“I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
I had a dream in which my daughter was being persecuted for her faith in Jesus. From a distance I observed the intense, verbal assault and was unable to intervene.
I wondered how any human being could stand up in such a situation and what a Christian can focus on at such a time. Then the words of John Piper came to mind: “Calvary is the blazing center of the glory of God.” As I saw the cross, the intense abusive situation of my daughter became small. My heart went out to her, and I wanted her to focus on the cross and see Jesus.
Acts 6 and 7 tell the story of Stephen, one of the early church leaders. The Bible says he was “full of God’s grace and power.” But he was persecuted for his faith. After giving a wonderful testimony, he was eventually stoned to death, becoming the first recorded Christian martyr. As he was dying, Stephen said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Then, a short time later, he said, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”
Stephen was able to focus on the risen Lord Jesus even at this very difficult time. Could we maintain our focus on Jesus Christ at times when our own lives may be at stake? Pray that we can, for the Lord is with us.
Lord, may we at all times keep our focus on you so that, like Stephen, we can be inspired and have the power to stand faithfully to share the good news of your salvation. We pray in your name, O risen Lord. Amen.
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