We serve Christians around the world whose brave faith in Jesus means they are, beaten, threatened, imprisoned, tortured, falsely accused, disowned and hated.

I have decided to follow Jesus

pattern

Ever sung the Hillsong song ‘Christ is Enough’? Did you know it includes some some lyrics inspired by words that were first uttered around 150 years ago in north east India.

A group of missionaries spreading the message of love, peace and hope in Jesus came into these communities. They were not welcomed. But one local man, Nokseng, along with his wife, and two children choose to find out more about Jesus and they became Christians. Nokseng’s faith was contagious, and other villagers began to accept Jesus too.

The village chief was livid and summoned all the villagers together. He then called Nokseng’s family to appear before him – he demanded they renounce their faith in public, or face execution. Moved by the Holy Spirit, Nokseng bravely said:

“I have decided to follow Jesus.”

Enraged at Nokseng’s refusal to deny Christ, the chief ordered his archers to shoot the two children. As both boys lay dying on the floor, the chief asked again: “Will you deny your faith? You have lost both your children. You will lose your wife too.”

But Nokseng bravely replied:

“Though no one joins me, still I will follow.”

The chief was beside himself with fury and ordered the wife to be arrowed down. In a moment she joined her two children in death. Now he asked for the last time, “I will give you one more opportunity to deny your faith and live.” Facing death, Nokseng said the final memorable lines:

“The cross before me, the world behind me. No turning back.”

He was shot dead like the rest of his family. But with their deaths, a miracle took place. The chief who had ordered the killings was so moved by the faith of the Nokseng and his family that he began to question his own beliefs. He wondered: “Why should this man, his wife and two children die for a man who lived in a far-away land on another continent some 2,000 years ago? There must be some remarkable power behind the family’s faith, and I too want to taste that faith.”

In a spontaneous confession of faith, the chief declared, “I too belong to Jesus Christ!” When the crowd heard this from the mouth of their chief, the whole village was overwhelmed and ultimately they all gave their lives to Jesus.

It sounds incredible, but it’s also a painful story. Nokseng’s incredible determination and resolute faith in the face of such terrible abuse, couldn’t save his family, but did start a revival in that village – and ultimately Nokseng and his family were embraced and welcomed into eternal life with Jesus.

So, how can we respond?

Watch the song above again. As you think through the words, bring your worries and concerns about living out your faith before God. Ask him to help you grow a braver, resolute faith – one that says, ‘no turning back’. Then pray for all those who are facing similar threats to Nokseng today. Ask God to give them bravery and boldness and that they would live to see many come to know Jesus because of their courage and faithfulness to Jesus.

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