Today’s reading is Acts 7: 41-60
Today we read the last part of Stephen’s sermon. He builds towards the construction of the Temple but then reminds us of the words of the Psalms, God does not live in any house made by human hands, but heaven is His throne and the earth is His footstool. He then tells the religious leaders that they are just like the ones that have stoned the prophets before them. When they killed Jesus, they were doing just as their ancestors did.
That, of course, did not go over well with the religious leaders and at that point, they decide to stone him to death. As he is being stoned, he looks into Heaven and sees Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father.
Stephen had experienced Jesus. None of us want to suffer. Really, none of us do. And the church doesn’t want us to, Christianity has never desired martyrs, we can do more for Jesus living than we can do if we were dead. But, faith will cost us something. It may cost us friends. Status. Popularity. Many things. It cost Stephen his life.
But what we gain is so much more. Life in this age and life in the age to come. Stephen knew that. So, he was unafraid of what it cost him at that point. Because he had gained more than could ever be taken away.
So have we. We have gained so much more. In Jesus, we have life. Never forget that. Always know that. Jesus is life. Now, and in the life to come.
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