Acts 7 bring us the stoning of Stephen. I believe Stephen was the first follower martyred for Christ. - I could be wrong, but I don't think I am. Stephen's story elicits several different emotions in me. His total commitment and whole hearted obedience inspire me. His obvious love of God is so clear (did you get that by the use of obvious?). It is truly amazing to me. He's also the epitome of "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:44) as he prays "Lord, do not hold this sin against them" (Acts 7:60) while he is being stoned to death.
As I read this story of Stephen, and read that "the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul." Acts 7:38, I know that one of my favorite parts of the Bible is coming. The story of Saul (Paul) makes me want to jump for joy. Paul is my favorite new testament writer and I love his story. But that will have to wait. I don't want to get ahead of myself.
I did notice something in Stephen's speech in Acts that I hadn't thought about before, but it wasn't about Stephen, it was about Moses. We hear the story of Moses and how he was so hesitant when called by God to go to Egypt and lead the Israelites, but I forget that the Israelites, at least some of them, had already rejected him while he was still living there saying "Who made you ruler and judge" Acts 7:35. Now he's being asked to go talk them into following him when they have already scoffed at him. Made me think about his lack of confidence in a different light.