Monday, August 17, 2015

The Church's First Martyr

Acts 7:55 And he told them, "Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God's right hand!"

Stephen was being stoned to death because of his stand for Christ. He had just witnessed to God's past and present workings amongst God's people. He was a strong follower of Christ and unashamed of it. He was recognized in the church as a godly man and servant of the Lord. He was not popular among those who would not accept Christ as being the promised Messiah.

As he was dying, Stephen looked up to heaven and he saw Jesus. This was the first, and only, recorded instance where we find Jesus standing in heaven. He normally was sitting at His rightful place at the right hand of God on His throne. I believe that the Lord was giving Stephen a standing ovation for being the first martyr of the faith.

I wonder how many of us are being honored in heaven today because of our faith. I wonder how much honor we are being given in heaven. In order to receive honor from the Lord, we must live honorable lives before Him and man. If we live consistently lives of righteousness, it honors the Lord. If we are not ashamed of the Gospel and our Lord and witness for Him whenever we have the chance without regard for the consequences, we are honored in heaven. If we live holy lives, we are being honored in heaven. If we live solely by faith, we are being honored in heaven. If Jesus is Lord of our lives, we are being honored in heaven.

We may not get a standing ovation from the Lord, but we will be greeted at heaven's doors by our Lord and He will say unto the faithful, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter now into the kingdom of your Lord." If the Lord finds us faithful, great will be our reward in heaven.

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