We are talking about Stephen (Acts Chapter 7) today folks. Why you might ask?? Because I can't shake him. I have tried but I SOAP'd on Act 7:60 today and ever since them I can't get the dude off my mind. Therefore, I can only assume I am supposed to put him on yours.
So, there he was getting stoned to death ...
STONED to death! Is it just me or does this paint the most awful picture in your head?! The guy is getting beating to death with rocks because of his love of the Lord.
I have had to ask myself what I would be thinking or more accurately, praying if I were in his shoes.
"Lord, please make this stop!"
"Lord, please make me numb!"
"Lord, please make this quick!"
I would be begging for relief for sure. I mean if you were surrounded with people beating you with rocks wouldn't you?
But not Stephen. No dear Stephen prayed for his persecutors. He prayed for the guys holding the rocks. He prayed for those inflicting his gruesome pain. Talk about "others oriented." No, I think this goes far beyond that.
The bible says he was FILLED with the Holy Spirit. Completely. Filled.
Which in hindsight seems obvious. I mean is there truly a person out there with a heart for others like that? That through their pain and torment can pray for their tormenters. I mean sure we can pray for our enemies but the question is can we pray for them while they are attacking us?
I don't know about you my friends but my prayer is that I can be FILLED with the Spirit as Stephen was. That my heart can be so filled with love for others that my own troubles are minimized and irrelevant. That my hurts are not because I am being attacked but because my attackers don't know the love of the Lord or that its worth is far more then everything in this world combined. More then our minds are able to comprehend. I pray that I am so filled with the Spirit that God's love shines through to those not even aware of what they are missing.