May 4

Posted on May 4, 2021

No one can calculate the suffering and death that swept through Angola during its 27-year civil war, as forces from around the world battled for control of that country’s natural resources. It is estimated that 1.5 million died, many of them believers. Church elders were systematically killed to destabilize the communities. One missionary who returned to his field of labor after the slaughter could find only one surviving elder from hundreds of local churches. The youngest of seven elders, he had been kept last to be executed in hopes that he would recant. But when the sixth elder dropped at his feet, he began to sing: “Am I a soldier of the cross, a follower of the Lamb? And shall I fear to own His cause, or to defend His name?” (I. Watts). He was spared death for his remarkable courage. Remember this story the next time you shrink back from witnessing, for fear you might be—what? Refused? Ridiculed? “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord” (2 Tim 1:8).

Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 36; Ezra 1-4 Memorize: Zechariah 9:9