“So the Twelve gathered all the believers together. They said, ‘It wouldn’t be right for us to give up teaching God’s word in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven of your men. They must be known as men who are wise and full of the Holy Spirit. We will turn this important work over to them’ . . . This plan pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen. He was full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. . . Stephen was full of God’s grace and power. He did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people” (Acts 6:2-3, 5,8, NIrV).
Stephen’s life as a disciple started out with humble and simple beginnings. He was chosen to wait tables and distribute food to the needy widows. Notice in the passage above, the selection criteria for the job reads: “Must be known as wise and full of the Holy Spirit.” This passage tells us that Stephen had all the requirements and character for the job. He was filled with faith, the Holy Spirit, grace, and power. Added to this list, he must have walked in humility to have readily agreed to this lowly, but important task. I am drawn to the important teaching lessons in this passage. First, learn humility (submitting to God) if you aspire to be a servant of the Lord and do kingdom work. Second, be filled with the Holy Spirit which only comes from spending time in God’s Word, praying, and surrendering your life to God. Third, walk in faith with a kingdom mindset and trust God’s grace to provide you with all you need, to do what He has called you to do. Fourth, operate in God’s power and strength, not your own. Lastly, it is not important how you start, but how you finish. Stephen graduated from waiting tables to performing great miracles and wonders.
In addition, the love and forgiveness he showed as he lay dying as a martyr for Christ have served as an example to Christians for over 2,000 years. Children of God, I encourage you to ask God to speak to you about His selection criteria for disciples. Do you have a reputation for being wise and full of the Holy Spirit? Do you walk in His grace and power? If the selection were made today, would you be chosen? I encourage you to copy the actions of Stephen. Be willing to start with a humble assignment, walk in His grace, and leave the rest to God.
Lord, thank you for this powerful example of walking in humility and trusting you. Father, test and prove my heart and fill me with your Spirit. Teach me to be humble and kingdom-minded so that I may walk in faith, power, and grace, performing your perfect will for my life. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.