Foxe’s Book of The Martyrs
I remember when my youngest son, Jordan Christopher, was three years old he asked a very mature question one afternoon following an impromptu Bible Study. We were discussing the early followers of Christ and how so many of them were martyred. Then we began to talk about Luke, the physician, and how he was with the Apostle Paul on many of his missionary journeys, and that this is how he had the first hand information needed to write Paul’s story. Jordan had been relatively silent throughout our conversation but all of a sudden he had questions. His last question was the one that stuck with me all of these years. My little three-year old was asking more than just who would write our story. We had just finished talking about the amazing lives lived by those who had committed their lives to Christ. We were up to our eyeballs in the historic accounts found in John Foxe’s Book of the Martyrs!! These were real life stories filled with action and adventure, agonizing pain and torture, peace, joy unspeakable….and love never-ending! He was learning, they were all learning about the lives that we are called to as followers of Christ. Not of comfort and materialistic pleasure, but of discomfort and eternal sacrifice. They were learning about the call to follow Jesus…and the cost paid by those who chose to follow him. The men and women who had laid down their lives rather than deny their Lord were ancient heroes to them, alive only on the pages of Scripture and history books…and that day, when he was three years old, Jordan chose to follow them as they had followed Christ! That day, my son chose to take up his cross and walk the way of a Christian. It amazed me that at such a young age he understood what that meant. I am speechless as I look back on that day. I do not remember if the Sun was shining or if it was cold outside. The only thing I remember is the question he asked, and the answer that was given. The Word of God is just that, the Word of God. All of it inspired…breathed by the Holy Spirit. These men and women had lived a life worthy of recording. Not because of their wealth, but because of what they did with it. Not because of their poverty, but because of what they did in spite of it. Not because of their health but in spite of their illnesses. The people they learned about that day, and many days since, were believers whose faith transcended the pages of Holy Scripture and history books and whose love and genuine faith in our Lord had traveled through generations to communicate to four children, one of whom was only three….and he got it that day. By asking the question, “Who’s gonna write our story?”, Jordan was making the statement that his heart was set on living as they did, and even dying as many of them had done. He was affirming that his life was not worth living if it was not worth giving it to the One who had given all for him. I remember one of the verses talked about that day;
Jordan is now 15 years old, and he still pursues the One who has proven to be the answer to the question he asked when he was three. He, as well as his three siblings, have a very different view of what it means to be a follower of Christ than many of their peers seem to. Somewhere during the years of our family reading God’s Word together, and diligently, with the help of the Holy Spirit, their father and I seeking to live out that Word, they grabbed a hold to something real….something True….aomething Authentic! They are not without mistake or fault just as none of us are, but they have a perspective that causes them to draw on the Lord’s strength when they are weak, and to hold tighter to His Word should they fall. The story of their face to face meeting with The Lord is different for each one of them. For Kayla it was in a Sunday School classroom when she was four years old. We were not thoroughly convinced of childhood conversions until we saw the fruit of repentance and the fruit of righteousness in her young life, and we see it still. For Isaiah it was when his big sister sat across the kitchen table with him one day over lunch when she was six and he was five and shared the gospel with him and helped him find his way to the Lord, while mom listened on the other side of the wall. For Leah, it was at a Secret Keeper Girls event that she made her faith known to me and a room full of Princesses….and for Jordan, it was the day he looked at me while sitting on the big blue couch in the family room and asked so sincerely, “Who’s gonna write our story?.” The house is long gone, but that old couch is the same one I am sitting on as I type this. I couldn’t bear to part with it. Not just because of its comfort, but because of its comfort…The pages of Scripture are filled with more than just words…they are filled with life…the Bread of Life…and water…the Living Water…And when served up tp our children for the delicacies that they are they will give them life!!! Since that day I have watched my sons and daughters grow in God’s grace and learn to ‘walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which they have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” This is the hearts desire of every parent who loves the Lord with everything in them; for their children to love him too. If I could offer you some encouragement, READ God’s word with them daily. Discuss the Scriptures as easily as you discuss whats going on in their lives. When they bring situations that they are dealing with to you, take them to the Word of God and see what God says about it. Give them His perspective as they face the sin sick world that awaited them at their birth. Your opinion will change, but His will not. Your views and advice will mature and vary with age and circumstance. His will not. Show them through the Living Word how to live a life worth being written about. Not for their material things, but for their faith without or in spite of those things. Not for their intelligence and book smarts, but for their unalterable faith despite what the genius of men says. Teach them to love God with all their heart, soul and strength….and to live their lives in such a way that the Spirit of the Lord will write their story in His Book.
God Bless You….Selena