The headlines this last week have been gut-wrenching. ISIS ‘Systematically Beheading’ Children in Iraq; Iraq: Hell has broken out here and nobody cares; Christian boy “cut in half” as Islamic State invades Christian town .
The question on everyone’s mind has been, what can we do?
But I would like to add one thing they left out.
I’d like to add a sixth thing we can and should do, not only to help those who are suffering, but also to honor those Christians who have been martyred. In my humble opinion it is the best thing we can do for them.
What is it?
It is to die with them.
I am not talking about mass suicide or even taking up arms. I mean our willingness take up our cross and die with them.
Why would God let this happen?
Let us die to our need to be liked.
Let us die for our need to be normal.
Let us die to our need to stay hidden.
Let us die to our desire to fit in.
Let us die to struggle to keep up with our neighbors.
Let us die to our excuses.
Let us die to self-centeredness.
Let us each and every day take up our cross (whatever that might be) and die. With Jesus. For Jesus. In order to boldly proclaim Jesus.
When we do this we will (in a small way) identify with them. We will remember to pray for them. We will be led to give what we can for them. And we will honor them.
Yes there is persecution of Christians in America…but let’s be honest, no one is going to kill us or our family for talking about Jesus. At the very worst they will give us a cold shoulder. Or maybe make fun of us.
But often that is not even the case. Most of the time a person will listen and talk with us politely. If we are kind to others they are more often than not kind to us.
We must take advantage of this freedom!
This freedom may not always exist. There may be a time when sharing our faith will get us thrown in jail, or put us in danger of violence. And if that happens it will only serve to help us identify with our Christian brothers and sisters around the world who are daily going through the same things. Not to mention it will further serve to help us identify with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the innocent one who suffered brutally on our behalf.
But that time is not here yet.
So let us not waste the time and freedom we have been given. Let us honor the deaths of our martyred brothers and sisters by standing for and, if necessary, dying for the same Jesus they were killed for.
Imagine what our Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq would say to us who live in a country with such minimal threats. What would they have us do with our freedom?
I imagine the saints that have been martyred, who are now in the presence of their King, would say one thing to us…
It was worth it.
Do not hold back, do not be scared. Jesus is with you.
He is worth living for. He is worth dying for.
You will not be disappointed. You will not be ashamed.
He is worth it. More than you could ever imagine.
Jesus is worth it.