Devotion for the Week of July 16, 2017 - THREE MINUTES TO GO!

THREE MINUTES TO GO!

Deuteronomy 31:6-8 (KJV), “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.  7  And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.  8  And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”

THE BRAINWASHING had been going on for weeks, up to fourteen hours a day, forty-eight hours straight on one occasion.  Yet the prisoner held his ground.  He had not been broken and would not yield.

The place: a Communist prison camp in China.  The time: in the early 1950s.  And the man: a radiant Chinese Christian.

Finally, after repeated grilling, mockery, and torture, the Christian told his captors; “You are wasting your time, sirs.  My faith is rooted deeper then and torture you might inflict upon me.  It is rooted eternally in God’s Son, Jesus Christ.”

Furious, the Communist indoctrinator slapped him across the face and screamed, “Drop to your knees!  Drop to your knees and pray!  Because, in three minutes, we’re going to put a bullet through your head!”

While the indoctrinator, an armed guard, and fifty more of the man’s fellow prisoners looked on, he did as he was ordered.

“Lord,” the man began to pray, “I thank you for the peace that is within my heart.  I thank you for the faith which makes it possible for me to believe that, in spite of my oppressors, You, my heavenly Father sits upon His throne able at any moment to silence forever the lips of these who blaspheme Your Name.  Lord, at this moment, You are able to prove Your power to these two jailers.  You are able to show Yourself to be God.  In a moment, Your power could strike these men dead and –“

But he didn’t get to finish his prayer; for gasping with pain, the two Communists, indoctrinator and guard, fell simultaneously to the floor.  In a few hours, both men were dead.

The Cristian was set free and, at last report, some years ago, continued to live unmolested in his home with his wife and children.  No Communist had dared go near his door.

The above incident was personally witnessed by the Rev. Leslie Millen, long a CIM missionary in China, during his own imprisonment by the Communists.

“WE ARE CRUCIFIED followers of a crucified Lord.  We are crucified to the world, and the world to us, by the Cross of Christ.  But, besides this, we must take up our cross and bear it.  It is not His cross we bear.  None but He could bear that cross.  It is a cross of our own, calling us to self-denial, and world-denial; pointing out to us a path of humiliation, trial, weakness, reproach, such as our Master trod – not of our own making nevertheless, our cross, it is the true badge of discipleship, the genuine mark of authentic service.” –Horatio Bonar

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