WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30
“Father, forgive them;
for they know not what they do…”
The word “saint” signifies holiness and righteousness. A saint is one whom God sanctifies because He has made him righteous through Christ. He is first justified before God by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There are many characteristics that we can use to describe a saint. One may say he is a sinner saved by grace! In these two verses we have two descriptions which remarkably identify Stephen as a saint of God.
Ready to die: Being saved by grace through faith, Stephen had full trust and confidence in the salvation that Christ wrought for him. Therefore, he was ready to depart from this wicked and evil world the moment God called him home. “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Rev 14:12-13). He was not desperate to leave this world behind but he was mindful of and longing for that final place where the Lord has prepared mansions for His children.
Ready to forgive: Another amazing characteristic portrayed here is the heart to forgive. Stephen prayed just as his Lord and Saviour prayed, to “lay not this sin to their charge” (Acts 7:60). Jesus said, “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you” (Luke 6:27-28). Jesus, in the prayer He taught His disciples, said, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matt 6:12). If we are people who bear hatred and grudges in life, we must check our own salvation and Christian life if truly we have experienced the forgiveness of God in our lives. No true believer can deny that we are forgiven of the great debt that we owe Him because of our sins and transgressions.
Are you ready to forgive? Do you acknowledge that you are forgiven of your sins only through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ?
THOUGHT: Am I washed by the blood of the Lord Jesus?
PRAYER: Father, help me to forgive others as Thou hast forgiven me.