Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Grace to Forgive

The following is an edited excerpt from the upcoming feature article in the December edition of The Voice of the Martyrs Newsletter. To receive your copy, click here.

Dirk Willems was a Dutch Christian who was arrested in the village of Asperen in 1569 because of his religious activities. Lowering himself out of a window using a rope made of rags, he was able to escape but not before a guard had seen him. The guard began to pursue him, with the town's mayor in tow. As they ran, Willems came to a frozen pond. He was able to make it across it safely but as the guard dashed across the ice, he fell through and began to sink. Hearing the hapless guard's cries for help, Willems was faced with a choice. Would he see this as a sign of God's protection or would he do what he could to save the life of his persecutor?

He stopped, turned around and went back to save his pursuer's life. Extending a hand of mercy to his enemy, he carefully pulled him to safety. But no sooner had he saved the guard than the mayor arrived and insisted on having him burned at the stake. Martyrs Mirror reports that as Willems died painfully and horrifically, the wind carried his voice to the next village where the residents heard him cry out more than seventy times, forgiving those who were killing him.

The grace to forgive is nurtured by the Word of God and the testimonies of those who have gone on before. This is why The Voice of the Martyrs shares the stories of today's and yesterday's Christian martyrs in our newsletters, books and videos. Share them with your children. Read them for your own growth in grace. Include them in Sunday School classes, sermons, or devotionals that you lead. Don't rob yourself and others of the riches of what God has and is doing in the world through the lives of those who are prepared to give all for Him.
(You can purchase a print of this picture online. Click here.)

1 comment:

biftu said...

If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine
(John 8:31)How wonderful is this man testimony .He must be that century stephen.God multiply us by this kind of faithfull christians.It is awsome.I will pray for your ministry.
Biftu from Ethiopia.