Selfless Love

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Today's reading: Acts 7:56-60

In Acts 7:56-60, Stephen is unjustly stoned for proclaiming Christ. Yet even in his final moments on earth, his actions and words glorify God.

Today as I read this passage, I tried to visualize this scenario of Stephen literally being beaten to death with stones. It wasn't pretty. In fact, it was pretty awful. What a brutal, slow and painful way for Stephen to die. Yet as his life is draining from him, he continues to boldly proclaim Christ and demonstrate God's love by asking God to forgive the very people who are executing him.

"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" (vs. 60).

What did God impress on your heart about forgiveness through this passage? What does Stephen's example of forgiving his executioners reveal about our need to forgive? Tami

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Forgiveness isn't confined to the convenient, or doing so when it feels right. Forgiveness is to be radically and generously given, just as it has been radically and generously given to us.

In Matthew 5:43-48 and Luke 6:26-28 Jesus straighten us out when he said we were to love our enemies and gave us specifics on how to do that. One of the specifics was to pray on behalf of, as a representative of our enemy, just as Jesus does for us. For myself before I can "do the love", I must forgive, no longer hold them accountable, by accepting Jesus' blood as full and complete substitutionary payment for the trespasses against me. The Father's need for justice needed to be satisfied and was. Likewise, my need for justice must be satisfied and is by the same means, Jesus' death on the cross.

Stephen's speech pointed to the rebellious nature of the Jews all through their history, yet God continued to work with them. Even as he was stoned, Stephen prayed for the forgiveness of his murderers. Do I forgive like that? What an awesome example he is.

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About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

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I'm passionate about engaging God's Word! And my blog is about just that--giving you opportunities to receive, reflect on and respond to Scripture. Each day you'll find a short passage as well as thoughts, challenges and application questions for you to think about and respond to. I look forward to interacting with you and learning together, so post comments as often as you'd like. You can even sign up to get the blogs delivered to your inbox each day!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Tami W published on September 12, 2016 3:25 AM.

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