59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:60
Warning: today’s devotional will probably require some gut-wrenching thinking
Stephen’s story is similar to others who were in his situation. Nearing death, he (and others) see what none of us have ever seen. It’s truly a glimpse into the next realm.
Millions of Christians have been maimed, beaten, raped, tortured, and martyred through the years because they believed in Jesus Christ. In fact, as you read this, those kinds of actions are being committed against Christians around the world in a variety of countries.
We are sheltered from these atrocities. If we wanted to, we could find hundreds if not thousands of these cases online. But unfortunately, we insulate and isolate ourselves from the true evil.
It’s true we only have 24 hours a day and can only do so much because of work, family, church, etc etc etc. And many have great ministries within those institutions.
A few days ago I asked for prayer for my brother. He has lung and brain cancer, and the prognosis is not good. When you’re this close to someone who is dying, you tend to think about the more serious things in life. What’s it all about? Why am I here? What am I doing in my spare time? How can I affect change as just one person? What’s heaven like? What’s hell like? Why am I here? How can I make a difference?
For me, it’s a time of self-evaluation. Where are you at right now?