But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, And said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Acts 7:55-56 NKJV
Stephen was full of faith and power. He performed great wonders and signs among the people. He was an honorable man who served the church in love and humility.
Stephen was accused of blasphemy. He was brought before the council. They questioned Stephen even though they could see innocence and the love of God on his face. How did Stephen respond? He spoke the Word of God. He confronted his accusers with their sin!
The bible tells us they were cut to the heart and gnashed at him with their teeth. Stephen looked past them to the glory that awaited him in heaven.
And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Vs 59
Those who would later be described as, “A synagogue of Satan” killed Stephen. But Jesus stood up to receive and honor His beloved servant.
A man named Saul consented to Stephen’s death. He assisted the murderers. Saul would go on to wreck havoc with the church, entering houses, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.
Saul met Jesus on the road. He was confronted with his sin. God changed his name to Paul. He preached the gospel to the gentiles. He became the first missionary. He wrote much of the New Testament. Many consider him the most faithful servant of God ever!
When Stephen was killed a great persecution arose. The church was scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria. They took the gospel with them. God took what was meant for evil and used it for good. People were saved. God was glorified.
I do not know if Jesus stands for every martyr. I do know this world is not our home!
Our true home is a place where earthly treasure has no value. It is a place for people who seek the incorruptible blessings of a loving God. It is filled with servants who find joy in serving the lost the lonely and the broken hearted.
One day Jesus will ride the clouds to deliver a faithful remnant to His Father’s House. The Lord will welcome us home with a great banquet. It will be the greatest reunion in all of creation. The fallen in faith will greet us with joy and thanksgiving!
The times are evil. The days are dark. The Son of God will arise with healing in His wings. There will be no tears sorrow pain or death in eternity. There will be unspeakable joy and eternal bliss!
Even on the darkest of days the Son of God shines forth in glory!
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