GOD'S WISDOM IN STEPHEN
A perfect example of God’s wisdom through individuals in the Church that we looked at yesterday in Ephesians 3:10 is found in Stephen. He was selected to handle a certain ministry in the Jerusalem church (with six others) because he was “of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom” (Acts 6:3). That wisdom in Stephen came face-to-face with opposition in the synagogue; those who “could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking” (6:10).
Stephen’s message in Acts 7 was a further proof of God’s wisdom in him. It glorified the ways of God with Israel and at the same time brought divine conviction on those who were a “stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears...always resisting the Holy Spirit” (7:51). Was this wisdom justified since Stephen was stoned to death? Was it really necessary that he take such a firm position on the state of their hearts? Was the persecution that followed worth this stand?
YES! Living out the wisdom of God may at times bring out the worst in some, but God did and will use the personal commitment to be faithful. The revelation of God’s truth and wisdom is so the world and “the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:10) might have a powerful witness to God’s wisdom. This example leaves us with the challenge of whether we prefer living in ease and absence of conflict, or in the trenches of where truth and wisdom lead men and women into a personal relationship with Jesus. From those trenches, the gospel spreads to places that God intends it to go.
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