New Beginnings 11.20.21
"As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." He fell to his knees, shouting, "Lord, don't charge them with this sin!" And with that, he died.
Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen." (Acts 7:59-8:1)
The first Christian martyr was Stephen, one of the leaders in the early church. He died with grace and had compassion for those who killed him. But I am interested in the man standing on the sidelines - Saul.
As you know, this Saul later became Paul when He became converted. Yes, the man complicit in the murder of Stephen later became a leader in the church and the author of at least 13 of the 27 New Testament books. The moral to the story: Your past, as bad as it might be, doesn't have to be your future! Through our Lord Jesus, we can become a new person. He forgives our sin (by paying for it on the cross) and calls us to follow Him. If we will do this, there is a new beginning . . . even for those with a sordid past.