Today is the day after. The day after a horrific scene in Colorado where a gunman gunned down people at the Youth with a Mission headquarters and at New Life Church. People were wounded and some were killed. While the nation and the church is rocked by this news, we need to understand that this is the norm for the body of Christ. Followers of Jesus Christ for centuries, by the scores, have been called to be martyrs. Giving your life for Jesus Christ places you with the martyrs from all centuries. Those who sing how long oh Lord, how long, at His throne. It is a privilege to die for your faith in Christ. This does not mean that you do not grieve and that this is not a tragic event for families and friends of the deceased. I in no way want to demean or belittle the loss, in fact just the opposite, I would want them all to see the honor bestowed on the loves ones they lost.
The first thing we go to is the Word of God which tells us for a follower of Christ, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Yesterday was the best day for those who lost their lives, as they went to be with their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Two of them had spent much of their young life serving as missionaries, while the others were actually at church to worship when they left this earth. It is gain to die because it is the presence of the Lord that we go to.
The other thing that is brought into focus is the reality that this happens every day somewhere in the world. Followers of Jesus are paying the cost in countries throughout the world. We do not hear about this very often in our part of the world, but it is happening daily. Even now as you read this someone somewhere is paying the price for being a follower of Christ. This should encourage you to pray for your brothers and sisters who sit in prison, who face beatings and torture and who are being murdered for no other reason than loving Jesus. Any time you think to pray for them is a good time, as there is always someone somewhere going through the rough waters of persecution.
So today as you pray for the families of those who have lost their loved ones, and I hope you do, also remember to pray for all of the rest who are going through the same, or worse. But also remember to rejoice that when they are killed, they receive the reward of their faith, the presence of Jesus for all eternity!
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