February 26, 2008
And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.
A first-century Christian, Stephen was an ordinary person, just like you and me. He faced challenges and fears and times of weakness. But his greatest pursuit was to live a life that was pleasing to God.
It’s good to stop and remind yourself every now and then that that is what life is really all about… pleasing God. It’s so easy to get distracted by the busyness and pressures of daily life and momentarily lose focus on what is really important. But ultimately, you and I are living for an audience of One—our God in heaven.
Stephen made pleasing God his highest priority. He knew the Word of God… he courageously lived it out… and as a result, he reflected the love and grace of Christ to everyone around him.
As you and I continue to live lives that are dedicated to the Lord, we can expect to become full of faith… full of the Holy Spirit… full of grace… full of power… full of wisdom… and full of the glory of God! That is a very full life!
And that, I believe, is what is so remarkable about Stephen, and what you and I can learn from his example. In the end, Stephen didn’t live a long life, but he lived a full life. His life was full of character… full of courage… and full of Christ. What an inspiration!
Stephen shows us what it really means to live life in full. And it’s a life that is available to every person—including you—as you make your number one priority in life to please God in everything you do.
IS YOUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY TO PLEASE GOD IN EVERYTHING YOU DO?