Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matthew 5:11, 12.
John lived to be very old. He witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and the ruin of the stately temple. The last survivor of the disciples who had been intimately connected with the Saviour, his message had great influence in setting forth the fact that Jesus was the Messiah, the Redeemer of the world….
The rulers of the Jews were filled with bitter hatred against John for his unwavering fidelity to the cause of Christ. They declared that their efforts against the Christians would avail nothing so long as John’s testimony kept ringing in the ears of the people. In order that the miracles and teachings of Jesus might be forgotten, the voice of the bold witness must be silenced.
John was accordingly summoned to Rome to be tried for his faith. Here before the authorities the apostle’s doctrines were misstated. False witnesses accused him of teaching seditious heresies…. John answered for himself in a clear and convincing manner…. But the more convincing his testimony, the deeper was the hatred of his opposers. The emperor Domitian was filled with rage. He could neither dispute the reasoning of Christ’s faithful advocate, nor match the power that attended his utterance of truth; yet he determined that he would silence his voice.
John was cast into a caldron of boiling oil; but the Lord preserved the life of His faithful servant, even as He preserved the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace. As the words were spoken, Thus perish all who believe in that deceiver, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, John declared, My Master patiently submitted to all that Satan and his angels could devise to humiliate and torture Him. He gave His life to save the world. I am honored in being permitted to suffer for His sake. I am a weak, sinful man. Christ was holy, harmless, undefiled. He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth. These words had their influence, and John was removed from the caldron by the very men who had cast him in.
Conflict and Courage p. 361
—–Prayer Warriors, I just found out that my nephew Lee was in an accident. He had a seizure and rolled his Expedition SUV 4 times, which was loaded with tools and Bldg supplies for work. This happened Saturday, as best we can tell but not sure when. He’s working in Colorado and family wasn’t even notified until Sunday because he could not tell them who to call.
He is in ICU with every bone in his face fractured, a 5mil screw had lodge in his esophagus, fractured vertebrae (lumbar and cervical) and contusion to his liver. On breathing tube and considering a feeding tube since he can’t eat at this time. He has had three surgeries so far. I thank you in advance for keeping Lee and his family in prayer. Deborah
—–Please pray for my dear 83 year old mother. I have been trying to call her and have not been able to get through for 2 days on her phone. So I called her phone company and found out that it had been shut off without her knowledge for 2 days now. Her live in caregiver has lied to me several times today about this whole situation. He is trying to take away my freedom to call her and make sure that she is alright and her freedom to call me so that I know she is okay. I want to go there tomorrow but I do not want to go alone. Please pray that my husband will go with me as it is 350 miles away and I don’t want to travel that far alone. He has been doing sneaky things all along and I need to find a live in caregiver for her and my uncle that I can trust and is a good compassionate Christian. Please pray that I can find one very soon. Thank you and God Bless. Connie
—–Please pray for the frightening things going on in this country. A
—–Today my wife was on her way to watch our granddaughter when she was hit by another car and slammed into a pole. She is out of the hospital now but in a lot of pain. Going to get a second opinion on her condition in the next couple of days. Joe
—–Emergency prayers needed for extended family! Serious health crisis at this very moment. Dee
Many years ago, my mother became friends with one of the ladies at her work. This lady was from Germany, who had lost her only son through an accident about a year before I was born. She invited us to dinner at her house one day. While there, we learned the sad story of how her son had died.
One day, Bob, Jim, and Karl were sitting on the porch with nothing to do. It was one of those lazy days of summer, when the temperature put a person in one of those “moods.” As they were sitting there bored and drowsy, Bob suggested that they shake off their feeling and go do something different. They walked along looking for something to do. First one would suggest something and then the other, but they had done those things a hundred times before.
Soon they found themselves by the town’s gravel pit. Now they had been warned many times to stay away from those mounds of gravel, but none of them wanted to be called a “sissy,” so they hid their fears behind a false bravado. They climbed the first mound of gravel and then another. As they played and pushed and shoved each other, they laughed at all the warnings their parents had given them. Those warnings were not needed. It seemed safe and it was lots of fun.
Suddenly, their fun turned to panic. The gravel shifted under their feet. Before they could escape, they were sucked down into the moving gravel and buried. Their cries for help as they were being covered were heard by one of the workmen who had just turned off the loud machine that he had been using. He had not noticed the boys until it was too late. Shouting at the other worker to get help, he ran over to the spot where he had seen the boys disappear and started digging frantically. He had to be careful not to become buried himself, but he shoved those thoughts aside. There was not a minute to lose. He had to reach those boys before they smothered. Soon many men arrived on the scene. Even though those men were digging their hardest, they could not save those boys. It was too late.
As this lady was recounting this sad story, my mother remembered that my dad had been one of the men who tried to save those boys. He owned a gas station nearby, and when the call for help came, he left his station and went to help. How grateful the lady was. She embraced my mother and cried.
How often this sad story is repeated in the lives of those we meet. They are not literally buried in a gravel pit, but they are being smothered by a life of sin. Some cry out for help. Some do not even realize their danger. How much they need someone who will drop everything and take the time to pull them out of the pit of sin. This is what Jesus has done for us. He asks us “to seek and to save that which was lost” just as He has done. Luke 19:10 “Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.” Heb 10:5-7 He left the comforts of His Heavenly Home, set aside all the glories of the unfallen universe, and became “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Isa 53:3 What wondrous love! What amazing sacrifice!
Just before His ascension forty days after His resurrection, our Dear Saviour gave His followers His final instructions. Those instructions are for us as well. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8 Just as He bade them begin witnessing where they were and then branch out into other areas, so He asks us to start by witnessing to those closest to us. Many of our loved ones are perishing just as surely as were those three boys so long ago. Many of our friends do not yet know “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” John 14:6
May we share the Good News of Salvation with them, claiming the promise “he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” James 5:19, 20 May we “restore such an one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Gal 6:1 May “ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.” Jude 20-24