Acts 7:54 - 8:3
54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 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. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 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. 8 And Saul approved of their killing him. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
How brave was Stephen. He just stood there and led them through their history pointing out all the various issues they misunderstood. And he was willing to take whatever happened afterwards. Everyone who was listening was so angry and offended but Stephen was connected with God and he knew that he knew that he was in the right place and doing what God wanted. Sometimes we can be so much braver than we think we are if we are doing what we are convinced it is what God wants of us. Its like it isn’t really us anymore. It doesn’t happen so often for me but I wonder if that is because I don’t ask God often enough what it is that He wants me to do.
Even when God has asked us to do something that is simple and isn’t going to offend people, its still an amazing feeling when we are really connected with God on something. For example, if He asks us to speak to someone and just connect and love them and we are obedient then often the reaction can be overwhelming.
Dear Lord Help me to connect with you better and play my part in your plan more and more each day. Remind me Lord to ask you, to be interested in what is on your heart each day that I can help with. Help me to remember Stephen’s bravery and his willingness to do what you asked regardless of the cost.
Written by Therese Manning