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Each culture has heroes and heroines whose stories are told and retold throughout history. Americans are no different. We hold on to the stories of people such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Their thoughts, their writings, and their accomplishments are all embedded into the DNA of the people who come after them. For the people of Israel, Moses was such a hero. His story and his legacy were ingrained in the everyday lives of the Jewish people. They knew his story and they knew it well.

One of the early members of the church in Jerusalem was a man named Stephen who was described with four key terms: “full of faith and of the Holy Spirit” and “full of grace and power” (Acts 6:5, 8). He was a godly man who was spreading the message of Jesus through signs, wonders, and service. Because of his active ministry, he came on the radar of the Jewish religious elite who were actively persecuting believers of “the Way.” In order to eliminate Stephen, they spread rumors that he was speaking “blasphemous words against Moses and God” (v. 11). Now this was a major problem. No one was allowed to speak against Moses, the hero of the Jewish faith. Such a man would need to be silenced.

Having amassed enough false witnesses to testify against Stephen, the religious leaders seized him and brought him before the council (Acts 6:8–15). And when it was time to answer for himself, Stephen launched into a sermon to end all sermons. In fact, it’s the longest sermon recorded in the book of Acts!

Stephen, being wise and discerning, spent most of his time recounting the story of Moses, letting the council know that he, like them, revered Moses. In Acts 7 Stephen shared detail after detail of Moses’ story, some of which were beyond what was written in Scripture. What this shows us is that Moses’ story was so well-known and so venerated that details had been passed down orally through the Jewish culture, details that even surpassed what Moses recorded of himself when writing the book of Exodus! Moses’ legacy had lasted decades and even centuries beyond his own life.

Just as Moses’ story of God’s faithfulness endured, our stories of God’s faithfulness can and will be passed on long after us. They may not attract worldwide attention like Moses’ story, but they certainly will be preserved for the purposes God has for them. Maybe your story will encourage your children and grandchildren to know about God’s character. Maybe your story will influence those in the company or organization you lead to find out more about Jesus. Maybe your story will edify your church for years and decades to come, as they hear about God’s goodness in your life. Your story will not end when your life on earth ends. It will keep marching forward and God will continue to use it to bring glory to His name. Your story carries that kind of power within it!

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How does Stephen’s speech remind us that our stories can live on long after us? How does this encourage us to live and share our stories?

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