10 Signs of a Christian – 6.  Meekness

This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. 6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

7 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia. These men began to argue with Stephen, 10 but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke.  (Acts 6:5-10)

 

You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have not obeyed it.”

54 When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.  (Acts 7:51-10)

Learn it:

            Meekness is often associated with weakness and is not a good characteristic for a person to have.  One definition of ‘meek’ is, “enduring injury with patience and without resentment.”  This is the type of meekness that we see in the life of Stephen.  He kept sharing the gospel even when people revolted against him and he did not result to fighting back.  He spoke strongly to them hoping they could see the truth in what he was saying.  Yet, he never got physical with them.  Then when they were attacking him, Stephen prayer to the Lord that he would be merciful on them.  What an example of patience and meekness!

Live it:

            How many of us would be able to display the level of meekness that Stephen had?  True meekness is not a sign of weakness but incredible strength.  For Christians that means we are bold in our faith and telling others about Jesus.  Then when we are rejected, berated, or mistreated we do not show any form of resentment.  We still love them and pray for them.  How can you display meekness like Stephen did?  Do you hold any resentment in your life that you need God’s help to let go of?    


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