Not ever in my wildest dreams will I ever on this earth achieve perfection.
Do I want to be like Jesus? Yes, I do—some days and in some ways and I work on to achieve that goal—but…
The word is martyr and means: a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause. There have been many Christian martyrs and I honor those who have the strength of character and have stood for what they believed.
I know there are quite a few of us out here who pray that we have the same strength of character and perseverance to continue throughout our lives to worship and serve the Lord. We pray that when Jesus spoke of the greatest commandment we don’t have any ‘Peter’ moments.
I pray that I always keep in mind what Jesus said the greatest commandment is: (Mark 12:30 and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. 31 The second is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.)
There is a line in a song that runs like, Let me learn to pray like he did (Jesus) in the Garden of Gethsemane. It’s a beautiful song, but I don’t even want to go there. Not only that, I can’t understand how anyone could go there.
I could be a wimp, you can even call me a wimp…maybe even several other names. But I can read and my whole thinking is didn’t the writer of that song read the part where the Son of God sweat as it were drops of blood?
Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became as it were great drops of blood falling down upon the ground.
I remember watching part of a movie about Joan of Arc. When she’s been betrayed and the Catholic Church wants her to denounce her visions or be burned at the stake she tells them she can’t stand pain. “Under torture, I will recant my visions, yet that won’t make them less real when I’m not being tortured.”
And she almost does pretend they weren’t real. Until she realizes that she will be kept in chains in a dungeon for the rest of her life even if she denounces them. The idea of being a prisoner for the rest of her life is more unbearable than the alternative.
Being brave isn’t easy, being a martyr is unthinkable yet, some days we must be like Joan of Arc. It isn’t that we really want to be slapped with suffering. It is that we have to put our heads down and just push through the pain. For better we pray not for worse we need to press onward toward the light.
1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called,
2 with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling;
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.