A Living Martyr

rock“Stephen wasn’t a martyr because he died; he died because he was a martyr.”

After reading that sentence, you may be saying, “Steve, I don’t get it. What do you mean?” Well let me see if I can explain.

Did you know that the Greek word translated as “martyr” (Gr. martureo) is the same Greek word that is also translated as “witness” and “testimony?”

What does that mean? It means that Jesus sent out his disciples to be (Gr. martureo) i.e. “witnesses/testifiers/martyrs” (Luke 21:13; Acts 1:8). But how were his disciples supposed to be “witnesses/testifiers/martyrs?” By faithfully recounting the things they saw and heard about Jesus. And as we know, some faithful “witnesses/testifiers/martyrs” were even called upon to forfeit their lives as did Stephen (Acts 22:20) and Antipas (Revelation 2:13).

You see, Stephen’s death was a result of his decision to be a “witness/testifier/martyr” of Jesus. His death didn’t make him a “witness/testifier/martyr” of Jesus, his death was the result of being a “witness/testifier/martyr” for Jesus.

Friends, I hope you’re already a “martyr” for Jesus. And if someday being a martyr for Jesus demands we must also die for him, I pray that we all have the courage and conviction to do so. Give it some thought.

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