When Stephen died the Church suffered a great loss, but God cares for His work and raises up others to replace those who are promoted to heaven. The work of Christ is never dependent on the survival of one person.
Often the Lord calls the most unlikely into His service. Saul had stood guard over the coats of those who stoned Stephen. Who would have suspected that he would soon be converted to Stephen’s Saviour?
Saul’s conversion teaches us that the most difficult cases are not hopeless. It is unlikely that any of those early Christians expected Saul to be saved…certainly not to become the greatest missionary ever. If the believers in Damascus knew that Saul was headed their way they may have prayed for deliverance from his persecution but probably few would have dared believe he would be born again enroute to their city.
The secret of Saul’s usefulness as a Christian may be found in his initial reaction to his encounter with Christ. His response: “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” indicates immediate and total surrender. He gave his life to the Saviour with no strings attached. From that point on, his desire would be to know the will of God and do it.
Every useful servant of Christ has come to the point of unconditional surrender. D. L. Moody determined to be a man who was completely yielded to the will of God and the world still reaps the benefits.
Will you surrender to the Saviour?