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Deacons must be full of faith!  Acts 6:5 says, “This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith…”  Did you catch that? Stephen was full of faith before he was chosen to be a deacon.  Being full of faith is a prerequisite for being considered to be a deacon!  Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6)! If we are to be deacons that please God, we must trust Him for what lies ahead as we faithfully serve Him and His church with what’s right in front of us.  This was never truer than for Stephen.  His faith-filled life qualified him to be trusted and chosen by the disciples and Apostles to serve widows.  His faith-filled life would also qualify him to be trusted when chosen by the Lord to be the first martyr. Compared to being a martyr, it doesn’t seem like you need much faith to serve food to widows.  I mean it’s just serving food, right?  When we get to the place where we think we only need to be full of faith in the “big” things, and we can do the “small” things with little or no faith, we’ve lost what it means to be full of faith at all times.  Stephen was full of faith before being a deacon, while serving widows, while preaching to the religious crowd, and while being stoned to death.  We must be deacons that are full of faith when serving coffee, making a meal for a family, sharing the gospel to the unsaved at our work, and standing up for Jesus if it costs us everything we have!  If we aren’t full of faith in things like serving communion, how can we be trusted to be full of faith when laying down our lives for the sake of the Kingdom? 

God expands our faith capacity as we show Him that He can trust us with more.  More confidence, boldness, humility, compassion, grace, gospel opportunities, faith and much more comes as we fully exercise the levels of those we have in the present.  Maybe God’s not asking you to do something “big” like lead a ministry, but He is asking you to serve in one…and if you don’t do that full of faith, you’ll never be ready to lead one.  Maybe He’s not asking you to lead a “big” thing because you haven’t been full of faith in the “small” things?  It’s true when Jesus said, “Whoever is faithful in little will also be faithful in much” (Luke 16:10)! When I was cleaning toilets in the fish restaurant Family Church met in on Sunday nights, I was honored to do my part in making church happen.  I remember doing it with joy and a sense of purpose and being on mission!  That opportunity to exercise full faith, and every one of them for the next twenty years, paved the way to being the senior pastor!  Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things yet unseen.”  What are you hoping God will do through you?  Are you expecting God for the “yet unseen”?  I mean, what could God really do through us if we truly exercised full faith in everything?  Deacons who are full of faith in their current assignments allow God to open the doors of their hopes and yet unseen dreams.  Better said, God leads us step-by-step into His perfect will for our lives and His Kingdom as we fully trust and have faith in Him.  The way you are handling your present calling is either preventing, postponing, or paving the way for God’s future calling!  I don’t want Him to say, “O ye of little faith” (Matthew 8:26), but “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel” (Luke 7:9)! Be a deacon full of faith in every task and every season you are in, especially those you are in right now!  It will lead to greater ministry opportunities and greater glory for the Lord!

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Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.

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