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The Nameless One
Her name was never preserved in the records of history. As a matter of fact, very little information concerning this woman was preserved for us, but this we do know. She lived during the time of the Spanish Inquisition and had seven sons. She also had a faith unlike much of what we see today. She knew what she believed and why she believed. Nothing would turn her away from her Savior.
We know so little of persecution today. We know so little of what it really means to take up our cross and follow Christ (Matthew 10:38). We fail so often to count the cost completely (Luke 14:28). This nameless woman did count the cost. The cost was her life and much more. In her sacrifice, she gained her life and much more.
As she stood before the Inquisitor, it would have been a simple matter to deny her Lord and be set free. After all, Peter did. Perhaps the temptation was there. Perhaps the temptation was even strong, but she did not give in. How far can the Lord take you before you give in?
Enter--Son Number One. As he was brought before his mother, the Inquisitor asked, "Woman, will you deny Christ or your son?" As she answered, "My son", he was beheaded in her presence.
Enter--Son Number Two."Woman, will you deny Christ or your son?" In her presence, her second son was also beheaded.
Enter--Son Number Three and so on down to her seventh youngest. At the last, her own life was taken also.
Certainly this woman of years gone by had made a supreme sacrifice, but the ultimate sacrifice took place years before when God sacrificed His only Son for you and me. He was not beheaded, but was nailed to a cruel cross where His divine blood was spilt in payment for our sin--the divine for the human; the sinless for the sinner. Have you accepted His free gift of salvation?
I wonder how God felt when He sacrificed His only Son for a world of filthy sinners like you and me. I wonder how God feels when we deny Him, sometimes daily, by our actions, by our speech, by our thoughts. What will it take in your life to get you to stand true to your Lord and His Word? What is the limit of your love for Him? Have you counted the cost, and are you resolved to pay it? What will it take for the Holy Spirit to completely fill and use you like He never has before--even if that means losing your life, that you might gain it again.
God has not required us at this time to lay down our life for Him, but rather He asks, "Are you willing to LIVE for Me?" We may not know where that road may lead, but if we are willing to follow, He will no doubt bless us beyond our greatest expectations (Ephesians 3:20), and give us the peace (Philippians 4:7) to make any sacrifice He requires of us along the way with joy. Trust Him completely. He will not give you more than you can handle (I Corinthians 10:13).
There is no doubt about it. We are living in the last days. There is so much that the Lord wants to do in our lives. May I challenge you to unreservedly live for Christ because He unreservedly died for you.