The Heart of a Missionary
Hearts of Compassion
Scripture Reading: Acts 7:54-60
Key Verse: Acts 7:60
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.
Stephen was a missionary. He probably was not thought of as that, but he accepted his mission from his Lord. Stephen was chosen to serve tables for the widows (Acts 6:5). This was not exactly glamorous “missionary” work, yet God was using him in a big-time way. Along Stephen’s journey, God opened an opportunity to speak to a large gathering of Jewish officials and laymen. His speech was so anointed by God’s Holy Spirit that it deeply convicted this crowd of their spiritual blindness. Instead of repenting, they turned on Stephen and started throwing stones at him. As they were stoning him, he cried out: “…Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Wow! What a generous and compassionate heart for lost people!
How do you react when people “act out” in sinful ways? How would you react if their evil behavior hurt you? I believe it would take God’s powerful grace in us to react as Stephen did. I want that kind of heart for lost people! I want to feel compassion for them rather than disgust when they “act out” in evil ways! That is hard. A missionary’s heart understands that sinners are going to act like sinners! We must ask God to help us look beyond their behavior and see their need for a Savior!
Father, give me a missionary’s heart. May I live out your love and compassion every day for those that are far from you. In Jesus’ name, amen.