Daily Devotional: Monday 2nd March

by William Moody

Acts 7:54–60

The Stoning of Stephen

54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 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 together1 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.

Footnotes

[1] 7:57 Or rushed with one mind

(ESV)

Stephen’s faithful presentation of Biblical truth brought about a fierce reaction (v54). They become almost like animals, such is the enslaving power of sin. Are there times in your life when you struggle to control your temper?

Stephen by contrast is at peace (v55-56). He is given a glimpse of heaven and Jesus at the right hand of God.

A vision of heaven of Jesus in glory is what we all need. We sometimes speak of people being so heavenly minded they are of no earthly use, sadly the opposite is more common, people so earthly minded they are of no heavenly use (see Colossians 3 v1-4).

Stephen’s wonderful testimony produces an even fiercer response and he is dragged out and stoned (v57-58). We’re introduced here to a young man called Saul.

As Stephen dies he prays and like his Saviour wonderfully prays for forgiveness for his attackers (v59-60). Oh, for such grace!

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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