"They Knew What Was Coming"
August 27, 2009
(Jesus said) "If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." John 15:18-19
WARNING - THIS DEVOTION DEALS WITH TOPICS THAT ARE DISTURBING AND MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR THOSE WHO ARE YOUNG. PLEASE REVIEW BEFORE SHARING WITH A MINOR. RESPECTFULLY, PASTOR KLAUS
Last month the International Christian Concern (ICC) reported Somali Islamic extremists had kidnapped four Christians who worked at an orphanage.
This month the report comes those four Christians were beheaded by a fellow who calls himself, "seiful Islam," the "sword of Islam."
Having beheaded the Christians, the radical group informed the martyrs' families the bodies will not be returned "as Somalia does not have cemeteries for infidels."
A terrible story? Absolutely!
A wonderful story? Most certainly!
Wonderful? Yes, once you hear what happened. According to an eyewitness, all four of these Christians -- people who had once been Muslims -- were given the opportunity to return to Islam.
They were told their lives would be spared, and they would be released if they returned to their old faith.
The eyewitness says, "they all declined the generous offer."
It's impossible for anyone to guess what those four were thinking during their last moments. Did they remember the words of Jesus, which serve as the Scripture for today's Daily Devotion? Did they remember the passage of Romans that says our present sufferings are small when compared to the glory of heaven? Did they think on Revelation 2:10b, which encourages Christians to be faithful unto death so they may be given Jesus' blood-bought crown of life?
I don't know what they were thinking, but I am proud to follow the same wonderful Savior they did. I wish I could follow Him half as well.
By God's grace, let us try -- both in thanks to the Savior and in gratitude for the four who, in spite of knowing what was coming, remained faithful to the end.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, the world hated You, but Your faithfulness has won my salvation. Now may I be faithful to You. May my life be an ongoing song of praise to You who have told us to love -- not behead our enemies. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries