Scripture: vs 8-10, 15

[8] And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. [9] Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue..  rose up and disputed with Stephen. [10] But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.
[15] And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Observation:

Stephen was chosen as a deacon because he walked in faith and exhibited grace and power through the Holy Spirit.  He was filled with the Spirit and the Spirit used him to work wonders among the people.

As they could not stand the truth of which Stephen spoke, those who rose up against him had no argument more powerful than what came from the wisdom of the Spirit.  This was not wisdom Stephen had on his own, it came from the Spirit living in him.

These people secretly instigated agains him with lies and points of view diametrically opposed to living a life with Jesus and being filled with the Spirit.  Yes, Stephen ends up dying for his faith but the people persecuting him were starting to see that there really was something different about him.  Stephen was at peace with God and had no fears even though he was brought before the high council with lies they would never let him defend against.  Still he was at peace.  Why?  First and foremost it was because he was was filled with the Holy Spirit and secondly he knew were he would spend eternity.

Application:

Stephen is the type of man every church needs as deacons.  One who is serving with a selfless heart and who if filled with the Spirit, allowing the Spirit to work through him.

We all have access to the power and wisdom of the Spirit living within us.  As we submit to the Lord, walk in obedience to Him, and truly get filled with the Spirit, we can put ourselves in a spirit where  the Holy Spirit works through us.  This is where Stephen found his peace in persecution and we can do the same.

Prayer:

Lord I love you.  Thank you for the grace You provide me every single day, and for redirecting me with Your truth as needed when I stray.  Lord give me wisdom through Your Spirit.  If I am ever persecuted for my faith help me to be strong  and find the same peace Stephen showed when he was persecuted.  In Your Holy name I pray, amen.