“When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’”
– Acts 7:54-56
As we wrap up our lessons from the life of Stephen, it would only be right to talk about his death. When he stood in front of the Sanhedrin preaching boldly, he knew he was walking right into his demise. Nevertheless, he did it for the sake of those listening. His heart was so on fire for his Savior that he was willing to serve the least of these, face intense persecution, and ultimately give his life for his Rabbi. As the first Christian martyr, he set an example that millions through the centuries have followed.
After clearly accusing the religious officials of killing Jesus, the Bible says that members of the court gnashed their teeth at Stephen and began to throw stones at him. Then, in a manner consistent with the Holy Spirit’s visible presence on him, as he was about to die, this man of God saw the heavens open up and Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father to welcome him home. This is the only time in the New Testament that Christ is standing and not sitting, and He’s doing it in honor of one who loved Him enough to give his life.
Friend, when you stand for God, He’ll stand for you! If you want to hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” be like Stephen. Be willing to go the extra mile for widows, orphans, young people, and those who are hurting. In short, be ready to live and die for the sake of the Gospel. If you’re prepared to let your own blood be the seed that plants trees for tomorrow, then I believe that Christ will be standing at the end of your days on earth to welcome you home to Heaven.
Jesus, I want to stand for you so you will stand for me.
How can you stand for Jesus today?
I never thought I would have to take a stand for God but little did I know it would happen suddenly at my place of employment. To my surprise, My coworker was just fired last week for talking about God at work and upon her leaving I resigned right behind her. I could not stay and work for a company that does not honor God. It is so sad to see what is happening to our society. But at the end of the day We stood for Truth!