March 23, 2020
All DayCategory: Lenten Devotional
How To Be a Martyr
“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you” (John 15:26-16:4).
Prior to leaving this world and going back to the Father, Jesus commands his disciples to show love to one another as he showed his love to them. He commands his disciples to bear witness to the truth. He will send an Advocate – the Holy Spirit, who will empower Jesus’ followers to carry on his mission. The Spirit will help the followers of Jesus to fulfil the command of showing generosity and kindness, and to bear witness to the truth.
In full awareness that these acts will be met with hate and opposition, Jesus commands the disciples to bear witness to the truth. God has saved us from the sinful ways with which we humans treat each other, and created us as new beings through his love. Jesus encourages us to be martyrs by testifying about the work God has done for us. The word “martyr” has several meanings, one of them being, “the one who testifies.”
In Switzerland, as in many countries, we don’t risk death for testifying about our beliefs, like Jesus’ disciples experienced at that time. However, the command still applies to us. This is something we tend to forget. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t end with receiving the gospel and accepting God into our lives. We have to follow his command by being martyrs and professing our beliefs to others. But how many of us really do this?
When was the last time you invited a non-Christian friend to morning or evening worship, home group or Bible study?
When your co-worker asks you about your weekend, do you tell them that you went to church? Or do you reply, “nothing much, what about you?”
We all have a friend who is suffering and who needs someone that cares. Have you reached out to them, told them about how God saved you?
When you meet a new friend, and they find out that you are a believer, do you openly talk about the work that God has done in your life? Or do you feel the need to justify or apologize for your belief, afraid that they will make certain assumptions about you?
Many of us keep our beliefs to ourselves. We are Christians, but we live our beliefs in the protected environment of church and family, and don’t dare show our beliefs outside. In this Lenten season, I encourage you to be a martyr — “one who testifies.”
I encourage you to invite someone new to church, maybe the friend that came to your mind when I asked the third question. I encourage you to speak more openly about your beliefs with people who don’t believe the same as you. Even though it might feel awkward and you might be met with rejection, I encourage you to follow God’s command.