Nicolas of Antioch
08 April 2015
Reading: Acts 6; Psalm 82
Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (a Gentile convert to the Jewish faith, who had now become a Christian). (Acts 6:5 NLT)
When I read the list of the first deacons of the Jerusalem church, I almost always focus only on Stephen and Philip. Maybe that’s because they were such powerful men of faith and the miraculous. Maybe it’s because the rest of this chapter and the next chapter tell the story of Stephen’s courageous witness and his martyrdom. Maybe it’s because Acts chapter 8 tells of Philip’s miracles in the city of Samaria and beyond, and of his ministry to the Ethiopian eunuch.
But this morning I noticed Nicolas of Antioch and I thought of something about him I admire, too. Nicolas of Antioch was a life-long seeker after God. Nicolas was born a Gentile and given a Greek name, but at some point in his life, he believed Yahweh was the one true God and made the challenging, and possibly difficult and costly, conversion to Judaism.
Then Jesus came and lived and died and rose again, and Nicolas believed the Good News and became a Christ-follower. Nicolas of Antioch is a good example of the kind of leaders and influencers churches need today. Nicolas’ life is an encouraging example to us all!
Like Nicolas of Antioch, I want to be known as a life-long seeker of God who is willing to learn and change and grow.
Father, I pray for the grace and passion to never stop seeking after you. Thank you for your persistent grace that leads me forward and your patience that gives me time to adjust and grow. May I, like Nicolas, be willing and able to make challenging and even difficult and costly steps forward in faith as I seek to know you more and to follow my Master Jesus more fully. Amen.