I was watching the news yesterday and once again saw another gruesome execution of some of our Christian brothers. Twenty-one Egyptian Christians were taken from their homes and led out onto a beach and beheaded for their faith. First of all, it made me proud to be an American, where at least up to this point, have freedom to express our religion. But then I began to think about what it cost these men to stand for their Christian faith. It literally cost them their lives! I’m not really sure all the details, but would imagine they had an opportunity to convert to Islam. But instead of converting to Islam, they gave up their lives refusing to deny their faith!
As I began to think about their fates, I wondered if we would have that same type of zeal for what we claim to believe? I wonder if we would give up our lives for the cause of Christ? What would we be willing to give up for our faith?
Many times when Christians talk about faith we are describing what we use to receive the things we need from God. We understand that without faith it is impossible to please God. It takes faith to receive salvation, healing, deliverance, or anything else that we want from God. But we also have been instructed to “keep the faith.” In this context our faith is simply the beliefs and principles that we live by. We as Christians choose to live by the principles that are outlined in the Bible.
But today I ask, “What is your faith costing you?” Is there anything that you are giving up because of your faith? Our Christian brothers in Egypt gave up their lives for their faith. I wonder if we would be willing to do that same thing? It seems so easy for many of us to crumble on our beliefs and principles. Many are not willing to give up certain pleasures or sins that they truly believe to be wrong. I have so many times asked people, “Don’t you realize that what you are doing is wrong?” and they respond, “Yes, I do.” Every time we willingly participate in things that we know is not right according to God’s word, we are denying our faith.
If we are ever going to have faith that moves mountains we are first going to have to have faith that we are willing to live by. Each of us should have things in our lives that we are presently giving up because of our faith. If we are not willing to give up some things for our principles and beliefs, do we really even have faith at all?
To me this shines new light on Hebrews 10:38 “And the just shall live by faith…”