Thursday, August 25, 2011
I want to die like Steven. A martyrs' death.
What a glorious death! Proclaiming the name of the LORD!
He was calm, at peace and had "the face of an angel" (Acts 6:15). He reflected the presence of God as he was being falsely accused and tried for blasphemy.
Right before he died, he retold the story of God's faithfulness to Israel through the Old Testament (Acts 7:1-53)- something he very well might have known would cause his death. Yet he was fearless, he was calm. He reflected Christ.
He was full of the Spirit and looked to heaven and literally saw the Glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55-56)- what an AMAZING hope and blessing God gave to Steven! This made Steven's undeserved death worth it.
As Steven was dying, he called out to God, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" (Acts 7:59). Steven fell to knees and loudly cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And with that, he breathed his last (Acts 7:60). The very last thing Steven said while on this earth was for God to forgive his killers- exactly what Jesus did as He hung on the cross.
Steven is such an inspiration to me. During his last moments here on earth, he quietly lifted his eyes to Jesus and did not let his gaze stray. Jesus was worth it for Steven. Is He worth it for you? He is worth it for me. My hope and prayer is that I would die a graceful death like Steven, proclaiming Jesus till the very last. I want my death to be an avenue for God to bring Himself so much glory.
He is Worthy!