Stephen Served and Preached Story Summary
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Bible Story: Stephen Served and Preached
Bible Text: Acts 6:5,7–7:60
- Stephen loved God and people.
- Stephen faithfully shared his faith and was killed for believing in Jesus.
- Jesus was with Stephen as he faced his enemies and faced death.
Story: Stephen was faithful. He was known for his love and wisdom. When the people in the church asked him to serve and help take care of those in need, Stephen agreed. The word “deacon” means servant. As one of the first deacons, Stephen ministered to the people and taught them about Jesus.
The enemies of Jesus hated Stephen. They lied about him, and put Stephen on trial for his faith. Stephen responded with courage. He faced their lies with the truth speaking boldly of God’s faithfulness to Israel, and he condemned them for killing Jesus.
Stephen’s words made the council so mad that they attacked him, but Jesus was with Stephen. Scripture says he gazed into heaven and said, “Look, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” His words further angered his enemies. They attacked him, took him outside the city, and stoned him.
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out to Jesus. His final words were, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin!” Even when he faced his enemies and saw their hatred, God’s love flowed through him. His final thought was that those who were killing him would find forgiveness in Christ.
Stephen was the first martyr of Christianity, which means he was the first person killed for believing in Jesus. Stephen’s story reminds believers that faith in Jesus is costly. Sometimes the cost is small—giving up our comfort or entertainment, and sometimes the cost is great—like Stephen, requiring our very last breath to proclaim Christ. The hope of every believer is that we are not alone in the face of persecution. Jesus promises to be with His followers when they face trials. Like Stephen, we can speak boldly knowing that the love of Jesus enables us to face those who hate us.
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