stephen was rewarded for his commitment to follow the Lord.
Today, you can be a victor… just like Stephen. But it requires the kind of impeccable character and commitment that he had.
ARE YOU WILLING TO DO WHAT IT TAKES TO DEVELOP TRUE CHARACTER LIKE STEPHEN?