Day Of The Christian Martyr

This post was written by one of our church's missionaries. Her name cannot be released as she is in a closed country at this time. Please pray for all foreign missionaries as they spread the Gospel in the darkest corners of the earth.
This Tuesday, June 29, 2021, has been set apart by believers nation-wide to remember the legacy of those who have sacrificed their lives for the sake of the Gospel. From Stephen (Acts 7:54-60), to the apostles, to Jim Elliot, to countless other brothers and sisters in Christ who have been martyred, even in our lifetime.

Jesus laid down His life setting an example that we should walk in His steps; it is by His stripes we are healed (1 Peter 2:21-25). Jesus teaches us that true love is sacrificial love. God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

When one begins to love God, one begins to love what He loves. He loves the nations and Revelation 7:9 tells us that there will be a great multitude of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues standing before the throne and before the Lamb. He desires all to be saved and none to perish (1 Timothy 2:3-7 & 2 Peter 3:9).
Each of us has the Greatest Commandment to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27). We also have the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19-20) along with Acts 1:8 promising power through the Holy Spirit to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and even to the ends of the earth. Each of us has also been given a few short days on this planet that are but a vapor (James 4:14) before we step into eternity and give an account before God.

Let us heed the examples of our brothers and sisters worldwide that have sacrificially obeyed the Lord. We often say things such as “they were martyred for their faith.” The truth of the matter is that it was their obedience stemming from their faith that led them to actions that got their faith noticed by an opposing group of people.

If they had no actions backing up their faith, chances are that their faith could have gone unnoticed. It was their actions of obedience that gave evidence of their faith. Hebrews 11 gives examples of how their faith branched out into actions. It says over and over again “By faith” and then is followed by an action verb. It was their obedience stemming from their faith.
Jesus warns in Luke 14 to count the cost of following Him. Thus meaning that followers of Jesus should be committed to Him even to the highest possible cost understanding that that cost does not compare to our greatest treasure in Jesus (Philippians 3).

Counting the cost plays an important role in our personal surrender to the Lord. May we overflow with joy and love for our Savior knowing that He is so much better than whatever we “give up” to obey Him.

Reflection

-Knowing these truths let us pray together, remembering the prisoners as if chained with them (Hebrews 13:3). 
-Let us praise God for the boldness, sacrificial love and obedience demonstrated by those who have been martyred.
-Let us pray that the Lord will comfort those who have lost a loved one due to martyrdom. 
-Let us pray for the salvation of those who are killing the martyrs.
-Let us ask the Lord to work in our hearts as we remember the legacy of those martyred and as we ask Him the following questions:
-“How can I be sacrificially obedient to You?” 
“What can I lay aside in order to lay up treasures in Heaven?”
 
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33


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