Radiance (Acts 6:8-15)

And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.” (Acts 6:15, AV)

Often in life, we see people who seem to be radiant. They just seem to be in the light. I remember being in the honor guard for the retirement of General Westmorland in the early 70’s. Everyone was in their dress uniforms. Perhaps a couple hundred soldiers from various representative units assembled for the spectacle. We had rehearsed our parts. We were ready.

Then the guests paraded in and sat in the bleachers. A band played patriotic music. Then the dignitaries and guest speakers came in. After everyone was settled, in marched the general. The lights shone upon him in his dress uniform with a chest full of medals. Under the spotlights amidst the surrounding darkness, he just seemed to radiate. Yet, while his radiance was manmade through lighting effects it does picture the radiance of those who have a vibrant relationship with the living God in a sin darkened world.

In Stephen’s encounter with the council, the Scripture indicates that when they looked at his face, it appeared as the face of an angel. We have to stretch our imaginations to try to understand exactly how Stephen’s face appeared, but it was significantly noticeable, angelic. I believe there was a certain glow about him that was different form all the others.

The Scripture indicates that Moses’ face glowed, when he came down from the mountain of God.

And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.” (Exodus 34:29, AV)

Stephen, like Moses, must have had a relationship with the living God that showed on his face. His face in some way radiated. This radiance startled the onlookers, just like the radiance that shone forth from Moses’ face after hearing from God. There is something about experiencing the glory of God that changes the countenance of a person. True believers who are in close communion with God tend to have a radiance about them that can be seen but not exactly described.

I have seen people who, after experiencing true salvation, have a most remarkable transformation in their countenance. You can see the joy in their faces. Some will have tears of joy that persist for days. Others will see it. I remember my conversion experience, the joy, that I had. It showed. During the church’s worship time for weeks following the pastor’s wife came to me and stated, “It shows.” What God had done in my life was visible on the outside.

I have been in a few worship experiences where the glory just fell. We should pray that the glory would fall upon us. Perhaps it will if only we would draw close to the Lord, to seek Him with a whole heart. Perhaps we need to fall in love with Him again. We will if we understand His great love for us, if we will just look and see His beauty afresh and anew. May His glory fall upon us! When it does, it will show.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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