Frozen Martyrs
by Ljeffcoat91
<span style="font-size: small;">&#160;I read a story today that truly made me stop and think. &#160;It was the story of the a group of Christian martyrs known as the Holy Forty or the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste. &#160;For those of you who don't know the story, in 316 Emperor Licinius of the Eastern Roman Empire proclaimed it to be illegal to be a Christian. &#160;This of course was in direct retaliation to Emperor Constantine's, of the Western Roman Empire, &#160;legalization of Christianity in 313. &#160;The penalty for being a Christian under the rule of Licinius was death. All Christians of the Eastern Empire were to renounce there faith or be tortured and eventually killed. &#160;Many Christian renounced there faith. &#160;But there were some who didn't. &#160;In particular there was a group of forty soldiers who refused to renounce there faith. &#160;So according to the law they were tortured extensively.&#160;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-size: small;">&#160; &#160; &#160;Classic Roman torture technique were used. &#160;Hooks were stuck in the sides of the men and there flesh was pulled off. &#160;But the men held strong. &#160;They encouraged each other. &#160;They kept the faith no matter how much pain they experianced. &#160;The men were so resilient that Emperor Licinius developed a new form of torture and execution. &#160;He took the men to the town of Sebaste and had them stripped naked and forced on a frozen lake. &#160;They could either freeze to death of renounce there faith. &#160;When the men heard of the new punishment they rejoiced. &#160;They praised God that they would soon be in communion with Him. &#160;There are several variations of the what happened next. &#160;Regardless, all forty men died. &#160;They paid the ultimate price.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-size: small;">&#160; &#160; &#160;I read this story with feelings of humility coming over me. &#160;I try to place myself in those mens shoes but I cannot fathom how it must have been. &#160;I think have trivial my problems are. &#160;But I am reminded that the same Holy Spirit that strengthened those men is the same Holy Spirit that dwells and strengthens me. &#160;That the power of Christ can strengthen us to endure more than we ever thought we could.&#160;</span><br /><br /><span style="font-size: small;">&#160; &#160; &#160;How often do I quench this powerful Spirit in my life? &#160;How often does God call us to be great witnesses for the kingdom like these men and we don't live it out. &#160;I know this is a common occurrence in my life. &#160;Do I let God sanctify me in my life? &#160;Is it not simply allowing God to help us die to our sinful nature? &#160;Do we try to make it more complicated that that? &#160;We must follow the conviction of the Holy Spirit. These men allowed themselves to be Sanctified to the point of where it took them to the point of Glorification. &#160;That is the end result of anyone's Christian life. &#160;We must not quench the work the Holy Ghost in us. &#160;We must work constantly towards our eventual glorification with Christ. &#160;The only thing stopping Christ from purifying your life is yourself. &#160;He has given us the ability to overcome and we must simply live in it. &#160;I Peter 1:13-15 (RSV)&#160;<em>Therefore gird up your minds, be sober, set your hope fully upon the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. &#160;As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all you conduct,</em></span>
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