Bible reading plan Bible reading plan

Do you stand out?

19 June 2020

This week’s passages mainly focus around Stephen. So, who was Stephen?

 

We know that he was a Hellenistic Jew (a foreign-born Jew who spoke Greek), but we don’t know other details like his age, or whether he was married or not. However, in just 2 chapters we discover so much about his character.

 

1. From among you. He had become a Christian and was part of the increasing number of disciples. He also stood out among them as one full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 6:5)

 

2. Full of the Spirit and wisdom. This was the requirement to be responsible for the daily distribution of food. In fact, this wisdom from the Spirit meant that in Acts 6:10 no opposition or argument could “stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him”. As I read these passages I was struck by Stephen’s knowledge of the scripture.

 

3. Full of God’s grace and power. His availability and service led to him performing great wonders and signs among the people. (Acts 6:8)

 

4. His face was like the face of an angel. This was said before he began his speech (Acts 6:15). On being accused, no look of anger or frustration was found on his face.

 

5. He prayed as he was stoned (Acts 7:59-60). First, he had a vision of heaven and then he prayed for his enemies who were stoning him.

 

A disciple, a good knowledge of the scripture, performed great wonders and signs, peaceful under accusation, and praying for his enemies … BUT … wasn’t he just the equivalent of a waiter?!

 

One of the most overlooked ministries is the ministry of helps or helping others (1 Corinthians 12:28). It is listed with apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, healing, guidance and different tongues. Yet, somehow many consider this to be inferior to some of these other ministries.

 

However, when we look at the qualification required, this is no different than any of the other ministries.

 

God is looking for people like you and me, who are willing to be available to serve in any capacity. That willingness opens up amazing opportunities to share the gospel, to pray for those we are serving, to see miracles and healings.

 

As you consider Stephen this week, ask yourself these questions: Am I available? Am I willing to help where others won’t help? Am I listening to the Spirit or just doing what I want to do? Am I asking the Holy Spirit to fill me daily or am I trying to do everything in my own strength? Am I ready for the opportunities God puts in front of me?

 

 

QUESTIONS

 

 

DAY 174

Acts 5:17-42


Have you ever been compelled to speak out, even when you’ve been told not to?

 

DAY 175

Acts 6

 

Ministry of Helps is often overlooked. Can you name a ministry of help and/or give an example of how this led to you ministering to others or someone ministering to you?

 

DAY 176

Acts 7:1-19

 

Stephen knew the scripture! Apart from this reading plan, do you have any top tips for learning scripture?

 

DAY 177

Acts 7:20-43

 

Have you ever been rejected? How have you handled it?

 

DAY 178

Acts 7:44-60

 

When do you pray for your “enemies”? Those who have hurt, criticised, or rejected you. Take some time today to pray for them.

 

DAY 179

Acts 8:1-25

 

Scattered believers took the gospel “wherever they went”. How have you scattered the gospel during this lock down period?

 

DAY 180

Acts 8:26-40

 

Sometimes we need people to help us understand what we are reading. Reflect on a time someone opened up the scriptures to you.


Photo of Claire Morton

Claire Morton

Director
GoChurch Global