Daily Bible Reading Devotional [Acts 7:55-60]-May 8, 2017


Scripture Reading(s)

Acts 7:55-60

7:55 But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

7:56 “Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

7:57 But they covered their ears, and with a loud shout all rushed together against him.

7:58 Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

7:59 While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

7:60 Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died.


Lydia.jpgThis is a familiar yet tragic story of the very first martyr that we read about in Scripture. Stephen became the first to die for standing up for the name of Jesus Christ and yet in his death, we can still see that there is a sense of hope and peace as he was dying. Notice how there was no fear, hatred, or anger. Stephen fully surrendered his life into God’s hands and was still more concerned about those who were killing him then about his own life.

This is also the start of when Saul (who was later Paul) started his rampage on killing and persecuting Christians and anyone who claimed to follow after Jesus. Persecution became rampant and prevalent in the lives of the Christians during this time and as you can see, Stephen set the stage for what it meant to be strong and stand up for Jesus even to the point of death.

Persecution is still something that is very real in some parts of the world. The Gospel is hated and there are those who will still seek to destroy it. This is a passage that is meant to make us aware of just how real and powerful the message of the Gospel truly is. Stephen’s death was a slow and painful one. Yet his heart was truly filled with peace and even sympathy towards those who were killing him.

Not many of us will ever understand what it means to be faced with a life and death situation for being a follower of Christ. However, it should still instill a sense of urgency to preach the Gospel because we have the privilege of living in a country in which we are not going to be killed or threatened to have our homes taken away due to our Christian faith.

Stephen marked the beginning of a long journey ahead for the Christians of that time. Yet it also brought about one of the greatest conversions and evangelists (Saul vs 58) in the Scripture. His death did not stop the gospel, it helped further and advance it and it shows that God will not be stopped and can still move even in the midst of chaos.


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