“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.
I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
As I read these words they hit me straight in the heart, especially considering the shootings in Oregon that happened yesterday. Paul has been preaching and sharing the Word of God for years now, and has faced persecution time and again, yet he remains faithful to the calling God has placed on his life.
Can I do that? Can I do this? Paul will eventually be martyred, I know this, but not before his life and testimony are used to speak before the leader of the world in his time. Yet he doesn’t hesitate, knowing the cost, he doesn’t hesitate.
How often do I hesitate?
People died yesterday, one by one they were asked if they served Christ, and then they were killed. They knew they would be killed for their answer, yet they still proclaimed Christ.
Would I do the same?
We are not all called to me martyred, we are not all called to be full time preachers or missionaries to foreign lands, but we are all called.
We are all called to share the love and gospel of Christ.
No matter what we must sacrifice.
We in America are not often asked to sacrifice much, sometimes it is a job, sometimes it is a lifestyle, sometimes it is a reputation, very rarely are we asked to sacrifice our very life.
How can we come to a place where we are willing, every day, to lay aside our own desires for the cause of Christ?
Because that is the kind of faith that will change the world.
I don’t know about you but I crave to have that kind of faith, that kind of deep down in your very cells faith, that kind that has come to a place where what I want is what God’s wants because I have become so very like Him.
But how do we get there?
Maybe we are already on our way.
After all, who you spend time with is who you become like. So as we spend this time in the Word I hope and pray that we all find our very cores coming to know Him better, and love Him more. And maybe, just maybe, as every day comes we find that what we want matches His heart even more.
So today, as I read Pauls words, as I pray for the families who have lost loved ones, I am humbled and I worship. I pray that the words of the testimony of these who have laid down lives for Christ will reach farther than we could even dream. I pray that my own words strengthen with the cause of Christ. I pray for further understanding that we are all called.
I pray we answer the call of Christ.
And I rejoice with tears over those who stood and said yes, Yes, YES!
Yes I am a Christian.
I pray for you today, for me today, for all of us, that in the face of anything and everything, we say yes to Christ.
Joy Aletheia Stevens
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