by Kathy Rogers
“Then Paul answered, ‘Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus’” (Acts 21:13, NIV, 2011).
When the apostle Paul heard through a prophet he would be arrested if he went to Jerusalem, his friends pleaded with him not to go. Surprisingly, Paul seemed baffled by their reaction. "What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready....to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." Perhaps dying for the faith didn't daunt Paul because as he said, "I die daily." He obeyed Jesus' instructions to deny himself, take up his cross and follow Him. As long as he was alive, these daily martyrdoms made Paul an unstoppable force in sharing the Gospel. We may not know how we would respond to life-threatening persecution, but every day we have a choice to die to ourselves. Daily martyrdom is a path of life and true intimacy with Him. So we pray, Lord, give me the grace to pick up my cross and follow You today.