Monday, September 10, 2012

If Martyrdom Returns

Romans 8:36
Psalm 44:20-22
1 Corinthians 9:23-27
When we look around at the society we live in, we seem fairly safe in our faith. It doesn't seem that anyone is about to kill us for what we believe. But that could easily change, very quickly, so it's worth asking whether you are prepared to die for your faith in Christ. It's worth praying even now for God's grace to choose martyrdom if asked someday to do so.
Our life on this earth is incredibly short and most of the time we don't even realize it. We think 70 years (Ps 90:10) is a decent length and forget how short it is compared to the 6000 or more since Adam and Eve were created. Even easier to forget is the length of eternity. So much of what we do during our lifetime will not last or make a difference in eternity. We cling to this life even though we will lose it soon regardless of what we do. We make a big deal out of prolonging life for a few years or maybe just a few months while forgetting the things that will affect our eternity. Life is good and protecting it is extremely important. But we still need to keep it in perspective: God is better and living (and dying) for Him is more valuable than anything else. I hope and pray that if I am faced one day with martyrdom, I will remember how short my life will be regardless of my choice and how precious the gift of faith is both in this life and in eternity to come.
We are not at this moment facing martyrdom "as sheep for slaughter", but it has happened many times in the past and could very well happen again. If it returns during my lifetime, may I remember how short my life will be anyway in comparison to eternity and may I have God's grace to choose the life of martyrdom rather than rejection of all I believe in.

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