I began my morning reading the Mission Network News report. As I scanned the stories, this one from Africa caught my eye. The study of Acts has tenderized my heart once again to the truth that the spread of the good news of Christ comes at great cost. Therefore, it is news of great worth!
Two Christians killed in Northern Nigeria
Nigeria (MNN) — Voice of the Martyrs Canada reports the deaths of two young Christian men in Nigeria. According to a Compass Direct report, the pair died at the hands of Muslims militants in Kaduna state. Local Christians believe these two murders are an effort to wipe out Christianity from northern Nigeria and stop ministry growth. Although the government is trying to initiate dialogue between the two faith groups, their efforts have been undermined by the wave of violent attacks on Christians.
My mind considered the stories of Stephen who was the first Christian martyr and James who was beheaded for his faith in Christ. These saints and others seemed to understand what the Psalmist meant when he penned the words, “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” (Ps. 63:3)
The martyrs all believed Christ was worth more than life, more than falling in love, more than marrying and having children, more than seeing their children grow up, more than making a name for themselves, more than having the dream spouse, the dream house, and the dream cruise. Christ to them was worth more than all their plans and dreams. They all said, “It is better to be cut off in the midst of my dreams, if I might gain Christ.” ((John Piper, “Life’s Blood,” Tabletalk December 2001, p. 53))
Christ is the treasure that is better than life! He is real life.