If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind? Why have you made me your mark? Why have I become a burden to you?  Why do you not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity? For now I shall lie in the earth; you will seek me, but I shall not be.” —Job 7:20-21

And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. —Acts 7:59-60

            Here are two men facing death— Job and Stephen.  Both of these men loved our Lord God Almighty and were blameless and upright before Him.  When the possibility of death came upon them they communicated differently.  Job was complaining about his situation while Stephen was asking our Lord to “not hold this sin against them.”  He spoke this as they were stoning him to death!

            When death is near for us, how will we respond?  If a long illness comes upon us before death how will be respond?  We can never know for sure, but let us keep our eyes fixed “on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2) now so we are more apt to keep them fixed on Him when death arrives. 

            Lord willing, when we die may we have those around us who will be an encouragement to us.  Unfortunately Stephen only had those around him who hated him when death drew near, but he actually did keep his eyes fixed on Jesus!  Yes, that is what we are to do!  Job keep his eyes on the Lord as well, but he complained.  May we not complain…

            So let us be doing so now, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, and when death approaches let us keep focusing our eyes on Him.  And if we are with someone who is dying let us encourage them to fix their eyes on Jesus.  “We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5:8).  With this absolute confidence Stephen could forgive those who were killing him with his dying breaths.  Oh, may we have that attitude when death approaches.  Death is only a stepping stone to seeing Jesus!

Dear Father may I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus throughout the rest of my life and then when death approaches may I still keep my eyes fixed on Him until I step over to glory and see Him face to face.  May this be so by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRSGXKsv7IU

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