On the night before Nicholas Ridley's execution in 1555, just hours before he was to become a martyr for his faith, his brother offered to remain with him in the prison chamber to help comfort him. But Nicholas declined the offer and replied that he intended to go to bed and sleep the same as he would on any other night of his life. Even his accusers were amazed at his peace and calm.


Dear Lord,

Let me qualify Bro. Ridley’s martyrdom. In Your wisdom, I want to uphold my life and live long enough to be Your agent of change in my society. I want to stay alive much longer to display your miraculous power and loving intervention to those who needed these the most. You did say that ‘a live dog is better than a dead lion.’(Ecc 9:4) When I see danger coming my way, I’ll be prudent and take refuge.(Pr 22:3)

However, You also said that greedy self-preservation will make me lose my life altogether.(Mk 8:35)

So help me stay away from both extremes:(Ecc 7:18)

I’ll serve You with joy, obeying You with all that I am, and revering You above my fear of the bad guys. In all of these, I put things in proper perspective each time.

And when I have done all that I can to hold on to dear life, and nothing in any national government or humanitarian laws could rescue me, then I accept my fate with pride and continue to trust You in highest dignity. I choose to die well in valiant victory. They are actually doing me a favor - for being away from this body is being present before You in heaven.(2 Cor 5:8)

So let me be as Stephen: a man who just closed his eyes, fell asleep, and woke up in the grand presence of The King.(Acts 7:60) (And that sure beats living a life more painful than death!)

“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. {17} If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. {18} But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." (Dan 3:16-18 NIV)  


LSS: My Savior My God

Yes, living, dying, let me bring
My strength, my solace from this spring;
That He who lives to be my King
Once died to be my Savior...

(image by ChristArt)

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