“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22.37)
A man and woman were coming upon their 50th wedding anniversary. She asked how they should mark this special occasion.
He threw out some ideas: they could host a reception at a banquet hall, go on a ten-day vacation, reenact their wedding ceremony, or upgrade their wedding rings.
“Wow, these ideas are wonderful,” she said, “But there’s just one thing I want.”
“What’s that my love? You can have anything.”
She hugged him and said, “To know that you’re still all in.”
He hugged her and said, “I am, my love, I love you through and through, with all that is in me.”
And that’s how they marked their 50th.
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16.25)
Jesus said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14.26)
Jesus said, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22.37)
Several years ago God gave me a dream. I saw a wheat field ready for harvest. It was teaming with wheat. Then I saw stalks of wheat, many bundles laid out. But there was something different about the stalks that were harvested. The bottoms of the stalks were stained red.
I asked God what the red was and He said it was blood. I asked Him why they were stained with blood and He said it was the blood of martyrdom.
A harvest of martyrdom is coming to the Kingdom in which the people will know they’re giving up their lives for the LORD. They’ll know ahead of time that to follow Christ will cost them their lives. Yes, for some it will mean physically dying in various places around the world because of Christ. But for most it will mean a daily dying to their own lives in their own homes. With this knowledge, they’ll follow Christ anyway.
That’s the harvest of martyrdom.
Wouldn’t this revolutionize the world? Wouldn’t this revolutionize the Church? Wouldn’t this revolutionize our lives?
But many of us love God with half of our lives. We love God with half of our hearts. We give Him a portion, but we keep some for ourselves. We’re like Ananias and Sapphira, who sold their property, but held back a portion for themselves (Acts 5.1-2).
Loving God means counting the cost—it will require your whole life.
I’m not just talking about physical death. I’m also talking about dying daily, daily giving up yourself for Christ. This is the problem with many of us today. We don’t exactly know what we’re getting into.
You see, many of us love God with half of our lives. We’ll give Him half of our hearts, the easiest ones to offer. But we’ll hold back the other half for ourselves or for others. We’ll obey Him when it’s convenient for us. Or only when we understand.
But loving God means trusting Him, even through a land not sown. It means counting the cost—your whole life.