Yesterday I watched “Where Was God” a facebook live presentation at the Martyrs Memorial in Bartlesville, OK, in which three people were honored by the sacrifice of their lives: a father, son, and daughter. They gave their lives in 2014 in Afghanistan when their home was invaded by those who hated Christians. The father was killed on the main floor while the two teenage children were listening upstairs, knowing what was probably coming to them. Yes, they too, were shot and mutilated. The mom had been called to the hospital earlier that day to work on what was normally her day off. I can’t imagine what she came home to. What a shock!
If you would like to watch, here is a link to the facebook podcast of the memorial service for Werner, Rodé and Jean-Pierre Groenewald onto the Martyrs Memorial in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Like many, I was moved to tears thinking about this horror. Their only crime was sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. Last Sunday I heard the first part of the mother’s story. Today, I heard the second part. What can I say? Here are links to the radio podcast of Hannelie’s story in two parts.
Have Faith and Not Fear.
I’ll See Them Again Soon
I may not ever be asked to take that road. You may never be asked to go down that road either. So what does this story have to do with me, with you, as believers. What does martyrdom mean for my life, this Sunday afternoon, or Monday morning when I get up to go about my day? What about you? What is your life going to be like today, tomorrow as a result of this?
1 John 3:16 says, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
Let us daily give our lives to our Savior. Let us lay down our lives for Him. He is worth every minute of our lives. Remember, when we do it for another person, we are doing it for Him.
Let’s not wait for the one time that most won’t face. Let’s lay it down every day in small or big ways thinking of others above ourselves. Setting aside our interests to help someone else. All for Christ’s sake.
It might take a few minutes of your time or a whole lot. Whatever it is, it is for our Lord Jesus Christ. And He is worth every minute of our time. Every effort we make.
It is in the daily humdrum of life, the ordinary days that we are to lay down our lives. We tend to look at the crisis situations which may or may not come as the time to lay down our lives. It is in the ordinary life that we live and have opportunities to lay down our lives for someone else. However, Jesus asks us to set aside our lives, deny ourselves, take up our cross (to remind us of Romans 6:3-4) and follow Him.
Denying ourselves and allowing Him to live through us. Setting aside our rights to run our lives to allow Him His rightful place of authority. Only when we take our correct place as a servant can He have His rightful place as Lord. Our lives are not our own, we have been bought with a price. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
I think we call Him Lord Jesus, but don’t really think about that title and what it means. It is a religious title we use. That title is His rightful title, but it can only be correctly used by each of us if we take the place of a servant.
Quote - Not until we take the place of a servant can he take his place as Lord. He is not calling us to devote ourselves to his cause; he is asking us to yield ourselves unconditionally to his will. Are you prepared for that? Normal Christian Life by Watchman, Nee Tyndale House Publishers, pg. 148.
This daily denying of ourselves and reminding ourselves that we died with Christ is the road to a victorious, joyful life. It may be hard to comprehend, but His word does not lie. Being His servant is the best place of all!
Will you join me in thinking of ways we can lay down our lives for others and in so doing lay them down for Jesus Christ this week?
Words to light your path
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Lord Jesus, help us to take the proper place as your servant so that You can be our Lord. May we count it a privilege to give any time and any effort to serve you by serving others.