“Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”

And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he  had  said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:59–60, ESV)  On this, the last day of the year of our Lord, 2021 A.D., are you carrying any unforgiveness into the New Year? Let us let go of anything that we have in our heart and not just forgive but pray boldly for God to move in a powerful way in the lives of the one(s) against whom we had been holding on to an offense.  Stephen did not have skin and bones and muscles that could withstand the pain of the rocks with which he was being killed. He hurt in the same way you and I would have in those circumstances – YET he looked not out at the ones harming him but up and trusted the Lord Jesus to receive him and prayed – WHILE BEING STONED TO DEATH – for God to forgive the ones stoning him. The ones who were totally in the wrong in stoning him.  May we receive the grace God has already poured out upon us that allows us to take such a bold and faithful look to him for being with us and receiving us and for forgiveness of those who seek our harm. Lord help us. Amen. 

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