“Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.” (Acts 6:8)

I have been donating blood for a while now (thanks to my wife and the blood drive ministry at Saving Grace) and I have learned one of United Blood Service’s slogans: “Be A Hero.” The point that they are trying to make is that by donating blood you can be a hero. Every time you donate blood someone’s life is saved. And so their marketing materials show ordinary people, in the workplace, wearing a red cape.

What do you think of when I say the word “hero?” Do you think of someone like Superman or Spiderman? Do you think of someone with super-human powers? United Blood Service seeks to dispel that myth by pointing out that anyone can be a hero. The book of Acts in the Bible does something similar with the story of Stephen the martyr. Stephen was the first martyr of the Christian church. He died for his faith. Since then, his story has encouraged countless Christians over numerous generations, and His sacrifice has blessed the lives of many. He was a true hero.

Looking at Stephen, what we notice is that there was nothing particularly noteworthy about him. The Scripture portrays him as someone who was humble (waiting on tables) and yet full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. So it is with many of the “heroes of the faith,” Moses-slow of speech, David-a young shepherd boy, Mary-a lowly virgin. It seems as though the Lord does his mighty works through those who have little in and of themselves offer him. This of course makes sense, since none of us can add anything to do the Lord. He possesses all power. What He desires is someone who will allow Him use His power through them (1 Cor. 1:26-31).

What about you? Do you want to do something great for the Lord? Do you want to be a hero? You may be thinking that to do so will require a massive sacrifice one day in the future. Perhaps like Stephen you will be called upon to give your life in defense of your faith? That could happen. But what is more likely is that the Lord will use you, humbly, throughout your life and day by day. Just as with giving blood-a simple needle stick and one hour of your time, the Lord will use your faithful offerings of time, talent and treasure to build His Kingdom.

With our Faith on Fire – Alive in the Spirit campaign, you and I have the opportunity to truly be heroes for the next generation! We have the chance to leave behind a legacy of faith much like Stephen. Will the sacrifices that we make today speak to Christians of the future about our great faith in the Lord? Will our actions attest to God’s great grace and power? And will future generations have hope because of the Gospel seeds we are sowing today? I pray that your answer to those questions are unequivocally “Yes, Yes & Amen!”

Pastor Augie