Vol. 8, No. 3
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People today are used to always being comfortable. They complain if they have to sit too long or stand too long. They complain if their seats are uncomfortable. They complain if the room temperature is too hot or too cold.
But if something is important enough to us, we should be willing to give up some comfort. In Nehemiah Chapter Eight, we read about the Israelites gathering to hear the law of God read. Everyone who was able to understand came and stood before the water gate in Jerusalem (v. 1). Then Ezra read the law from morning until midday (v. 3).
The people stood the entire time that the law was read and explained. It is almost certain that they became tired. The children probably got very tired having to stand still for that long. But everyone wanted to know what God's law said. They wanted to know what God required of them.
Despite standing for that long, the people left rejoicing. They had learned the most important thing that they could ever learn. They had learned God's will. The Levites told them to go, eat and make mirth.
The next time you think about complaining because you think the sermon is too long, remember the people in Nehemiah Chapter Eight. Even the children stood for half a day to listen and learn God's will.
Keep reading your Bible. Learn what God wants you to do. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
In 1915, the Turks killed many Armenians. They massacred many, and those that were not killed were driven into the desert to die. Many were tortured before being killed. An 18-year-old girl who escaped into Russia was asked if she was in pain. She said no, but that she had learned the meaning of the cross. She showed the nurse her shoulder where a cross was burned deeply into her flesh.
"I was caught with the others in my village. The Turks stood me up and asked, 'Mohammed or Christ?' I said 'Christ, always Christ.' For seven days they asked me this same question, and each day when I said 'Christ,' a part of the cross was burned into my shoulder." She escaped before they could kill her. (The Voice of the Martyrs, February, 2004, p.10)
In Psalm 39, David speaks about his thoughts and actions when under persecution. He decided to not speak to the wicked. In verse two, he says that he held his peace, "even from good." But his heart burned within him and he finally could not keep from speaking the truth. In verses 9 and 10 he says it was God that gave the burning in his heart.
Jeremiah states almost the same thing in Chapter Twenty of the Book of Jeremiah. In verses 7-9, he states that because of persecution he decided to quit speaking the truth. But God's Word was a burning in his heart and he could not help but speak the truth.
In Acts 4:20, Peter and John told the rulers, elders and scribes that they could not help but speak the things about Christ that they had seen and heard. No amount of persecution or threats would keep them from telling others about Christ.
Some individuals in the world today are persecuted when they preach Christ, but they continue to teach and preach because they know that Christ died a horrible death for us. He was willing to endure great pain and even death so that we might have the hope of living eternally in heaven.
In other countries, there is no persecution for teaching and preaching about Christ. But many individuals who claim to be Christians do not take the opportunities given them to tell others about Christ. If a person is really convinced that Christ is the Son of God, and that he died for our sins, then his/her heart should burn within to tell others about Jesus.
Study your Bible. Learn all you can about Jesus and what he wants you to do. Get the burning in your heart to tell others all about what you have learned from the Bible. His Word should be burned in your heart, and you should want to burn others' hearts with his Word.