July 4th, 1956 "Stephen, Full of Faith and Power" Late Mr. N. Daniel
"And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people." In those days as the ministry increased, the number of disciples increased, and they could not attend to the needs of all. The widows of the Greeks were neglected. They chose seven men full of the Holy Spirit to look after widows and among them Stephen was very prominent, full of faith and power. Whenever I was preaching in the villages I used to read this description of Stephen and pray, "Lord, Thou didst help Stephen help me."
Once I was preaching at a Hindu festival in a place where Christians were forbidden to preach. There were many difficulties there. But I remembered Stephen was full of faith and the Holy Spirit. If you as a young man could be found full of faith and the Holy Spirit and chosen for work of responsibility how blessed it would be! Stephens work was to distribute money to the widows. Work with money needs greater consecration than other work. There should be no stain on our conscience. We need a very sensitive and clear conscience. Stephen was such a man. He was marching foremost among the young men, and was the first to receive the "martyrs crown".
"And all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.", Acts 6:15. "And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.", Acts 7:59.
Just after the fashion of Jesus, he died forgiving his enemies. He did not want to enter heaven with hatred or ill-will. Heaven cannot admit such emotions. A young man who has a clean conscience and lives a holy life and allows his faith to grow unhindered cannot but be filled with the magnetism that attracts sinners. He will be charged with the healing power of God. Your eyes will flash the power of heaven. Seven men were chosen. They had to work among women and they had to work with money. A man who works for the Lord must be careful in these two aspects. Stephen, a young man was chosen for such a work.
Stephen, full of faith and love, worked great wonders. The people wanted to stamp out Christianity by killing the man who was demonstrating its power. One may kill the man that carries the Gospel but never the Gospel. Out of the blood of the martyrdom of Stephen sprang Paul a still greater man. There was never a greater mind than St. Pauls. That was a mind caught by and wrought upon by the Holy Spirit. If you die early for the Gospel, you will live in many other people. Young people, be careful how you live. When the Church has to choose and when God has to choose, will He choose you?