Acts 7:54-60 New International Version (NIV)
The Stoning of Stephen
54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 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.
I was and am dismayed over the brutal murder of journalist James Foley at the hands of ISIS terrorists. I did not watch the video, nor did I want to, but I have seen the photo of Mr. Foley kneeling ever so bravely at the side of his cowardly masked killer, easily showing us who was the man of strength and integrity, and just plain manliness. It reminded me of the martyrdom of Stephen. For him, Jesus stood to receive him into His kingdom. I'd like to think my Lord did the same for James Foley. As He did to His own Son, Jesus, sometimes God calls for His children to be very brave and sometimes His children answer that call.
Back's Against the Wall - Judah & the Lion