May 19, 2022
Forgiveness is Freeing
Acts 7:59-60 (KJV) And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Stephen is another example of godly compassion. Here he is surrounded by hucksters hurling stones at him. What does Stephen do? Stephen loves them anyways. So much so that he prays to God to extend mercy on their souls. This request he lays before God, despite these men’s open hatred for him.
This kind of selfless prayer can speak spiritual volumes to lost-hearted souls.
Finding oneself standing among such undeserved wrath would not lead everyone to offer forgiveness, for wrath often causes a person to lash in anger and scorn.
However, when the grace-filled love of God is at work, tender mercy is available to whosoever, but especially to those who serve and savor Christ, even as a person is standing at the door of their physical death.
Stephen knew that his life was about to end. Even so, he reached out to these men pelting him with stones to offer his love and to ask for the mercy of God upon their souls, just as God did for him when he was unloveable.