by Matt Schroeder
Acts chapters 6 & 7 are some of my favorite chapters in the whole book of Acts. Stephen is a man who I greatly desire to live like and resemble. The reason I want to live my life like Stephen lived his was because Stephen understood what the point and purpose of his life was: to bring glory to God! And everything else paled in comparison to that one mission!
At the beginning of chapter 6, we see that the disciples need men who can serve tables and take care of the practical needs of the people, SO THAT the disciples can continue preaching and praying. Stephen was one of the men chosen to take this task of “serving tables.”
So, in our prideful and selfish hearts it's easy to read this passage and think, “Stephen just got demoted to the JV team. They needed someone to go take care of the small and trivial things, so that the real adults can go do the important things.”
I think all too often it is easy to wrap our identity and worth in the task and work before us.
But here’s what I love about Stephen: the Word says a few verses later, “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people.”
You see, to Stephen it didn’t matter what the job was. It didn’t matter what the task was. He didn’t get hung up on being seen by other people or how much recognition this job could get him. He saw the need, and met it. God called him, and he walked in it faithfully.
Stephen was performing signs and wonders, not because of his role or job, but because of the Spirit of God that dwelt in him. That same Spirit dwells inside of all who are children of God. You don’t have to be a pastor or an elder to heal someone. You need the power of the living God.
There are no second-hand, trivial, meaningless tasks in the kingdom of God. Why? Because it’s not about us, it’s all about Him and His glory. We don’t exist for the purpose of working our jobs. We don’t exist for the purpose of being married. We don’t exist for the purpose of having children. We exist to make much of God. And all of those other things are simply means by which we can glorify God!
So, my encouragement and challenge is that we be a people who see every opportunity as one presented by God for His glory. Working in the children’s ministry at church isn’t second-hand work. It’s just as important as the lead pastor’s role. And I truly believe that if we walk in obedience and faith to whatever God asks us to do, we will see signs and wonders being done, just like Stephen did!