This is probably the most convicting thing I’ve read all week.
In Justin Foxe’s Foxe’s Christian Martyrs of the World, he recounts the life of the apostle Andrew after the resurrection of Jesus…
“The proconsul order Andrew not to preach these things any more or he would face a speedy crucifixion. Whereupon Andrew replied, “I would not have preached the honor and the glory of the cross if I feared the death of the cross.” …
Andrew, going toward the place of execution and seeing the cross waiting for him, never changed his expression. Neither did he fail in his speech. His body fainted not, nor did his reason fail him, as often happens to men about to die. He said, “O Cross, most welcome and longed for! With a willing mind, joyfully and desirously, I come to you, being the scholar of Him which did hang on you, because I have always been your lover and yearned to embrace you.”
It took me a while to catch what he meant, but as I meditated and prayed over some verses related to it, it struck such deep conviction into my heart about the reality of believing and following Jesus. I was left with this resounding question:
How can I preach about the cross of Jesus without being willing to be hung on one?
This is probably the quality most missing in my evangelism- the unwillingness to die for Him who died for me. I am fussing too much over the details of the gospel, or what others believe about the gospel, without having the actual power of the gospel burn within me. That power is a real entity, burned by the Holy Spirit within those who have encountered the God of love.
And apparently, it burned inside of Andrew. Enough to die on the cross himself.
Oh, God kindle a fire within me as well!