Every Monday I like to begin the week with a portion of the book Extreme Devotion. Today's devotion is very poignant because it challenges me to consider how much love I really have to Christ. Sometimes I read these stories and I think, "I have no faith at all". Other times, I think, "Maybe God will give me the grace if I was ever in this situation."
I'm not sure if it's the way church in America is run, or if it's just that here in America we have "everything" and so we don't really know what it is to sacrifice. What do you think? Tell us your thoughts as you read this wonderful devotion from Extreme Devotion.
The young, brown-eyed girl looked up at her mother. What would her mom decide?
Earlier that morning, the young girl’s mother, their pastor, and twenty-six others in her North Korean village of GokSan were bound and taken before a screaming crowd of Communists.
One of the guards ordered Pastor Kim and the other Christians, “Deny Christ, or you will die.” The words chilled her. How could they ask her to deny Jesus? She knew in her heart he was real. They all quietly refused.
Then the Communist guard shouted directly at the adult Christians, “Deny Christ, or we will hang your children.” The young girl looked up at her mother. She gripped her hand knowing how much her mom loved her. Her mother then leaned down. With confidence and peace she whispered, “Today, my love, I will see you in heaven.”
All of the children were hanged.
The remaining believers were then brought out onto the pavement and forced to lie down in front of a large steamroller. The Communists gave them one last chance. “Deny this Jesus or you will be crushed.” The Christians had already given up their children; there was no turning back.
As the driver started the heavy piece of equipment, the singing from the villagers started softly. “More love, O Christ, to thee, more love to thee.”
More. It’s what God gave when he sent his Son. More. It’s what Jesus gave when he was crucified. More. It’s what believers give simply out of love for Christ. They want to give more to the One who gave so much to them. In a worldly age that values giving only what one must to get by, believers set a new standard. “More love to thee” is more than just words in a traditional hymnal. It’s a lifestyle without limit. Each day is a path of discovering how to give more love to Jesus Christ. For some believers, this path has led to their death. For others, “more love to thee” has meant financial sacrifice. What does “more love to thee” mean to your everyday life?