Stephen had the unique opportunity to be first at a couple of things. Looking at the comments made about him in Scripture, I’m not sure he minded being the first at either.
He was chosen by the
to serve as one of the first deacons. Deacons were gifted men who willingly helped the pastors/apostles handle what some would call the mundane jobs in the church – waiting on tables, visiting the shut-ins and maybe even cleaning up after the church event. church of Jerusalem
However, just a short time later, we find Deacon Stephen preaching. (Deacons, just like every other member in the church, are to be active sharing their faith.) People didn’t like his message. Doesn’t that sound familiar even in today’s world? The Scripture says they took him and stoned him for the message he preached.
Not only was Stephen one of the first deacons, he was also the very first Martyr for Christ. He knelt as a Man of Intensity for his faith and prayed that God would forgive them for their actions.
As we celebrate Memorial Day this year, let’s take time to remember not only the fallen heroes of our nation, but even more importantly let’s remember the fallen of heroes of the faith. Everyday around the world, men and women die for their faith at the hands of individuals that don’t want to hear the Good News “Jesus Loves You”. And as Men of Intensity, we need to lift them up and encourage them with our prayers.