Am I In The Place Of God? (V)
WE shall be looking at the life of Stephen in order to reveal God’s mind to you on forgiveness.
Testimonies abound of people whose challenges changed for the better because of obedience to God’s instructions on forgiving their offenders.
Stephen, a martyr, was a man after God’s heart. He was one of seven deacons chosen by the Apostles for administrative purposes when their responsibilities became increasingly demanding. He was also one of few courageous Christian leaders who would not allow the gospel to suffer.
Stephen was a man full of God’s grace and power. He manifested the goodness of God through signs and wonders. He was a blessing to his generation. His lifestyle equally attracted opposition and persecution. “Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, form the members of the synagogue”-Acts 6:8-9. False witnesses were stirred up against him. This led to his arrest.
As Stephen was being persecuted, he looked up to heaven. He saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at His right hand. This experience was only possible because he did not regard their wicked act in his heart. The Bible says in Matthew 5:8: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see the Lord.” Stephen’s pureness helped him catch a glimpse of Jesus and the glory of God.
He cried out in agony as he was being stoned to death, that the Lord would not hold the sin against them. This is amazing. How many people can utter such statement at the point of death? This is a great lesson to us all.
Therefore, husbands forgive your wives and vice versa. Parents forgive your children; children forgive your parents, religious leaders should forgive one another etc. Leave vengeance to God.