The Cost of being a Christian….Martyrdom

Today’s Devotional/discussion thought:

 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last— salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth— the one who accuses them before our God day and night. 11  And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.   Revelation 12:10-11 (NLT)

     I will grant that you behave properly… But, allow me to speak sincerely. You must admit that you are doing things in such a leisurely way that, apart from not being entirely happy, you remain very far from holiness. That is why I ask: Do you really behave properly? Could it be that you have a mistaken idea of what is proper?  (1)

This morning, my sermon is about being a disciple, about being united not just in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, but to be united to His desire that drove him to the cross.

That’s something I think we overlook a little – being united to the cross includes being united to His heart, His soul, His will.  Therefore to the Father’s will as well.

To know and to desire that no one should perish, but that all would come to eternal life.  To desire this so much, that we are willing to give up our lives to see it occur.   Whether that means martyrdom, as is becoming a daily event again in Egypt, and has been the case in so many other places, or whether it means putting to death our normal desires and wants – to see His accomplished.  Will we give up an afternoon of rest to be there for a friend, will we drive a few hours to hold the hand of someone who needs it?  Will we forsake our treasures, our bank accounts, even our families, when God chooses and anoints us to be the one who reveals God’s love to others?  We are called to love others, as Christ loved us…

You see – martyrdom isn’t just physically dying for our faith.  The word means to testify, a testimony of one’s life – what we are willing to die rather than recant.   It means putting others needs first – sacrificing our lives for theirs.

It’s not about our death – it’s about that to which we testify, that to which we witness with our very lives..

I think we, in our comfort, in our lack of external physical threat – forget that we too are called to be martyrs.. to give our life, as the One we are united to, gave His…for us.

A heavy call indeed… yet one we need to respond to…and only can…as we know the love of Christ.

(1)   Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 848-852). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on August 18, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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