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Acts 6:8-8:8 – The First Martyr

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Kate Chantry

“Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit”

Acts is full of inspiring people. Amazing people doing amazing things. The story of Stephen is a perfect example of this.

As a child of this generation, the culture of avoiding commitment is second nature to me. Why do I hesitate in taking out a 24 month phone contract, when I know for the next 2 years I will still need a phone? This idea that something better could come along. I wouldn’t want to miss out but actually often stop myself from really getting stuck into something else.

What most stood out to me about the passage was commitment: God’s faithfulness and Stephen’s conviction.

Reading the Old Testament and seeing the cycles of redemption and rebellion between God and his people, you can’t help but be blown away by how gracious and loving the God we know and trust is! His faithfulness is unrivalled. He is 100% dedicated to his people (us), and to seeing His promises fulfilled.

Stephen’s synopsis gives just a snap-shot of this but his conviction speaks volumes to us too! Who, when surrounded by an angry crowd, would turn around their cries of “heretic” to, with sound theological argument, call them flakes? Empowered by the Holy Spirit, he stands his ground and professes his conviction in God with abounding wisdom.

Feeling slightly intimidated in Stephen’s shadow? Stephen’s situation is so alien to ours. Do we recognise that the Holy Spirit would be quite as concerned with the ins and outs of our lives, compared with the angry mob who stoned Stephen? However, the inference through the New Testament is that the Holy Spirit WILL give ALL of us the words. The question is: we will open our mouths?