In the beginning days of the Church Age there were things happening which were not in the plan of God.  In chapter 5 we find the story of the pretense and lying of Annanias & his wife Sapphira to Peter.  Then there was partiality being shown to a particular class of people over another.  This is similar to the racial prejudice seen in our current day.  Both can creep into the church and cause havoc. 

The apostles were very wise in dealing with this.  They elected very spiritual Christians to oversee these areas of need.  We still need this type of oversight here in our American churches.  Prejudice runs deep in the heart of mankind and we naturally tend to gravitate towards those people who are like us rather than those with whom we feel uncomfortable around.  But Christ does not differentiate between class, race or gender, he welcomes all who will come to him.  Among the seven men whom the apostles selected to handle these areas of discord, were two outstanding men who were evangelists.  Stephen is found in this particular chapter and Philip is found in chapter eight who preached to the Samaritans and to the Ethiopian man. 

From verse 8 and forward, we observe Stephen as being full of faith which is something each of us need today.  With faith comes power and Stephen will need that to undergo what lies in his future.  This kind of power comes from the indwelling Spirit of God in the life of every true believer.  Much of this available power is never used simply because we don't avail ourselves of it, and our human tendency to want to do things in our own strength. Stephen could have been content with just serving tables, since that is what he was appointed to do.  Yet he took the initiative to go above and beyond his call and see other needs which he could also serve.  This is a lesson for us as well.   that we consider going beyond what men ask us to do, and listen to God's call to join Him in seeing and meeting the needs of others as well.  I want to challenge all who read this:  "Don't go for the minimum but the maximum."  In otherwords, don't stop when God may be calling you to continue on to greater service by obeying His leading.



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