Dear sisters and brothers, I invite you to carefully read this account found in Acts 7:54-56, 59-60:
“When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’…
While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep.” (NIV)
The more you read the Bible, the more you will notice how many times Jesus said, “Woe to you!” to those who claimed to be God’s representative yet actually opposed Him. If you consider both the statement made by Jesus, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8, NIV), and how Stephen witnessed Jesus standing at the right hand of God in the passage above, then you will know that God was pleased with Stephen and not the members of the Sanhedrin. They were the ones who dressed themselves in good garments and tried to stand on their own self-righteousness. What was the core difference between them and Stephen? I will say it is that Stephen saw God with a pure heart.
Let's also look at the example of Jesus and Peter. Jesus did not have a pillow, and He came from a village from which people thought nothing good could come. (John 1:46) Peter was a fisherman who denied Jesus three times. (Matthew 4:19, Matthew 26:31-35) Through these examples, realize that God does not look at your appearance or what you can offer. God looks at a pure heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
Jesus does not look at a large, well-constructed building made of stone and call it a church (temple). He, Himself, is the church (temple) which was built in three days. (John 2:19) Jesus also showed us that it was through Peter's faith that Jesus was the Son of God that He would build His church. No matter if we are talking about the church He built in three days, or the one He is building through the faith of Peter, He declared that Hades will never overcome it. (Matthew 16:18)
No one can make themselves qualified to do the work of God, but it is God who qualifies anyone who steps into the calling He has for their life. God looks at only one thing. Hear what David, a man after God’s own heart said: “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” (1 Chronicles 28:9, NIV)
We should be an example of the church of Christ Jesus. Like Timothy, we are to set an example for fellow believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12) Is your heart ready to step into the calling God has for your life and to be used for His purpose?