The Joy of a Good Stoning

His pleas were met with harsh anger.

It began with insults, then shouts of condemnation. The mass in one accord rushed him…

Then came the rocks. The first hit only his arm, but hurt none the less. Then a second, and a third, and these turned into what seemed an endless flow of bruising blows, until finally he could no longer keep his footing. He fell to the ground where he died.

Standing behind the crowd, a young man looked on with approval. Satisfied the world was a better place without this menace, he considered how to further the elimination of all those who thought as this one did. His train of thought was broken by an utterance from the man on the ground, what was his dying breath. What he thought he heard he quickly dismissed as just noises from the crowd.

Many years later this now aged man found himself in the course of writing a letter. His friends needed these words. They needed to know what he had learned. He told them, “Bless those who persecute you.” He emphasized the urgency of these words, “When people do you wrong… retaliate with love!”

He removed his pen from the page, sat upright, and wiped the flowing tears from his eyes. The scene returned as it always did. Only, he no longer attributed the words to the crowd. As long as his Lord chose to leave him on this earth, he would ever hear Stephen’s prayer to Jesus, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” (Romans 12 & Acts 7)

*** ~ ***

Jesus said to all those who will follow Him, “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). If the world will once again be turned upside down for Christ, we must get this right. We must remember that while we were eagerly His enemies, He laid down His life for us.

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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9 Responses to The Joy of a Good Stoning

  1. A beautiful reminder, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. May the Gospel so rule our hearts that we stand ever ready to love others as God continues to love us.

  2. >> “love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you”
    This is certainly not the way of the world. If we did this more, Christ would be more evident in the world and the world would be turned upside down.

  3. granbee says:

    Here is what I commented at Christian Blessings on this post:

    Very much needed and most wonderful, to-the-point post today about forgiveness, loving others as He first loved us! We only invited in more shadows drown out His Light from our hearts and minds and souls when we hold grudges and pass judgments on others. We are to discern, not judge. We are to love; it is God’s job to judge.

  4. granbee says:

    Very much needed and most wonderful, to-the-point post today about forgiveness, loving others as He first loved us! We only invited in more shadows drown out His Light from our hearts and minds and souls when we hold grudges and pass judgments on others. We are to discern, not judge. We are to love; it is God’s job to judge.

  5. 4hispraise says:

    What a vivid and sensitive reminder of God’s teaching. Indeed, should we ever cast the first stone; would not others always follow to imitate our foolishness?

  6. ptl2010 says:

    If we can give others the benefit of the doubt more often “forgive them for they know not what they do”, we would be many times better off. Rather than allow other’s actions to control us, let the Holy Spirit control us with peace.

  7. Steven Sawyer says:

    Wow! Great Blog!
    How convicting! I have been churning inside today because of some negative thoughts about several challenging relatives. I need to hear this. Thank you.

  8. writinggomer says:

    Great post! Stephen was truly a model for how we all should behave. As he is dieing he asks God to forgive those who killed him. Impressive, maybe…but maybe not…Stephen could not have done this on his own, but rather he was filled with the Spirit! That is key…that is what we need.

  9. mtsweat says:

    Reblogged this on Resting in His Grace and commented:

    A recent contribution to Christian Blessings…

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