“While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ Then he fell on his knees and cried out, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ When he had said this, he fell asleep.”
As we read today’s chapter, we want to jump in and rescue Stephen. We know God could have. Yet, He didn’t. God used Stephen in His bigger plan. Stephen was the first martyr for Christ which in turn was used as a catalyst for the global mission of the Church. As Saul of Tarsus stood and watched a man willing to die for Jesus, the impact of Stephen’s death carried into Paul’s(Saul’s) own ministry when he, in turn, was converted and shared the gospel whole-heartedly often risking his life as did his example Stephen. As Paul tells us in I Cor. 15:58, whenever we give ourselves fully for Christ regardless of the cost, we can be assured that it is not in vain.