Scripture: 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. Acts 7:59,60 NIV
Observation: Stephen is killed for his faith in Christ.
Application: Stephen dies in the same way that Christ died, by asking forgiveness for his killers. Once again we see a repeating of an action or truth restated in the bible. I believe that God intends for us to forgive our persecutors. The fact that this truth keeps recurring as I read daily may mean that the time is drawing close when persecution of Christians will increase. I believe that may be why God keeps reminding me to be a man of forgiveness. I can’t be that man without the strength provided by the Holy Spirit. I must trust the Spirit to supply that strength.
Prayer: Father, thank you for giving me a means to endure hardship when it occurs. I pray that I am able to lovingly withstand persecution no matter how great or how slight. Amen