By Linda Condolora
George Washington is remembered as the father of our country. Benjamin Franklin is remembered for his experiment with a kite and a key, while standing out in a lightning storm. We remember Patrick Henry for his famous speech in which he declared, “Give me liberty, or give me death.” And Abraham Lincoln is remembered as the president who kept the United States together. These are just a few of the famous people and moments that make up the richness of our American history. Their lives, the things they said and did, have left an impact on our country. They have given us examples of courage, determination, and humility to learn from and strive for still today.
None of the men named above, lived their lives thinking about how to become famous. Nevertheless, the simple act of living lives of good character and doing what was right, no matter how unpopular it might be, gave them a place forever in our history books.
There are people like that in the Bible - Moses, David, Peter, and Paul, to name a few. Moses spoke with God, face to face. David was a man “after God’s own heart”. Peter denied knowing Jesus three times and then gave the first gospel sermon on Pentecost. Paul went from persecuting and approving the death of Christians, to being one of the best known among the apostles. Again, none of these men were concerned with being remembered and talked about two thousand years into the future, but the way they lived out their faith in God continues to speak to us today.
Scripture reminds us of a number of faithful followers in the chapter known as the Faith Hall of Fame - Hebrews 11. In verse 4, Abel is talked about and the writer says, even though he is dead, he still speaks through his faith. (HCSB) There are so many who have been, and are being, martyred for their faith. In fact, as I write this, Youcef Nadarkhani, a believer, is in prison in Iran. He refuses to denounce his faith in Jesus Christ, and as a result faces possible execution. Youcef didn’t plan this. The others who have been martyred or face death today didn’t plan it either. They just gave their lives to Christ and then lived their faith. They may or may not become famous, but you can be sure their lives are touching many others.
Living in the United States, it is highly unlikely that we will be
put to death for our faith. But we don’t live in a vacuum and our
lives do affect others. If we truly are believers in Jesus Christ and
have given our lives over to His service, then we are called to
walk in step with the Spirit, for our words and deeds to be in line
with the will of God and to measure our lives against the plumb-
line of His Word. What about you? What effect have you had on
the people around you? When you are dead and gone, will you
continue to speak to others through your faith? You may never
become famous, but if you live your life true to your faith, there
is no telling the impact you will have on others for eternity.