“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” – Job 8:21

Martyr?

     Lately I’ve been reading an incredible book called Jesus Freaks: Martyrs by DC Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs.  It recounts dozens of stories about people who have been so passionate for Jesus that they were willing to suffer tremendously rather than deny his name.  They followed God even when they knew with almost absolute certainty that they could pay for it with their lives.

     These stories provoked a few questions: What would I do if I were put in the same situations as the martyrs in this book?  Would I endure torture and death before I would deny Jesus?  As I read on about countless believers, I came to realize that I would.  God is the center of my life.  Without Him I am nothing.  I would much rather identify with Him in death than continue without his help in life.

    Coming to this conclusion, I realized what that means for the rest of my life.  If I would go so far as to die for Christ, to give him what is often considered the highest expression of my love, then I should also be willing to live out that passion every day.  If in twenty years I am called to be a martyr for Jesus, my love and devotion to Him should not be any different than my devotion to him as I sit in the classroom or at work talking with my co-workers.  I will not sugarcoat my convictions or my faith in Jesus Christ as my savior just to avoid being called weird.  How is that any different than relenting against persecutors in a foreign country when being pressed to deny Jesus?  Not fully living out everything I profess to believe in is hypocritical and is not all that different than denying my faith.

     When I see an opportunity to tell someone about what God has done for me, what’s to stop me!  Fear of what they might think?  Hey, if I’m willing to die for Jesus, it seems pretty ridiculous that I wouldn’t be willing to lose someone’s good opinion of me when I share the Gospel!  That’s what it means to live out my passion for God – submitting my life to be used by him in every way, not shirking from the opportunities he gives me.

     I recently came across an amazing verse which clearly sums up this entire post in just a few words.  It’s Acts 20:24 and it says, “My life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love.”

     Would you die for Christ’s name?

     Then answer a more difficult question – will you live for His name?

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