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Tim Locket worked at a company that produced soap. He clocked in every single day on time for 30 years. He said he never missed because he wanted to make sure he earned enough money to take care of his honey—his wife and their four children. Of course, this amazing example of human loyalty pales in comparison to God’s faithfulness. That was the point Stephen made when he was accused of blaspheming God and Moses. In his defense before the high court in Jerusalem, Stephen rehearsed God’s faithfulness to Israel—from God’s call of Abraham until that day. Yet despite God’s blessings and faithfulness, His people had spurned His call for righteousness and justice. They had repeatedly persecuted those God sent to call them to repent. They had even rejected and called for the crucifixion of their long-awaited Messiah. Stephen’s defense was so powerful and his words so biting that the leaders were furious. They shook their fists at him in rage. But he just gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God. He said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” Jesus stood to welcome the first martyr of the Christian faith. Today, Jesus calls each of us, his children, to remain faithful to Him—even if we are mistreated for our faith.

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