Friday, June 16, 2006

What would you do?

I am doing the Beth Moore, Living Beyond Yourself Bible Study, and this week we are focusing on joy. And lately, we've been looking at joy in the midst of suffering and especially looking at Stephen's joy before being stoned and Paul's joy even though he knew that he was going to die for his beliefs. It got me thinking, how would I have responded?

So here's a scenario:
You are awoken from a deep sleep by two men who charge into your house, stand over your bed and with knives in their hands they inform you that you will now be killed because of your Christian beliefs. What thoughts run through your mind? What do you do?

Honestly if that happened tonight, I would most likely do what the Bible tells us not to do.

I honestly think I would plead for my life. I would worry about my Audrey. I would wonder would they hurt her? I would think of all the things I haven't gotten to witness yet, like her first day of school, her High School Graduation and her Wedding Day.
Would you?

Would you pray and ask God to forgive the men that were about to harm you? Or would you you be hoping inside that they don't get away with what they are about to do?

I was talking this over with my hubby while we ate dinner and we talked a little about it. And well, if our lives are truly focused on God, we'd realize that it is a full life we should seek, not a long life. All the things like watching your little girl get married, should fall secondary. We should be so focused on God. That if that scenario did happen, although we may be afraid, we would be comforted and JOYFUL knowing that God would be there through it and He would be who we would be face to face with in a moment.

In Acts 20:17, Paul said, "I consider my life worth nothing to me."
He said, "I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord Jesus." Acts 21:13

Stephen was stoned for his beliefs. When he knew it was about to happen? What did he do? "But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Acts 7:55

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Then he fell on his knees and cried out, Lord do not hold this sin against them." Acts 7:59
And we know who was there at Stephen's death. And we know about his conversion. And Saul who became Paul, look it all that he did for God!!!!!!!

I learned in the New Testament class that I recently finished, that Peter and his wife were both martyrs. Did you know that Peter had to watch his wife's death before he was killed? His last recorded words to her were, "Remember the Lord."

Ignatius who succeeded Peter as the bishop of Antioch received notice of his impending death. This is what he wrote:
"Now I begin to be a disciple. I care for nothing, of visible or invisible things, so that I may but win Christ. Let fire and the cross, let the companies of wild beasts, let breaking of bones and tearing of limbs, let the grinding of the whole body, and all the malice of the devil, come upon me; be it so, only may I win Christ Jesus!"

So, just some food for thought!


Suzy said...

I just love Beth Moore, and just finished the Believing God study. Thanks for sharing your study!

Nellie Bellie said...

It is kinda like looking past your spouse and treating them as if they were Jesus...yes we love our spouse and we want to be with them as long as we can but that is not our focus. My hubby is reading the book of martyrs and it is really opening his eyes to his walk...Thanks for this.