Topic: Look Up To Heaven
[DCLM Daily Manna 15 July 2019 Daily Devotional by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi]
Text: Acts 7:54-60 (KJV)
Key Verse: “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55).
It is better to incur the world’s hatred by testifying against its wickedness than gain its goodwill by going down the stream with it. Stephen’s life and martyrdom are worthy proofs of that great worth. Identification with God is better than friendship with the world. No one ever looked up to God and gets defeated, even in the toughest of all situations.
Stephen testified boldly of Christ before the Sanhedrin, condemning their crucifixion of Him Whom God approved. This led to his becoming the first martyr of the Christian Church. Here was an instance of the outrage and fury of the persecutors and of the courage and comfort of the persecuted. Here was hell in its fire and darkness, and heaven in its light and brightness.
Stephen knew there was no comfort in the Jewish council, nor any prospect of justice at their hand. So, he set his eyes intently on heaven and sought justification there. When they were cut to the heart and gnashed upon him with their teeth, he had a view of the glory of Christ sufficient to fill him with joy unspeakable. The heavens were opened to give him a view of the happiness ahead.
When dangers threaten us, when men threaten us, we should learn to fix our eyes on heaven’s glory. Stephen ignored his persecutors’ malice and cruelty; rather, he looked up to heaven for joy and divine assurance. Instead of looking about him, for a way of escape, he looked up to heaven for help. We may also see the glory of God during life’s challenges if we manifest such a right attitude. Such revelation as Stephen had will carry us through sufferings and death.
Thought For The Day: The more our gaze on heaven, the less our pain on earth.
The Bible In One Year: 1 Chronicles 9–11