To think of all the many people that have been persecuted and killed because of their faith in Jesus, is sad, but their cause is great for the sake of Jesus Christ. My heart goes out to the many lives that have been sacrificed in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I know their cause was not in vain. In death, their faith lives on forever. What great honor to the King of glory. 3To their very last breathe, they were not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 1As they were going to their death, like a lamb to the slaughter, they were going home to their Lord and King. Everything they suffered was for the glory of God. Sure, these people suffered greatly for the cause of Jesus, but it was all worth it. Nothing could give them greater joy than what they’ve found in the Lord. What He offered them was found to be the greatest delight of all. Nothing can match His love and kindness. How deep is His love? How great is His mercy? To live a life of honor and courage to God is what they desired, no matter the consequences. No matter if death was around the corner. In death, they would be alive with their God forever in heaven. Though their soul would be gone from this earth, it would strive onward with the Lord in His kingdom.
Surely, there is much rejoicing for those that die in the Lord. So many people have suffered for such a good cause, though it is hard to bear and witness. Even some in our day, are persecuted to death. Paul was one of these men. He said, 5“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” Yes, the fight of Paul and all believers in Christ is a great example to us all. Their blessings in the Lord are never ending. And to all of you that love Jesus and would do anything for Him, praise the Lord. I pray that you will endure this fight. Lift up the name of Jesus, at all costs. 2Even in persecution, love those that hate you. And above all, 4“bless them which persecute you.” What you are enduring for God’s sake is righteousness to God. May the Lord richly bless you in your lifelong journey. Endure it well with Christ the Lord at your head and You will be blessed. Even when temptation comes, do not fall away but come out victorious as Paul and many other saints have done. Then, will you rejoice with the Lord, forever, in kingdom.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, to think of all the people that have given their lives to You, in persecution, amazes me. It is sad to know that so many people have lost their lives but it is also so wonderful to see them live their faith out to the end. There is so many things in this life that are good but nothing is greater than Your Love. Nothing is better to strive for than to live for You. What You give, nobody can reproduce. Where else can I go for salvation but to You, my Lord? You are my King and it is a blessing and a honor to live a life of faith till the end. If I have to go down in persecution, I will do it freely for Your cause. To be killed, because of my love for You, may it be. As You have given Your life for us all on the cross, I give my life as a living sacrifice to Your great Name also. I love You above all else. I will lift Your Name up high, all my life, no matter the consequence. Because Lord, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. May Your Name be forever glorified. All praises to my Lord and King. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.
1Isaiah 53 (KJV)
1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
2Luke 6:20-28 (KJV)
20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
3Romans 1:8-19 (KJV)
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.
14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
4Romans 12:9-21 (KJV)
9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
52 Timothy 4:1-8 (KJV)
1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.