Stephen: A Man of Godly Influence
We are all stewards – but most of the time we think about and preach about stewardship in relation to the management of our finances or elements of time. But consider this: One of the greatest areas of stewardship within our life is our influence.
Every member of our congregation has an influence, whether that is in the business world, in a classroom setting, within their home, etc. Whatever the setting may be, everyone has an element of influence.
I posed a question to our congregation: How will you use the influence that God has gifted you with?
Then I issued this challenge: Use the influence God has given you for His purposes and His glory.
The Story of Stephen
Let’s be honest, most individuals use their influence in the same way — all for themselves and for their own advantage. The book of Acts, specifically chapters 6 and 7, calls our attention to a man of God, Stephen, who used his influence for God’s purposes and His glory. I encourage you to thoughtfully reread Acts 6 and 7 to reinforce how important the story of Stephen is to understanding using personal influence for God’s purposes and His glory.
In your reading you will find that Stephen remains a prime example of a man that stewarded his influence to advance the Kingdom of Christ. The text reveals to us that Stephen was not a pastor or an apostle, but rather “just” a Godly man in the church of Jerusalem. We can confidently assume that Stephen was living in such a way that he was viewed as a man of good reputation who was full of the Holy Spirit and godly wisdom. Stephen’s faith flowed out of the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life —having great faith is a result of being full of the Spirit.
Stephen stood for Jesus Christ, and his stance for Christ cost him his life. Few of our church members will ever be called on to be martyrs, but each and every one of them has been called to die unto themselves and follow Christ no matter what the cost. Standing for Christ will always involve a cost. If your people are ready to stand for Christ, then they need to be ready to suffer for Christ. Satan will wage a war against you and your people, thus it is important to reflect on how Stephen suffered well for Christ and influenced the people of Jerusalem.
Questions for Personal Reflection
Where do I have influence?
How can I use that influence to stand for Jesus?
Will I commit to use my influence for God’s purposes and His glory?
Am I being who I need to be so that when God gives me an opportunity to use my influence, there’s nothing standing in the way?
I encourage you to ask yourself the questions above and answer them honestly and often, as I will do the same.
Written by Nick Floyd
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