August 31, 2015
A Crown of Life
Voice of the Martyrs, an organization that tracks Christian martyrdom and offers support to the families left behind, tell us that more Christians are being martyred today than at any other time in earth’s history. The most frequent persecution of Christians occurs in Muslim and Communist countries.
Sixteen-year-old Evelyn Abel lives in northern Nigeria. When Islamic terrorists kidnapped her, Evelyn was prepared to die for her faith. Instead, a bomb that was intended for the extremists blew her right leg off. Evelyn was rescued, and her life was spared. Later, Evelyn was fit with a prosthetic leg at a Christian clinic.
Evelyn has learned to walk again. She says that God used that bomb to spare her life.
Violence against Christians in Nigeria continues to rise. Islamic extremists kidnap, torture, and murder those who profess Christ. Their faith is a constant source of encouragement to Christians across the world. To these brave believers, the words of Christ to the church in Smyrna are very personal:
“Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The Devil will throw some of you into prison and put you to the test…” Revelation 2:10a
These words speak to the stark realities of daily life for them. But equally real are the words of promise contained in the last section of that same verse:
“Remain faithful even when facing death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10c
Most of us have never faced persecution for our faith, much less martyrdom. Our prayers and support belong to those brave Christians for whom these things are daily realities. However, should you ever be called on to suffer for your faith, the promise of Christ will be your strength. You too, are promised the “Crown of Life.”
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