For this he was turned over to a local government official, who turned him over to the Bishop for questioning. Denley would not back down from his statement of faith, so he was condemned to die and turned over to the sheriff.
Within six weeks, he was sent to the stake to be burned. When they lit the wood beneath him, Denley showed no fear. He cheerfully sang a psalm as the flames rose around him. One of his tormentors picked up a piece of wood and threw it at him, hitting him in the face. He hoped to anger or silence Denley, but Denley only responded, "Truly you have spoiled a good old song." Then he spread his arms again and continued singing until he died.
~Jesus Freaks, by dc Talk and The Voice of the Martyrs~
Everyday people around the world are persecuted for putting their faith in Christ. They stand firm for Christ even in the face of death. We may not recognize it, but we suffer persecution as well, at school and in other secular atmospheres. Do you stand firm for Christ in the face of persecution?, Or do you avoid voicing your beliefs? Have you ever pretended not to be Christian to get out of an awkward situation? 2 Timothy 1:8-9 says, Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
Jesus Christ has forgiven our sins, He has redeemed us from the power of death, He died for us. How can we be ashamed of that? We should be humbled that Christ could love us, sinners, enough to die for us! Live every day as forgiven by God's grace, as once lost, but now found. Share the love of Jesus and the power of that love with everyone you come in contact with. Live every moment in thanksgiving to God for His awesome mercy and grace!
This does take effort, but with the Lord's help we can move mountains. The blessings of living in the fulness of His grace definitely outweigh the effort!
Someone once said, "You may never have to decide whether or not you will die for your faith, but everyday you will have to decide whether or not you will live for it." Are you?