Be The Light

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. ~ Acts 7:58–60

Over here in the West, there isn’t much persecution against Christians. We have so much freedom, yet we lack so much love. When someone wrongs us, we want revenge. When we see someone doing wrong, we want to send them to Hell ourselves, but is that how we are to live our lives? Look at the men of the Bible; they didn’t call for instant judgment; they pleaded for mercy on behalf of the men who were persecuting them.

The men whom Stephen was witnessing to dragged him outside the city and began to pelt him with rocks. I’m sure he was trying to dodge a few, but they hit him in the stomach and in the head, and in his face when his hand would try to protect one part of his body, ten more rocks would hit him in another part of his body, until he was full of blood. Bleeding from the hits he received from the stones.

And what did he cry out? LORD save me? Or LORD, where are you? NO! He cried out, “LORD, do not hold this sin against them.” In other words, please forgive them; they know not what they do. He learned and understood from his Savior, Jesus Christ. Were his eyes on the temporal? NO! His eyes were on the eternal. This world held nothing here for him. He understood that there was something bigger than him and all of them at work. He understood what was in store for them if they didn’t repent. Stephen looked at his murderers with only love.

When we look at the world, do we look at them with love or with hate? Do we want God to show them mercy and soften their hearts, or do we want the wrath of God?

LORD God, help us to look at the world with love. Help us to pray for our enemies and bless those who curse us. Fill our hearts, oh LORD, with compassion. Help us to be the light in this dark world. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

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