Read: Acts 6:9-15
He, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God (Acts 7:55).
A Man Full Of The Holy Ghost
What kind of man is made when the Holy Spirit fills a human life? Stephen was not one of the Apostles, so we know that the Holy Spirit is given to laymen as well as to preachers. The Bible tells us nothing about his conversion but tradition says that Stephen was one of the Seventy. If this be so, we may assume that he was among those filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost.
We saw yesterday that such a man is fitted for God’s service and gains the confidence of God’s people. But there is more. The Holy Spirit improves even a man’s countenance. Godliness soon reflects itself in his very appearance. Even Stephen’s enemies on the Jewish council, angry as they were, “saw his face as it had been the face of an angel” (8:15).
A sanctified man sees what others often miss, and he sees further, because his mind is set on God. Others at Stephen’s stoning saw only an angry mob and a wretched victim. But Stephen, “being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God” (7:55).
Stephen died better than most men die. He knew that his future was secure. He died in faith, “calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (7:59). He died as he had lived, loving men and praying for them: “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge” (7:60). When he was dead, “reverent men buried Stephen and mourned deeply over him” (8:2, Phillips). Spirit-filled men live well, die well, and they are remembered by good people.
Prayer For Today
Lord, grant that I may be a Spirit-filled person. Let me so live that, when I die, good men will mourn my passing. Amen.