Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What Would You Do for Jesus?


Acts 12:1
It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.

Not long ago, a friend of mine sends me the photo above on Facebook.  Thoughtfully, he adds this tag:  "That woman over there, Martha . . . I saw her with Him . . . she's one of His disciples . . . yeah, she has a blog about it, too . . ."

Wow . . .

This is truly the greatest honor I could be given - recognized as a disciple of Jesus by others because this blog holds enough evidence to prove it.

But, what really makes me think is the word "arrested" on the marquis.  I am well aware that Christians in many parts of the world are arrested, persecuted, tortured, jailed, and even killed because of their faith.  I can't imagine the agony and fear, anguish and pain . . .

Yet, they refuse to renounce their belief in their Savior, Christ Jesus.

And, I wonder . . .

What if I found myself in such circumstances?  What would my reaction be?  Would I stand courageously for the Lord I espouse to love, or would I, as Peter did at Jesus' trial, deny Him in order to preserve my own life?

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.  ~Matthew 16:25

This verse comes immediately to mind.  And, I remember, with sadness and bitterness, how bleak and lonely my life was before I asked Jesus into my heart. Without Him, I am nothing.  I owe everything to Him.  I can never repay the sacrifice He made for me on the cross.

And, I realize in an instant what I would do for this Jesus I love.  Who loves me without measure.

I'd lay down my life . . .

~

What are you willing to do for Jesus?

Will you pray with me?
We pray today, Father, for all Christians in the world today who are being persecuted for their beliefs.  Help them to stay firm in the faith.  Let their witness of devotion to Christ Jesus convict and convert the hearts and minds of others.  Amen.

18 comments:

  1. Martha, I love the sign! It really makes one reflect on exactly what they are doing, and do we shine as a child of God? I just asked this question to my children 2 weeks ago. They looked at me like I was crazy LOL. I told them that there may come a time when we have to choose between this world and Jesus and was curious to know what their choice would be.
    As both of my children said they would give their life for Jesus, I can't imagine that point in time where when everyone was against us, how difficult it would be to stand up for our beliefs. Or would it be? I believe that Jesus would not let us down. I believe that He would give us the strength to endure a situation like this. I believe that the Holy Spirit would grab a hold of us and carry us over to the other side. Praise God for all His glory, and may He keep us all strong in our faith! Amen.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by today, Mary, and for leaving such an inspirational comment. What a joy it must be to know that your children are so wholly committed to the Lord!
      And, I'm with you - I believe that whether we are in the world or have passed to the next, Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, is always with us. In these troubling days, I remember how many times Jesus told His disciples to not be afraid. Whom shall I fear if the Lord is on my side?
      Love and blessings to you, my friend!

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  2. Like Mary has mentioned, this question is something that used to torment me earlier. When I read of the persecution of missionaries in communist Russia and China, I was always in a state of fear and uncertainty. Remember I was only four or five but now when I think, it seems that persecution is much better than the temptations that the world offers. This morning my meditation was about grace and sin. I felt that once we realize that grace is not something that can be taken for granted, we find some important questions arise in one's mind - to what extent I can go for my Lord. He will definitely give us the strength, as Mary mentions. I trust him to not let me down and I fervently hope and pray that I don't let him down either.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Susan, and for leaving such a thoughtful comment.
      It is so easy to be frightened of such persecutions when we are young because we simply don't understand why people can be so hurtful and harmful toward others. I think as we mature in our faith, and realize that the Father of Lies has the world by the horns, we understand what Jesus meant when He said we would be persecuted as His followers. As Christians, we are in the world, but not of it, and the world doesn't like that about us.
      And, yes, we should never take God's amazing grace for granted. It is a gift to be treasured; one which will see us through the toughest times.
      Love and blessings, my friend!

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  3. This is a tough question. It makes us think about what it means to be a Christian, and it also makes us think about what we would do to honor our beliefs. Would I claim to be a Christian at the risk of torture? Frankly, I would probably not--I don't think I'm that brave. But would I risk torture to prevent someone else from being persecuted, for any belief? I would like to think I would. Does that make any sense? Hmm. I'm not even sure it makes sense to me. I'll have to ponder this some more.

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    1. Galen, it is a tough question, indeed! Honestly, I've only recently come to this conclusion in my own life. If I'd been confronted with this issue just five years ago, I know I'd be waffling.
      Glad you will ponder this some more, my friend.
      Thanks so much for coming by!
      Blessings and love!

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  4. Often when I hear or tell stories of the Christian martyrs, I'd pause and ask God if He'll give me such grace...I have fears. When we watched I Dialoghi delle Carmelitane, I remembered St. Peter, when Jesus asked him, "Quo Vadis?" I think the Holy Spirit will give us the courage and the strength to stand up for our faith.

    What would I do for Jesus? Remain faithful til the end. I pray for all of us esp. those who are experiencing persecutions right now. May God give them comfort, grace and strength to withstand the difficulties they are facing.

    Lots of love Martha!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Melissa!
      I love what you would do for Jesus - staying faithful til the end! That is what He asks, and it is the very best we can give to Him.
      Thank you so much for praying with me and adding your own beautiful prayer.
      Love and blessings, my friend!

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  5. Hi Martha:
    Like you, my blog holds ALL the evidence I need to prove my recognition of my faith. Not only my blog however. Friends and family would step up as well. My faith is undying and has never been broken.

    Excellent blog today and congrats on being recognized for your blog.
    --
    Chris

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Chris!
      Yes! Your blog is chock-full with evidence of a life lived in faith and trust. It is ever and always such an inspiration to read your words at Wisdom and Life!
      And, thanks for the congrats - it's a good feeling!
      Blessings, my friend!

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  6. This post is a good reminder that our beliefs should be evenly paired with our actions, demonstrated actively and openly in our lives. Great post. :)

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Jessica!
      Oh, yes, faith without works is dead, is it not?
      So glad you liked the post!
      Blessings and love, my dear!

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  7. The fruit of the tree is all the evidence needed to show a life committed to God. Peter's denial of the Christ (3 times) shows the evidence of what type of God we serve...loving, forgiving, and sooooo full of Grace. We humans might be slow to learn but we are completely LOVED;)

    Thoughtful post my dear Martha. Thank you sweet sister.

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    1. Thank you, sweet Leah, for visiting today!
      Yes, we may be slow to learn, but God's love and grace know no end. Thank goodness for that! Where would we be without Him?
      Love and blessings to you, my friend!

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  8. Beautiful. I just love how deep you go into these essential subjects. Thank you so much for sharing your love for the Lord. <3

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    1. Thank you so much for coming by today, Vrndavana!
      I do, indeed, love sharing my love for God. And, if I touch others for Him along the way, all the better!
      Blessings and love!

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  9. I am always in awe of you, Martha. You're one of the truest people I've met (be it virtual). You're heart and words always find a way into my own and gives me a sense of peace. Thank you much...

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    1. Oh, Brenda, more beautiful words of affirmation could not be uttered . . .
      So, so glad that you have a that incomparable sense of peace when you visit here. I know I can never leave your blog without feeling totally inspired and uplifted.
      Love and blessings to you, my friend!

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