Dying for a Belief??? 2015-63
How many of us would be willing to die for our beliefs in Jesus Christ? Not many, I would think. That would be a drastic act — to commit oneself for a belief, such as saying, “I believe in God; enough that I will die for this belief”.
Many, of the Apostles did so. It is not important how they died, but the fact they WERE willing to die for their faith/belief. I really do NOT believe they would die for something they did not firmly believe in and something they knew was not absolutely true or more so, just a blatant lie.
Did the Apostles witness, first hand, the resurrection of Jesus Christ? If not, would they have been willing to die the gruesome deaths they encountered at the time? Beheading, being crucified, stabbed with a sword, whipped to death, stoned, scourged, and even being boiled in oil (did not work, BTW) are all terrible ways to die, which are the ways they did. Again, all are terrible ways to die, if you thought you were being decimated because of what you believe and KNEW it was not true.
The Apostles WERE willing to die these horrible deaths, they did refuse to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ, and they stated to all that they witnessed the crucifixion and later the resurrection of the man named Jesus Christ, who was their Rabbi teacher. That is faith!!!
Putting your life on the line for what you believe in. Wow, that is more than just using a word to say that one has faith in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. That is commitment!
I would hope that if I was about to be put to death for what I believe in, that I could have the courage to tell my executioner that I am a believer and why. I cannot say I could, just saying I hope I could. I truly hope I am never but to the test, but if there was no way out, no hope for being pardoned, and a foregone conclusion, I do hope I have the guts to tell the one about to commit the act that I believe in God, the one God of the Universe, before the end occurs.
On the other hand, how many of us are ready and willing to LIVE for Jesus Christ? I mean, REALLY live for Him! That is also a scary type thought, is it not? To commit oneself to Christ and to carry His cross, and to proclaim the fact that – you not only believe in Him, but are ready to live the life of submission to Him! Wow, that would be something! I do NOT go to church ALL the time. I do NOT always stay at church when I attend; contribute to the community things that are available there ALL the time. I have NOT totally committed myself to Jesus Christ in my way of living, ALL the time.
To do so, is a commitment to living the life of being a follower of Jesus Christ as a disciple of Christ. That takes work. That takes again, commitment! Not many of us are willing, able or inclined to do so. Once more, living for Christ is something that most of us are not ready to do; simple as that. We can say we do, or are trying, but are we?
We have our daily lives to live. Our soccer games to attend, our parties to go to, basketball or baseball games to go watch, etc. We are not ready to spend our lives living for Jesus and that is the way it is today. We are not prepared to spend the time that other members of groups take to be totally committed. We are not Monks, Friars, or other type reclusive members of religious societies that do have the time to do the things they do, in the name of Christ. Somehow, I think God knows this.
We, (and I actually mean ME when I say that) could do more though. I could take the time to do many things that God would like me to do. I wrote about the Disciplines that can be done. Richard Foster wrote a book “Celebration of Discipline” that gives some guidelines to follow that would REALLY make God and Jesus Christ, happy if we applied ourselves and did them. I have them in this blog site and included them in a summery way that I posted in December. I offer them to you, again to read, and in the reading, perhaps try some of them out. These do not require you to stand on your head while you recite the Lord’s Prayer or other strange things, but instead are very simple things to start or continue to do. (See Posts 2014-15 through 2014-27)
God will love you regardless; He loves ALL his children of all races, creeds, religions, and beliefs. He LOVES to hear from you (that is praying of course) and if you listen, you MAY hear from Him too. Try it out, and don’t give up, try again.
Thank you for your time!