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      But he [Stephen], full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55-56

Dear Lord Jesus, this scene doesn’t just record the cost of Stephen’s discipleship, it also reveals the extravagance of your care and love for us, your people. With stones bouncing off his brow, Stephen saw you standing at the right hand of the Father—rising for the very occasion of Stephen’s greatest challenge and forthcoming death. Indeed, you are the Good Shepherd, who cares so faithfully for your lambs even from heaven.

May this story supplant every wrong notion I’ve ever had about you “sitting at the right hand of the Father.” Your “sitting” doesn’t speak of passivity or inactivity. On the contrary, you are “sitting” as one in session—as the One already enthroned as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

When you completed your work of redemption for us on the cross, then and only then did you take your seat at the right hand of God the Father, celebrating the victory of your cry, “It is finished” (John 19:30). And since that time all of your enemies are becoming your footstool, as your kingdom advances in time and space (Heb. 10:12-13).

Lord Jesus, forgive me for ever thinking that you’ve forgotten about me, don’t really care about me, or have even abandoned me. I confess that sometimes—especially when life seems the hardest, most unfair, most lonely, and most broken, I entertain these foolish, unfounded, disbelieving notions.

Holy Spirit, please do the same work of grace in us that you effected in Stephen’s life. Open the eyes of our hearts to see more of Jesus. Let us see “heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56), no matter if the sky is filled with ominous dark clouds, or if the sky is totally cloudless and Carolina blue. Just let us see Jesus, and it will be enough. So very Amen I pray in Jesus’ exalted trustworthy name.



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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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