Posted by: William | March 20, 2008

Lives & Words

A discussion I was recently having with some friends reminded me of an important lesson we have to learn from the martyrs.

I recall a story from the early church history in which a woman was brought into the Roman coliseum and tied to a post. Animals were released to devour her. She was fervent in prayer and for the time being, the animals would not touch her. After a good amount of time, the crowds were getting restless and the guards took her down. They slaughtered a cow and gutted it. They shoved the woman into the dead animal and sowed her inside. After some time, the animals were released again and eventually devoured her.

Like many martyr stories from the same time period, several of the Roman guards and many in the crowds were overwhelmed and were brought into Christ that same day.

What I draw from the story today is that our life lived out in the seriousness of the cross of Christ commands attention and, I believe, at many times will even humble sinner’s pride. Like the martyrs who proved their sobriety in their faith, we should live lives that obviously take Jesus seriously; extremely seriously. How can we honestly expect people to believe us when we tell of the glories of Christ and the satisfaction found therein, if our lives aren’t screaming the words?

I’m a proponent of the preached Gospel; I believe that in most relationships, however short, the Gospel should eventually be preached with words. However, our words won’t hold very much value if we’re not constantly preaching with our lives and as we can draw from martyrs, sometimes what we do (i.e., die as one of Jesus’ martyrs) will be more than enough to convince people.

Jesus, help me to take this life with you with the utmost seriousness. Jesus, for the sake of your glory, sanctify your church and help us to live lives that echo your redemption. Strengthen us, Lord.

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