But being full of the Holy Spirit, [Steven] gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
Steven was about to become Christianity’s first martyr, stoned to death for preaching Jesus as the Christ. His bold witness leaves behind Acts 7:55 as a convicting statement that encourages us to live our lives as passionately as Steven did.
But being full of the Holy Spirit…
You and I need to strive for this. If you died today, would you be described as one “being full of the Holy Spirit?” Steven didn’t view his relationship with the Lord as a ticket to heaven. He understood it as a lifechange. You and I must learn to be so ingrained in prayer, Scripture, and the fruit of the Spirit, that no one is able to doubt our relationship with the Lord.
Steven gazed intently into heaven…
Where do you turn first when the stones begin to hit you? Where do you turn for comfort and for affirmation that you’re doing the correct thing? Steven looked strait towards heaven. One can only imagine the affect this must have had on those watching his death. I wonder if this is what later inspired Paul to write, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses, surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…” (Hebrews 11:1-2).
And saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
If you intend to live a life filled with the Holy Spirit today… If you intentionally look towards heaven in your darkest hour, I promise that you will find the full glory of your Heavenly Father. Beside the Lord, you will find Jesus, standing to offer you peace, encouragement, and the overwhelming joy of knowing that you are His child.