“Then he fell on his knees and cried out, Lord, do not hold this sin against them. When he said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:60
Stephen had been brought in for speaking about Jesus to the people. When they asked him about it, he told them the history of Israel and Jesus. He pointed out that they were the ones going against God and killing His anointed one. They immediately started to stone Stephen to death. As he was about to die he asked God to not hold the sin of killing him against the people.
Although the words were different they were the same meaning as to what Jesus had stated as He died on the cross. His words were for the Father to forgive them because they did not know what they were doing. Stephen was asking the same thing in not holding the sin against them.
How many times have you been wronged by a person? As you are being wronged, what are you usually praying? Most people pray that God will strike that person and get them back for the wrong they did. This is the way the world thinks. You did me wrong and now you must pay for it.
Stephen understood what Jesus did for him. He understood the amount of forgiveness he had received from Jesus. He was willing to pass that on to other people. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and was conformed into the character of Jesus.
Think about how much Jesus has forgiven you of. How many times have you did something wrong to Jesus? Yet, Jesus is still willing to forgive you when you come to Him in repentance.
Are you going to hoard that forgiveness to yourself, being unwilling to forgive others? Or will you pass it on by forgiving others?
The world really does not understand what it is doing. They are just doing what their father, the devil, is showing them to do.
Can you be willing to forgive them? Show true love to them. Point them to Jesus and what He has done for them and can do for them. Show them how Jesus can give them a real life.
I pray today that Jesus will protect you from all harm; that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit; that you will be able to forgive as Jesus forgave; that you will love as God loves; and that by your actions and words many will come to Jesus.