Are You Ready To Die?

Yesterday I was talking about men like C.T. Studd … later in the day I was reviewing a book I read on a recent flight overseas. In this book the author recounts a story of Christian leaders in Communist China whom he worshipped with on one of his recent visits to that nation…

Let me simply quote him…

To lead a Chinese church requires a great deal of courage and boldness. I was told that probably half of the participants had served time in prison, just for serving Christ! As I heard them worship and watched them pray, I felt unworthy to be there.

One morning before I was to speak, they lifted their voices in Mandarin, singing praises to God. I watched as they poured out their hearts in song. Then my interpreter translated some of the words for me. The gist of the chorus went something like this:
Since you died for us, We now offer ourselves to die for you. Since you gave yourself on the cross, How can we do less than give ourselves for you? So, come what may, Whether we live or we may die for you, We belong to you.

That’s not the typical praise and worship song we sing in North America every Sunday, is it? Singing those words and meaning them takes great courage. It was sung by Christian leaders who knew the meaning of suffering for Christ. Some of the most courageous believers today are found in Asia and in Muslim countries where suffering for Jesus is a real possibility…How do Christian under such opposition stand so boldly for the Lord Jesus? They stand only through the Holy Spirit, who was given to the Church so that bold witness for Christ could be made no matter what the outcome.

And here we live in relative safety and comfort….and we have the same Holy Spirit given to us so that we too can be empowered to be a witness for Him. Are we willing to tell others about Jesus no matter what others may think of us? Are we will to sacrifice pleasures and comfort so that others can hear? Even deeper still – are we willing to suffer and die for the faith once delivered for the saints? Believers have died so that we could hear the Gospel and be saved. Are we willing to suffer and die? If not – why not?

Good question to ponder on a quiet summer weekend.

2 replies
  1. Sharon Kuhn
    Sharon Kuhn says:

    GOOOOOD Question, but what is the underlying answer.
    I don’t think it is as simple as we would like to think.
    Except here might be a hint, and no doubt it will offend some…
    On the surface we claim Christianity but….underneath are we just shallow and not nearly as sold out to Jesus as we would like the rest of the world to think.
    2 Chron 30:8; Ps 95:8; 2 Cor 4:4 and on and on.
    Unless we recognize that we are still ruled by the same spirit that ruled satan (pride, self sufficiency) we will never come to the place where we literally give it all to HIM and then truly walk, talk and act like HE did. This particular culture (western) has placed far too much emphasis on material, capital and the rest of the stuff.
    My husband and I had the opportunity to minister on a first Nations Reserve in AB. two weeks ago. A real eye-opener in more ways and one.
    I was left with one very unique experience that I will never forget as long as I live and that was three young boys that I was privileged to pray over and prophesy over (ages 7-11. this is why I do what I do. They had no pretense, no hidden agenda just love for Jesus and pleasing Him.

    Sharon

    Reply
  2. Ralph
    Ralph says:

    It is time to yield to the Holy Spirit, all the Holy Spirit to bring brokenness into our lives (a subject seldom preached on today), understand dependence on God (based on total trust of God), and stop relying on all the things we tend to lean on.
    Of course, Jesus said we must come to Him “as little children” and so your experience a few weeks ago rings very true.
    Reminds me of an old hymn…some of the words go like this:
    “Trust and obey,
    for there is no other way,
    to be happy in Jesus,
    but to to trust and obey.

    Thanks for your great comment Sharon. Appreciate your feedback.

    Reply

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