Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 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.
by: Dorothy Noel.
How I long to be filled with the Holy Spirit the way Stephen was! He saw Jesus and prayed sincerely while in extreme pain. His words infuriated the Jews, but that was not his intent in speaking. When we pray and witness, our words may produce extreme reactions, but that should not be our goal. Like Stephen, even at the point of death, our words must be spoken solely to the glory of God, in hopes of bringing even our persecutors to know the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.