Bible Reading: John 15:18-27

“If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you...But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning” (John 15:20, 26-27)

What would happen if your life was threatened today because you confessed to following Christ? What would you do? Would you give in and renounce Christ? Or would you face death for your faith? 

Ask yourself what your answer would be. Many of us would like to say yes, but we know our faith is weak. And those who say yes, their words can only be tested at the trial. 

The catch is this. God calls us to be witnesses of His kingdom. The world does not like — in fact, the Bible uses the term, hates — the world hates witness to God’s kingdom. And just as Christ was persecuted, all those who wholeheartedly follow Him will have the same experience if they are integral and true. 

The other catch is this. We should not be afraid; rather, we should trust in God. Christ promised the Helper, who is the Holy Spirit, to be our advocate. He is the Spirit of Truth and will bear true witness about Christ and the truth and hope in Him. On the other hand, we can release responsibility to serve Him. We must bear witness also, and when we do, the Spirit works at His pleasure to open the eyes of the blind to see the Truth we bring. 

In the end, the call of martyrdom boils down again to the basics. It is about simple obedience to God in all aspects of life. It may or may not involve physical death. However, we are called to obey God day by day, following His unfolding plan for our lives. 

If God calls us to be a martyr one day, trust that the Helper will be there to help and strengthen our faith. In the meantime, are we obeying and witnessing Christ in our daily lives? After knowing the surpassing love of Christ and the glory that awaits us, are we able to see the nothingness of persecution compared to the love that Christ brings?

Have you given your heart to obey God and know Him through his world? Are you willing to serve Him with all your days and hours here on earth, even though it is uncomfortable and painful? We cannot serve God and obey His ways unless He seeks us out and gives us faith. Have you laid down your life to live for God in total surrender and reliance on Him?

Lord, I only get to die once. If it is Your will, I would like to be privileged as a martyr. Prepare my heart and strengthen me as the days get more evil. Please help me to learn simple obedience today and start with the small things You have given a charge to me. Apart from Your work, all this is in vain. Do not leave or forsake us. In Jesus’ name, amen.