Standing Firm at the Crossroads of Life


If you’ve walked with Jesus for any length of time, you most likely have hit some crossroads in your faith. Sometimes we choose the road of Peter—declaring our unwavering devotion but then denying Jesus in a hundred tiny ways before our neighbor or co-worker. Or maybe our crossroad is like when Jesus asked the disciples if they wanted to leave him after some teaching that was especially hard. But this time, our response is to stay true, echoing their words, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Today’s passage shows Stephen, a man standing at the end of a crossroad because of his refusal to relent on who Jesus was. How ever did he stand firm?

  • What have been some of your crossroads of faith?
  • How have you responded in those times?


54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 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.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Stephen had just given a stinging rebuke to the Jewish Council, saying that they not only missed the Messiah, but that they killed him. And now, Stephen said he sees Jesus. Contrast the demeanor of the “hearers” of this message (vss. 54, 57) with that of Stephen (vss. 55, 60).
  2. As the situation before the Council and the crowd escalated, how was Stephen able to stand firm?
  3. Make the connection: Who is Stephen equating Jesus with in verses 55-56? Note the response of the Jews in verse 57. Why would this enrage the Jewish leaders?
  4. What evidences of Spirit-filled response under pressure do you see in Stephen (vss. 56, 59-60)?
  5. Stephen stood firm in the power of the Holy Spirit. He entrusted himself to Jesus. Where do you need to stand firm in the power of the Holy Spirit so that your life boldly declares that Jesus is God to those who are watching?


Stephen’s martyrdom would be an unbelievable catalyst for the gospel’s spread. But for this day, the result of his bold, Spirit-led declaration that Jesus is God was death. We read his story and we respect Stephen, but he’s like that phantom super-Christian, and we think, not me, I could never do that. But God calls each one of us to stand firm. Maybe not unto death, but we face crossroads of faith everyday. We have the choice to show integrity and to tell others about the hope of Christ in us. God may not part the heavens to see him, but we share something with Stephen that’s even better—the Holy Spirit inside us. He’s the very presence of God to encourage and empower us, for every crossroad, big and small.

  • Pray that you might begin each day with a fresh yielding to the Spirit who lives within you.
  • Entrust yourself to Jesus. Pray: You alone have the words of eternal life and I run to you; I am yours. Direct my thoughts, attitudes, and actions. Lead me and help me to stand firm at every crossroad I face today.