A few of my friends and I traveled to a nearby metropolis to enjoy an evening out to celebrate my birthday. The conversation was marked by giggling, girl talk, daily happenings, and thought-provoking questions. At one point, the passage from Galatians 6:17 was brought up: “…From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”
Paul was speaking of the torture, physical persecution, floggings, and imprisonments he suffered for his radical belief in the Messiah. This was ironic because he had tortured Christians before God saved him on the Damascus Road. Paul bore the marks of Christ. When you love someone, no circumstance is too great to defend them.
One friend stated that she could not imagine being tortured for her faith. As the conversation went on, I was reminded of the martyrs of old that I studied in Church History I and II. Women who were pregnant while in prison and were tortured but considered it a JOY for their bodies to be mangled for the One who gave His all.
We speak of this love that we have for Jesus, but do we really? I told my friends, “I’m not sure what I would do if I was actually put in that circumstance of: ‘Reject Christ and live with no torture or keep believing and die.’ [But] I want to love Him so much I would die willingly.”
And yes, I’ll be honest and admit that I rarely say “I love Jesus!” because, quite frankly, my actions sometimes fail to reflect that love. My mom told me this past weekend, “Your love for God will be no greater than your love for His Word.” If you love the Lord, you will be in His Word. It won’t be tedious or mundane, it will be a JOY.
To count all as loss, my life as rubbish, to receive a crown of glory to lay before my King…
I want to suffer for my Lord Jesus Christ.
Emily Beth Leathers