The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of April 6, 2015
Facing Death With Faith
Acts 7:59-60, “And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60And 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.”
Beloved, I do not believe that I have ever been faced death. Maybe I have but I did not recognize it. But what I hope is that I would face death with faith just as Stephen did.
Stephen had just delivered a masterful sermon on the history of Israel and its denial of their Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Jews did not take too kindly to Stephen’s sermon and instead of choosing to surrender their lives to the Lord they decided to stone Stephen to death.
This is where Stephen faced death with faith. With death staring him in the eye, Stephen virtually uttered the same words, which Christ uttered while on the cross, “Lord Jesus receive my spirit,” and “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”
In his first utterance, Stephen recognized that his flesh would soon be destroyed but that His spirit would go on to heaven. There he would receive his new body and enjoy life with Jesus forever!
Secondly, Stephen understood that those left behind who had stoned him needed forgiveness so he uttered, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” He could have said, “Lord, take them out!” But that was not in Stephen’s heart. Even to the end, Stephen was others centered and not self-centered. He finished well!
Beloved, Stephen was able to die with the assurance that death was not the final word! His action revealed his faith in the resurrection of Christ, and of himself. Beloved, I pray that when the time comes that we would also be able to face death with faith!
I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you!
In His Love-