After Stephen made his defense before the religious council, his accusers were furious, and they all rushed at him and dragged him out of the city to stone him to death. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he said this, he fell asleep. It is sad that the religious leaders did not listen to the message of Stephen. They could have received the forgiveness of sin and eternal life if they had listened and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. Although Stephen was killed, he stood in his faith until the end and did not have bitterness toward his accusers but prayed for them. Stephen knew where he was going after his life was over on this earth. He saw Heaven opened up and our Lord Jesus standing at the right hand of God. (Acts 7:54-60).
Death is not the end of us as believers, but it is the wonderful and fantastic beginning to live in the very presence of our God the Father. And the only requirement to get to Heaven is to put our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Putting our faith in our Lord Jesus means to completely surrendering our life to Him. And death will happen to all of us according to the purpose and plan of God in our lives. So if God controls our life and time on this earth, we must live for Him to get the best of our lives on this earth.
Stephen lived his life to the fullest by living for our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a lie from Satan to think that living for ourselves and the things of this world will give us peace and joy. Our God is the only one who can give us joy and peace. His way will lead us to life, but the ways of this world will lead us to despair and destruction.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through carefully and meditate on the questions while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speak to you) What is the only requirement to get to Heaven? Do I have confidence that I will go to Heaven if I die today? Why? How should I live knowing God controls my time on this earth?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you for the promise of eternal life to those who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I acknowledge that you control my time on this earth, and please help me to live for you for the rest of my time on this earth. Please help me to surrender my life to you and enjoy this life living for you and serving you. In Your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.