And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost. —Acts 6:5
Remember the first martyr, Stephen? He was a man full of faith, wisdom, and power. He was full of the Holy Ghost. The wise men tried to confound him, but could not do it; then they were jealous and wanted to get rid of him. They hired men of the baser sort, who lied about this mighty servant of God.
They arrested him, and there he was before the great assembly. He did not try to defend himself, but he took the opportunity offered to preach to them about Jesus. He was filled with the Holy Ghost. His face was as the face of an angel, and those who swore his life away saw it. He did not look like a liar and a hypocrite. He was a servant of Almighty God.
Sometimes you can see that light today in the faces of God's children. Stephen looked up into heaven and saw the glory of God. He saw Jesus who had risen from the dead, standing at the right hand of God, and he told the people, "Oh, Lord, open the eyes of these people, and let them see the angels of the Lord encamped around about us and Jesus standing in the midst!" When Stephen told what he saw, the evil men gnashed their teeth. They did not intend to repent. They dragged him out and stoned him to death, but the Lord received him and permitted it. God promises His people shall be protected, and it is no sign that He forsakes them because trouble comes. Stephen's enemies did not like it because God received him, nor did they like to see his face shine with the glory of God. His body was lying a bruised mass, but he rose to meet the Lord. He had a glorious vision.
Lord Jesus, I long to see the Father's throne and
You standing there as Stephen did. Amen.