Stephen is often called the first Christian martyr. Behold these final moments of his life.
“they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city… While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them’ (Acts 7:57-60).
Then he died. Well, his heart stopped, but he lived on in the very presence of God!
They thought that by killing him, they would also kill his faith. But it actually served as an explosive catalyst. The rest of the disciples were forced to flee Jerusalem. But they weren’t intimidated and kept doing what God has called them to do. As a result, their powerful message spread more quickly over a wider geographical area!
Faithfulness is never wasted—then or now. God’s work in and through you is not limited by what we perceive to be limitations. God has a habit of turning dead ends into doorways.
Do you ever get frustrated, wondering if your life and work as the hands and feet of Jesus makes any difference? If so, hear this: Just because you can’t see results right away, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any.
Stephen’s God is also our God.
Faithfulness is never wasted.
–Are you hungry to go deeper with this idea? My latest podcast (July 4, 2021) is a biblical study called “Stephen’s martyrdom and the un-killability of faithfulness.” Click here to listen, or look for ‘The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan’ wherever you subscribe to podcasts: iTunes (Apple), Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or TuneIn.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.