Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out. | Hugh Latimer, 1555
As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death—we give over our lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ.
When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.
It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave home and work to follow him, or it may be a death like Luther’s, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world.
But it is the same death every time—death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at his call.” (The Cost of Discipleship, 99)
“Die once we must; how and where we know not. Happy are they whom God giveth to pay nature’s debt (I mean to die) for His sake.
Here is not our home; let us therefore accordingly consider things having always before our eyes that heavenly Jerusalem, and the way thereunto in persecution.
And let us consider all the dear friends of God, how have they gone after the example of our Saviour Jesus Christ; whose footsteps let us also follow, even to the gallows (if God’s will be so), not doubting but as He rose again the third day, even so shall we do at the time appointed of God, that is, when the trump shall blow, and the angel shall shout, and the Son of man shall appear in the clouds, with innumerable saints and angels, in His majesty and great glory, and the dead shall arise, and we shall be caught up into the clouds, to meet the Lord, and to be always with Him.
Comfort yourselves with these words, and pray for me for the Lord’s sake; and God be merciful unto us all. Amen.” | H. Latimer
What is the one thing I would exchange my greatest possession for (I mean my life)?
Let me not forget:
We live at a time of great privilege — the age of grace.
We are literate.
We have His Word at our fingertips.
And words about Him anytime we desire to learn more.
We are free to gather in His name.
Free to come and go.
(It was not always so.)
How many have paved the way in pain that we may live with privilege?
Every word of the Bible, every opportunity for gathering, every bit of understanding — His grace through His people, His Son, His Spirit — that the opportunity be ours.
There is still time to repent and believe.
But one day, the doors will close.
And not open again.
And it will be too late to repent.
1) For those who are on the outside:
Will you be on the outside, still?
Today, while there is still time, will you come in?
2) For those who have come in and wander back and forth, will you stop and take time to truly examine your life?
Do you dare to belittle this grace that so many have fought — and died — for?
3) For those who have come in, are you comfortable keeping quiet and sitting inside, knowing others will perish if you are silent?
Do you shut your ears to their cries?
Tune your ears to Him, to hear His call, that you may hear their cries.
Then respond and go.
“Here is not our home; let us therefore accordingly consider things having always before our eyes that heavenly Jerusalem…”