Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from embers of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)—Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilici and Asia—who began to argue with Stephen. But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke. (Acts 6:8-10)
The Synagogue of the Freedmen (also called Libertines) were descendants of the Jews enslaved by Pompey in Rome after his conquest of Judea in 63 BC. These Jews returned to Judea and were more obstinate in their beliefs than those who had never left Judea. They didn’t want to be liberated by Jesus.
Stephen was full of God’s power and grace. Because Stephen was faithful with small things (making sure Hellenistic widows received food from the food bank), God promoted him, and the Holy Spirit gifted him with the supernatural abilities of wisdom and public speaking.
Stephen was not an apostle, yet he performed signs and wonders among the people. He was not perfect, but I imagine he was one of few who was humble, prayed incessantly, and obeyed God. When we become like Stephen and let God into every aspect of our lives, I believe God will give us great gifts and perform signs and wonders through us.
Dearest Father in heaven, I praise you for performing signs and wonders through those who are closest to you. Help me be humble, obey You, pray incessantly, and let the Holy Spirit work in every aspect of my life. Thank you for using me to bring others closer to You. I pray in Jesus’ precious name, amen.