Daily Devotional for Sunday September 25, 2005
Why was Jesus Standing - Part II
(Acts 7:54-60, 8:1)
I have always been intrigued by the 55th and 56th verses in the 7th Chapter of Acts that tells about the stoning of Stephen. In those verses, it tells us that Jesus was "standing" at the right hand of God. Not once, but twice for emphasis. The reason these verses have always challenged me is because they are the only verses that say Jesus was "standing." Every other reference to Jesus after His ascension have him SITTING at the right hand of God. Mark 16:19; Luke 22:69; and Ephesians 1:20 all have Jesus "sitting." So I began to ask God why Jesus was standing. Yesterday, I shared with you the first two reasons the Holy Spirit showed me, here is the third reason and the powerful conclusion to this message as well as a challenge for your life.
The third reason Jesus was standing was to welcome His servant Stephen into Glory! When you are at a football game and your team scores a touchdown, what do you do? YOU STAND AND CHEER! When you are at a baseball game and your team hits a home run, what do you do? YOU STAND AND CHEER! When you are at a basketball game and your team scores the winning basket, what do you do? YOU STAND AND CHEER! Jesus stood and cheered His servant Stephen as he defended Christ and welcomed him into Glory!!!
In concluding this message, I want to challenge you today. The goal of every follower of Christ is to make Jesus proud of us. If you want Jesus to be proud of you, act like Jesus. A doctor is proud of his child when that child follows in his footsteps and becomes a doctor. A businessman is proud of his son or daughter when they choose to follow in his footsteps and take over the family business. JESUS IS PROUD OF HIS CHILDREN WHEN THEY CHOOSE TO FOLLOW IN HIS FOOTSTEPS! If you want Jesus to be proud of you, act like Jesus!
Right before he died, the Word tells us that Stephen cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." Now, most people would have been cursing those who were unjustly killing them, or pleading for their life, or even cursing God for allowing such injustice. But with Stephen's last breath he was asking God to forgive those who were killing him. Who else did that? Of course it was Jesus, on the cross just moments before He died asking God to forgive those who were crucifying Him. Jesus was proud of Stephen because he acted like the Master! My challenge to you today is to make it your goal for Jesus to be proud of you. The way to do that is to act like Jesus!
I love you and care about you so much. I don't know about you, but the account of Stephen's martyrdom challenges me. You see, my goal each day is to try to be more like Jesus. I never forget for a minute what Jesus did for me and what He has brought me through. I serve Him because I love Him. I serve Him because I want to please Him. I serve Him because I want Him to be proud of me. I serve Him because all of those years I served myself He never left me. I serve Him because all of those times I rejected Him He never rejected me. I serve Him because when I had nowhere else to turn He was there for me.
I serve Him because I was once blind but now I see. I serve Him because I was once bound by sin but now I am free. I serve Him because it is not me that lives, yea it is Christ that lives in me. I don't live for earthly rewards but for Heavenly crowns. I don't live to please man but to please the Master. I don't care about the applause of people only the cheers of the angels in Heaven. My greatest desire when my life is over is to see Jesus STANDING and hear Him say, "well done thou good and faithful servant."
I will be praying for you today. Praying that you will take this challenge to make Jesus proud of you by acting like Him. Praying that your ultimate goal in life is to please our Lord and that like He did for Stephen, have Jesus STAND and welcome you into Glory!!!