55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him.
58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
When we have an accurate view of Jesus, everything else then is weighted correctly. Some of the things we once loved and longed for have become meaningless and some of the things that were meaningless and trivial become most important. Stephen knew this, and Acts 7 gives the historical account. Stephen was filled with the Spirit and saw Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father. As men gathered stones to put him to death, Stephen calmly stood without fear, without anger, without retaliation, he was fortified by an accurate view of Jesus. He begged not that God would intervene and protect him, not that fire would fall and devour these men where they stood, but that these men who would stone him would be forgiven. Once you have an accurate view of Jesus, fear fades, hatred is halted, and death no longer permanent becomes sleep, to which we now know, we will once again be awakened from. My prayer today is that we will see Jesus most clearly as he truly is, The Lover of Our Souls. I wonder the conversations that took place in the homes of these stone throwers after they witnessed Stephen’s prayer? Did Stephen’s reflection of love impact even one? Maybe, just as Jesus’ death impacted the soldiers that witnessed his love at the cross and were transformed so these men also may have been moved by Stephens death. One thing I know for sure, Stephen’s message was not diluted, he did not compromise his stand, he didn’t do what was politically correct, even to the point of giving up his very life. When we have a accurate view of Jesus, we can trust whatever circumstance we are facing that He is in control.