Concluding our series on Faithful servants. This week we take a look at what it means to be faithful with God’s Word…
We see in the book of Acts (Acts 7), that when the accusations came against Stephen, (oh, thank God they were false!), his defense was scripture. Stephen knew that the Jewish crowd he confronted had scripture knowledge. We see from Stephen’s example that we need to be conversant with what scripture says concerning the issues of life.We see this example again in the ministry of Paul. Paul knew that the Gentiles understood philosophy. So when Paul spoke with a Gentile audience, he began his discussion with references from the philosophers, and ended with scripture (Acts 17)
Perhaps we would be better deliverers of the Gospel if we began in the context of that particular person or group we’re addressing then conclude with scripture. Remember, God isn’t or can’t be contained in a temple. God meets us where we are. That is why we don’t have to wait to bring people to a church building to share the gospel. Are you faithful with God’s Word wherever you are?
Stephen was faithful unto death. While the crowd was stoning Stephen, he prayed. You don’t have to be a celebrity preacher, just be faithful and obedient. Most of us will never preach in a stadium, but we can share the Gospel with the people around us. As we consider walking in faithfulness before God with this Gospel that we believe and embrace, perhaps it would help us a great deal to understand the following:
- Everything we do, even the smallest effort that is hidden away from the pomp and glamour, and “Behind the Scenes” of a ministry, can have a lasting impact. As long as our work is marked by faithfulness and obedience. Moses’ ministry was long, but Stephen’s recorded ministry was short and had lasting impact.
- We don’t always get to see the fruit of our ministry. The measure of our success is faithfulness and obedience. When we don’t see instant success or progress in our walk of faith, we are tempted to wonder if what we are doing is really necessary. Stephen was killed before he got to see the fruit of the greatest sermon he ever preached. Stephen’s story seems like this would be the end of the church or the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and yet here we are!
I think this would be a great place to mention that Saul, who later became Paul, approved of Stephen’s killing. Yes, that Paul, the Apostle, who wrote most of the New Testament! That is what faithfulness with the gospel can do.
Remember at the beginning of the series the five missionaries who were killed in Ecuador? It would seem like the end of the Gospel to that area, or the end of holding onto faith for the Elliot family, the Saint family, and the other families. But we know that Elisabeth Elliot (Jim’s wife) and Rachel Saint (Nate’s sister) continued to live among the Ecuadorian tribes and continued to preach the gospel. Nate’s daughter and son were baptized by the converted Ecuadorians … Jamie (Nate’s grandson) calls the tribe that killed his grandfather, family. Yes, we don’t always get to see the fruit of our labor; but by His Word, we have been allowed a glance of the actual state of things.
- The glimpse into the ultimate reality as seen from Stephen’s story is to help us so we can grow in faithfulness and obedience. Stephen looked up and saw that God is still on the throne, and that the Son of man is at God’s right hand working all things for good for those who love God. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 KJV
This should encourage us that no matter how terrible things appear here on earth… all the evil, wickedness, poverty, hunger, sickness, diseases, calamities, disasters, destruction, death and the like, God is still on the throne. We also know that Satan has been hurled down (Revelation 12:9) and we have overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11) – that’s the reality.
Are you faithful with God’s Word wherever you are?
Dee is a wife, mother, blogger, writer and author of several books including Ark of the Covenant, Looking Up and Crushing Invisible Barriers. She and her husband are ministers with Life NOW Global Mission and have been serving in the leadership of All Nations Breakthrough Church (formerly Breakthrough Church) Kansas since 2003.