Devoted Even Unto Death
In the third century, a young Christian woman and nursing mother named Perpetua demonstrated her devotion to the Lord even to death. She was asked by the authorities and her own father to deny her Christian faith in order to save her life, but she refused. Her words of faith spoke clearly: “Could this vase or flowerpot be called by any other name? I cannot be called anything other than I am, a Christian.” In an amphitheater before crowds of mockers, Perpetua and other martyrs were scourged by gladiators, mutilated by wild animals, and then killed by swords. She courageously spoke of her faith and then died for it.
Christian women today must evaluate our relationship with the Lord. Your devotion to God will be reflected in your readiness to speak out for Jesus. How strong is your faith? Are you growing daily in the Lord and living a Christlike life? Are you becoming the woman God created you to be? If you desire your life to count for His glory, you must be walking with the Lord faithfully as you engage in Bible study, spend time in prayer, serve the Lord in ministry, and speak a witness of His redeeming love to others.
Devotion is not a word understood by or desired by the world. Most people are devoted only to themselves and their own desires. But the Bible teaches believers to be devoted to the Lord and follow Him wholeheartedly. In Matthew 6:24, Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and man.” Devotion requires total loyalty and unfaltering faith.
The dictionary defines devotion as “ardent, often selfless affection and dedication.” It is loyalty and enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause. Devotion is literally pure love, the knowledge that one would actually give up life to protect or defend another without question or hesitation. For Christians, devotion is pure love of the Lord, a sincere expression of total faith through prayer and worship.
Devotion does not happen overnight! It begins with faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and continues with perseverance in spiritual disciplines. Bible study is essential for spiritual growth because it reveals the nature of God, instructs the believer in godly living, and teaches truth which can be shared with others. Devotional reading of the Bible as well as systematic study of the Word provide a biblical foundation for life and guidance in important decision-making.
Prayer is another vital element of spiritual growth for the Christian woman to embrace daily. Prayer draws a believer closer to the Lord. In prayer, God speaks to His children and His children speak their hearts to Him. Prayer guides and directs the believer who is empowered to speak His truth to others. Prayer marks the life of a devoted Christian.
Other important disciplines of the Christian faith are witnessing, service, and personal purity. All of these are needed for spiritual growth and effective ministry. However, these disciplines are not possible without complete devotion to the Lord. We must possess His strength to be who He called us to be and say what He commanded us to say. A devoted life is a powerful testimony of God’s redeeming love.
More than ever before in history, Christians must be devoted. We must stand firm for our biblical convictions. We must speak boldly about our faith even when unpopular. We must share the Gospel even when rejected. We must be courageous like Perpetua who was devoted even unto death. If you are a Christian, you cannot be called anything but a CHRISTIAN!!