DAY 6 – The Church’s First Martyr–A Layman!
READ: Acts 6:5a, 8, 12, 15 and Acts 7:53-60
Today we experience a trial, a sermon and a stoning. Stephen was one of seven men chosen to help solve a problem in the early church. Perhaps a deacon, we’re told that he was doing amazing things among the people. He was also a brilliant witness and a fierce debater. Ironically, he wasn’t even Jewish, yet he had more of a grasp on the Scriptures than the religious leaders of his day. The Jewish scholars tried to trip him up, but every time they did, their attempts backfired. Stephen knew his stuff, and when the chips were down, he was ready. Angered beyond reason from the sermon Stephen preached that day he stood trial, the Council finally took him outside and stoned him to death.
How Does that Apply to Me?
Sometimes, God chooses people we wouldn’t necessarily pick for a certain task. Stephen was one of those. A simple layman. But he knew God’s word inside and out, and could give an account of it anytime and anywhere. He also became the first martyr of the faith. Now, we all can’t and won’t be like Stephen. You may not feel you could ever be as good at defending your faith as he was, and that’s OK. But if we’re honest, any and all of us could dig a bit deeper if we really wanted to. There’s always room to learn and understand more. During this 20 Days project, why not commit to spending more time in the Word and to learning about your faith. Then, when the Lord sends opportunities for you to share it, just do it! Sure, you might offend some people and upset them. (Just like Stephen did.) But remember: the Holy Spirit will be there with you and he will give you the power to succeed and stand strong.
Acts 6:10 But they were no match for his wisdom and spirit when he spoke.
Praying Together: Let’s ask the Lord for a desire to learn more about our faith and ask for wisdom in handling God’s Word. Then, let’s pray for opportunities to share it.