MONDAY, OCTOBER 4
Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power,
performed amazing miracles and signs among the people.
Acts 6:8 (NLT)
LIVE SENT: DEFINE THE WIN
The Boxer Rebellion in China was the largest massacre of Protestant missionaries in history, with 188 adults and children being killed. Thirty thousand Chinese Christians also perished during the summer of 1900 at the hands of the Boxers. Among them was Chang Shen, the best known evangelist in Manchuria.
Chang had been a notorious character prior to his conversion—a gambler, thief, and womanizer. At midlife he lost his eyesight, and neighbors considered it a judgment from God. Hearing of a missionary hospital in a distant area, Chang traveled hundreds of miles only to find all the beds full. The hospital chaplain kindly gave him his own bed, and over time, doctors partially restored Chang’s vision. In the process they introduced him to Jesus Christ. When Chang asked for baptism, missionary James Webster told him, “Go home and tell your neighbors you have changed. I’ll visit you later, and if you are still following Jesus, I will baptize you.”
When Webster arrived in Chang’s village five months later, he found hundreds of inquirers.
Chang traveled from village to village, winning hundreds to Christ. When he was finally arrested by the Boxers, he was put in an open cart and driven to a nearby graveyard while singing, “Jesus loves me, this I know. …” At the cemetery, he was shoved into a kneeling position. Three times he uttered the words of Stephen, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then they took his life. (Robert Morgan)
Chang won the battle for Christ in China. Stephen won the battle for Christ in Acts 6. The name Stephen means crown. It was “the victor’s crown,” a symbol of triumph in the Grecian athletic games. Stephen won because he was full. He was full of the Spirit in Acts 6:3 and full of grace and power in Acts 6:8.
Mike defined the win as “influencing non-believers to trust Jesus. God used Stephen to do that. How is God using you to influence non-believers to trust Jesus?
Praise God for the people who have influenced you for Christ. Thank God for giving you gifts that can be used to influence others for Christ.