Wise and Full of the Spirit
“So the Twelve gathered all the disciples…and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them…They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit… Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.” (Acts 6:2-3, 5, 8, NIV)
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 this passage the selection criteria for the job reads: “Must be known as wise and full of the Spirit and wisdom.” We are told Stephen had all the requirements and character for the job. He was filled with faith, the Holy Spirit, grace, and power. In addition, 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:
(1) learn humility if you aspire to be a servant of the Lord and do kingdom work;
(2) be filled with the Holy Spirit which only comes from spending time in God’s Word, praying, and surrendering your life to God;
(3) 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;
(4) operate in God’s power and strength, not your own; and
(5) understand that it is not important how you start, but how you finish.
Stephen graduated from waiting tables to preach the Gospel and perform great miracles and wonders. History remembers him most for his character – the love and forgiveness he showed as he lay dying a martyr’s death for Christ. His dying moments have served as an example for Christians for over 2,000 years.
Child of God, I encourage you to ask God to speak to you about His selection criteria for kingdom assignments. 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 showing me the importance of humility. Fill me with your Spirit. Teach me to be humble and kingdom-minded, to walk in faith, power, and grace, as I perform your perfect will for my life. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.