[When Stephen told the Jewish leaders that he saw the Son of Man at God's right hand,] they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul.
— Acts 7:57-58 NLT
Nearly all of us who drive cars know the embarrassing and sometimes terrifying realization that we are driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Later, Saul made a complete U-turn away from persecuting Christians and then appreciated grace so deeply because he realized how terribly wrong he had originally been about Jesus, Stephen, and the early disciples. Saul apparently was in charge of this makeshift mob stoning Stephen to death because they laid their coats at his feet. The violence he advocated against Stephen and other disciples (Acts 8:3, 9:1-2) hung in his memory the rest of his life. Something about witnessing Stephen's faith in Jesus and forgiveness of his accusers opened a place in Saul's heart for Jesus' grace to reach him. That grace would later lead Saul, who became known as Paul, to turn completely and re-align his life with Jesus. The persecutor became the persecuted. The murderer became the martyr. The hate-monger became the grace-giver. Such is the power of Jesus!
O Father, may my heart be ever-pliable to you and your will for my life. Because Saul, the persecutor, allowed his heart to be changed to become the apostle of grace, I know you can make me more than I can ask or imagine. I believe that the same Spirit who was present for Saul also works with power in my life, so I offer my heart to be used, re-aligned with Jesus, and sent into the world to make a difference. Please use me for your glory. I ask this, O God, in Jesus' name. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Ephesians 3:12-21
- 1 Timothy 1:12-17
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Tuesday, April 19, 2022
About This Devotional
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.