Sunday, April 7, 2019

Standing Strong Through the Storm - LIVING FOR JESUS


“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
~ John12:32-33 (NIV)

Manuel was an effective evangelist among the mountain Quechua people in Peru. He felt called by the Lord to take Bibles and share the gospel with the anti-government guerilla soldiers who camped in hiding in the mountains. For the many illiterates he took the New Testament on cassette. It was a bold and risky ministry.

One day some Shining Path guerrillas with their big AK-47 guns intercepted him on the trail and ordered him to stop going to the mountains; stop handing out Bibles, cassettes and other Christian materials; and stop preaching about Jesus. They threatened his life if he did not desist.

Some months later Manuel did not return home when expected. A search party discovered his dead body at the side of the trail. It was more than just a cadaver. His feet, hands and tongue had been cut off. And with a knife they had carved on his torso a message in Spanish, “We told you to stop!” The chopped body parts completed the message, “stop visiting the villages; stop distributing Bibles; stop preaching about Jesus!”

There was a memorial service for Manuel attended by many believers. Hundreds of people came from the mountains to honor his memory. Our Open Doors co-worker reported that there were more people standing outside the rural church than sitting inside the crowded sanctuary.

An evangelist preached the memorial service message and challenged young people to come forward and take Manuel’s place. Ten young people made the commitment and knelt at the front altar.

An elder standing at the side asked in a loud voice, “But young people. What if the same thing happens to you as happened to Manuel?”

One of the youths at the front cried out, “If we die, a hundred will spring up and take our place!”

Living for Jesus is actually harder than dying for Jesus. It means I must die to myself every day!

RESPONSE: Since Jesus gave His life for me, what more can I give Him than my own life. And until that day of physical death, I will die to myself daily.

PRAYER: Thank You Jesus, for giving Your life blood for me. I give You my life in service today and every day until You call me to be with You in Your heavenly home.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

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