Every death leads to new life.
(Listen to my song “Salvation” by clicking HERE)
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”; and when he said this, he fell asleep. Now Saul was consenting to his execution.
Stephen, known as the first Christian martyr, would appear to have been a “loser” in the eyes of the world…but not in the eyes of God.
When we respond to hate with love…just like Jesus did…transformation is just around the corner.
We believe that Stephen’s violent death did not mean his end. We believe that it was simply a transition to new life.
Thanks to Jesus’ example, Stephen was confident that death did not have the final say.
Just as Jesus sparked transformation in his followers through the way he lived, died and rose…Stephen’s way of living and dying brought transformation as well.
His example likely began a transformation in a man named Saul who “was consenting” to the execution. Saul…who persecuted Christians and was at least complicit in the killing of Christians…would one day be known as St. Paul…perhaps the greatest evangelist in history.
That’s what can happen when hate is met with love.
May God’s unconditional love transform us.
May our hearts be changed so that we are willing and able to respond to our persecutors with love.
Listen to the song of the day “Salvation” by clicking HERE.
Sample and/or purchase my songs on iTunes by clicking HERE.
Remember…God loves you!