I read something the other day. I found it interesting and amazing.
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. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)
I’ll skip the preliminary to the part I wanted to share, and simply put what I found interesting.
A pastor was called up to share his testimony. He started by saying he did not want to share for fear of getting any glory to himself, but the group of underground pastors wanted his testimony shared. He told how he was saved and called to preach.
The Russian authorities found out and wanted him to stop preaching or threatened he would lose his job (your jobs are assigned to you in Russia). He refused to quit preaching even though the church could not pay him a salary and he lost his job. At that time he and his wife had three young children. The authorities arrested him and put him in jail four different times and demanded that he deny Jesus and stop preaching.
Each time he refused to deny Christ and pledged his word that he would not stop preaching.
He was arrested a fifth time, and they told him that this time they would make him deny Jesus and quit preaching.
They brought his oldest child in and put her in front of him and told him that if he did not sign that he would deny Jesus and quit preaching, they would literally put hot pokers in both of his daughter’s ears and make her deaf, then they would pull her tongue out and cut it off to make her dumb.
While standing there looking at his daughter, and thinking of the consequence, his daughter looked at him and said “Daddy, don’t you deny Jesus for me.”
He didn’t, and they literally put hot pokers in her ears and cut her tongue out.
They kept him in prison, and after a while they brought his next oldest child in, because he would not sign to deny Christ, and stop preaching, they did the same to her. They kept him in prison still longer and after a while they brought his third oldest child in and did the same to her. They eventually let him out of prison.
While the pastor was sharing his testimony the man who had held the service noticed there were three adult families sitting together and someone was signing to them in sign language. After the long service was over he asked the interpreter if they were the pastors older children, and she said “yes”. He asked if he could ask them a question. She arranged for him to do that. The signer told them that he wanted to ask them a question and they said “Okay”. He asked them, “Are you not bitter at God?”
Immediately, three sets of hands began to move in unison and with smiles on their faces, they signed “It was just our reasonable service”
This reminded me of reading the Foxes Book of Martyrs.
The seriousness of following Christ is SO evident in these testimonies along with the one in this post. It does show me that we are extremely unaware of what being persecuted for our faith REALLY means here in America.
Whenever I read these it gives me a jolt of the reality of my faith. Whom I service, and the seriousness of where I should stand with Jesus Christ.
I am moved with awe at the child who said “Daddy don’t deny Jesus for me.” What faith! And the faith of the father to watch and yet continue in Jesus.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
I serve such an awesome and mighty God, that NOTHING could compare to HIS love, His grace and just really HIM. To deny Him is to lose everything. Every meaning to life would be pointless without my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am whole, filled with Hope, because of Him.