Summary: Every life has good and bad circumstances. As Christians, we live life above those circumstances.


TEXT: ACTS 6:8-15


INTRODUCTION: A. Some of you may have heard of Wilma Rudolph. She was a successful Olympic

athlete in the 1960’s, but most do not know her story. She was born the 16th of 18

children in a poor black family in middle Tennessee, weighing only 4 lbs. and 1 oz. At

the age of 4 she contracted polio and lost the use of her left leg.

The battle with polio left her weakened and she immediately developed chronic

pneumonia and scarlet fever. Even though she managed to survive those deadly

diseases, she spent the bulk of her childhood as a cripple. It was only through years of

therapy, which her mother carried her to on her one day off a week, and determination

that Wilma was able to regain the use of her left leg.

She went on to play high school basketball setting a single season record for most

points scored: 803 in 25 games. In 1960, Wilma Rudolph represented the United

States in the Olympics, which was held in Rome, Italy and she won gold medals in all

three of the events in which she competed. In both the 100-meter dash and the 200-

meter dash, she finished at least three yards in front of her closest competitor. She tied

the world record in the 100-meter and set a new Olympic record in the 200. And in the

400-meter relay she brought her team from behind to win the gold.

1. Webster defines “circumstances” – “a fact or event accompanying another;

conditions affecting a person”

2. Somebody: “It’s not the circumstances that matters; it’s your reaction to the

circumstances that matters.”

B. As Christians, we’re not exempt from circumstances

1. Every day we live we’ll face circumstances that are unpleasant and challenging

--Circumstances that cause us to put our faith into action and cause us to draw

closer to God and the leading of His Holy Spirit

2. Two anonymous quotes that speak volumes to our circumstances:

a. “If circumstances find us in God, we shall find God in all our circumstances.”

b. “Don’t look to God through your circumstances, look at your circumstances

through God.”

3. Chuck Swindoll makes a statement about circumstances in his book Laugh Again

that gave me the title for the message tonight:

--He talks about people who ask, “Under the circumstances how could I be anything

but grim?” To which he replies, “What are you doing under the circumstances?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the Christian life to be lived above the


C. Title of tonight’s message: “LIVING LIFE ABOVE THE CIRCUMSTANCES”

1. TEXT: ACTS 6:8-15

2. Some important lessons about living life above the circumstances


--1 Pet. 4:10-11 – “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering

God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.

If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised

through Jesus Christ.”

A. The general biblical in the New Testament is that every Christian receives at least one spiritual gift

designed for service within the body of Christ.

1. Some Christians receive more than one

--as is evident with Stephen

2. Others receive only one

3. Eph. 3:12-13 tells us the purpose of these gifts: “…so that the body of Christ may be built up until we

all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the

whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

B. Exactly what we see Stephen doing

1. Introduced to Stephen in 6:1-7

--one of the 7 men chosen to administrate the ministry of food to the widows of the church

a. Gift of service

b. Gift of administration

2. We see from these verses that Stephen was endowed with gifts of healing and miraculous powers

--also in Chapt. 7, that Stephen has gifts of teaching and evangelism

3. Stephen gave everything he had for the cause of Christ and the church


A. Who were the people that were upset

1. Identified here as being members of the synagogue of the “Freedmen”

--Jews who had once been slaves but have been given or had earned their freedom

2. Where they were from

a. Cyrene

1). Important city in the part of N. Africa known today as Libya

2). Mentioned in Acts 2 that there were people from Cyrene in Jerusalem for Pentecost

3). Scholars estimate that 25% of entire population in Cyrene was Jewish in the first century.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion