“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. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.”

– Acts 6:5,6

Most of us in Christianity know Stephen as the first martyr. However, there is more to glean from his story by understanding his background and how he fits into the history of our faith. The early church was governed from Jerusalem in the heart of Judea, and there was a group of believers there who were quite orthodox in their thinking known as the Hebraic Jews. On the other hand, there were the Hellenistic Jews who were less traditional and identified with the Greek culture; these are the ones who lived in the region of Galilee. Early in church history, the Hellenistic Jews registered a complaint to the governing members in Jerusalem against the Hebraic Jews, claiming that their widows were not receiving a fair share of food in the daily distribution. Though the matter seemed quite trite to the church fathers, they decided to appoint a board to oversee the handing out of rations to ensure that everything was fair. Interestingly, Stephen was the first one they chose. Though it probably didn’t seem significant in the eyes of many, this Godly man’s willingness to do what was minor resulted in a major outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon his life. 

Friend, one of the many lessons to learn from Stephen is that if God asks you to do something small, it’s important to say yes! The one who was willing to do the work that nobody wanted to do because he loved people is the one the Lord then anointed to preach with power. You see, Jesus is more concerned with the condition of your heart than He is with your skill or ability. When you’re available to do something as insignificant as waiting on the tables of orphans and widows, He can trust you with even greater work in His Kingdom. Become a minister of Christ’s compassion by loving His people and watch as He empowers you to do things far beyond what you could have asked for or imagined!


Jesus, when you call me, I am willing to do what seems insignificant because I love your people.


Has saying yes to something minor ever resulted in a major outpouring of God’s power in your life?

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