The price Martha paid, what price are we paying?

Text: Pray also for me, so that, when I begin to speak, the right words will come to me. Then I will boldly make known the secret of the gospel, 
For whose sake I am an ambassador in chains, desiring to declare the gospel as boldly as I should. Ephesians 6:29-20. (ISV).

Let’s carefully follow this story of FAITH, I culled out from Standing Strong through the Storm in Bible Gateway.

Martha was a young Chinese Christian engaged to be married but decided to
postpone her marriage for two years to answer the call of God to deliver Bibles where they were urgently needed in her country. David Wang shares her story.

I recall meeting her once in the city of Xian. We had arranged to meet at 9 p.m, but she did not turn up until about 1 a.m. She was delayed because she had been delivering Bibles in a nearby village. But the local commune leaders discovered what she was doing. They beat her up, robbed her, and threw her on a deserted road. It was a miracle that she was able to make it to our appointment.

I noticed something was wrong with Martha. She was thin as a wire and her face was bloated. I asked, “What is the matter with you? Did they beat you up?”

“Oh, no,” she said, “I’ve had this problem for some time now.” Then she rolled up her dress to show me legs covered with stings and mosquito bites. As she traveled in the remote countryside of China, often she had to sleep in deserted huts or even out in the fields. She was literally eaten up by bugs and mosquitoes.

“Tomorrow we must go to a doctor,” I urged her.

“No, no,” she said, “I have to catch an early train tomorrow to go to Inner Mongolia. Where are the Bibles?” Her only concern was to get Bibles delivered!

In August 1983, Martha disappeared – as though she had just vanished into thin air. That was during China’s ‘Anti-Crime Campaign’ when many people were arrested and executed throughout China. We became concerned for Martha.
Later we got a letter from her through her friends. It was not really a letter – just a little piece of paper. She had been arrested and charged for distributing “superstitious materials” in the People’s Republic of China.
The little note read: “I don’t know what the penalty will be, but please pray for me.” She quoted Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:19-20. A few weeks later, we
received word that twenty-four-year-old Martha had been executed. She paid the price.”

Brethren! Every believer is an ambassador for Christ and so we must (work) to be reconciled to God by living and maintaining a Christlike lifestyle daily.
2 Corinthians 5:20, and this (work) must displayed through self denial of our will, to carry the cross (the message of God’s love and His salvation provision to mankind, that was wrought through the redemptive work of Christ). John 3:16.

We must understand that we are soldiers of the cross. Matthew 16:24, “Then said Yahushua unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Matthew 10:38 KJV
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

I don’t know about you but the story of this Chinese Martha challenges me a lot in the following ways:

1. She was 24, yet gave up her will to seek first the kingdom of God.

2. She was engaged to be married, but neglected the marriage to man, rather focused on a marriage to the Lamb of God through a selfless service.

3. She was beaten up severally with wounds, yet she refused to be treated in the hospital, because she had sold up herself to God’s Kingdom, where in eternity, she wouldn’t need medication for survival.

4. She sleeps in the bush and deserted huts a times, and was beaten by mosquitoes and bugs, yet she count all things as nothing, because she had focused on winning Christ.
Philippians 3:7-8.
[7] But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
[8] Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ/Mashiah Yahushua my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, KJV.

5. She knows of the risk involved but was ready to pay the price and she did paid it.
Romans 8:35, “Who (or what) shall separate her/us from the love of Mashiah/Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or famine, or persecution, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Emphasis mine).

Hear what Yahushua is saying to us… Matthew 10:38-39 KJV
[38). And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. [39] He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Friends! The truth is several of us are so free from persecution, but yet we living a lost course, because we have neglected the place of the cross. Rather than taking up the cross, rather than denying ourselves, rather than living to lose our lives for the sake of Christ, we have prioritized pursuing the fulfilment of our careers, our businesses, prosperity, our family & friends, our visions and dreams, all in bid to live a successful life here on earth. Matthew 6:19-20
[19] Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 
[20] But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: KJV.

The message of the gospel is the good news to the world that speaks of the salvation provision of God in Christ/Mashiah Yahushua to mankind, but everyone of the disciples, the apostles, the early Church and believers all paid the price of self denial, of suffering and persecution, everyone of them, and yet Apostle Paul declares in their suffering that we are more than conquerors, because they decided to take up their cross, submit their will, they lost these life in order to gain eternity. 

Sincerely! I don’t understand why believers of today don’t want to suffer for anything, not even for the sake of Christ just as Martha did.

Luke 14:27, “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”

PRAYER
Lord, Martha’s story humbles me. Help me love and serve You as much as she did. Help me to deny myself to pursue Your will regardless of the risk and the price, help me to press on to the mark of the high calling, because my time on earth will end, but I don’t want to lose my time of eternity with you forever. In the name of our soon coming King Yahushua!

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