I wonder how we would fill in that blank today in most of our lives. Would dying be gain as Paul called it or would we use these words:
I wanted to share this with you as it challenged me over the last few weeks. From Foxe's Book Of Martyrs:
In this persecution, suffered the blessed martyr, Ignatius, who is had in famouns reverence among very many. This Ignatius was appointed to the bishopric of Antioch next after Peter in succession. Som do say, that he, being sent from Syria to Rome, because he professed Christ, was given to the wild beasts to be devoured. It is also said of him, that when he passed through Asia, being under the most strict custody of his keepers, he strenghtened and confirmed the churches through all the cities as he went, both with his exhortations and preaching of the Word of God. Accordingly, having come to Smyrna, he wrote to the church at Rome, exhorting them not to use means for his deliverance from martyrdom, LEST THEY SHOULD DEPRIVE HIM OF THAT WHICH HE MOST HOPED AND LONGED FOR. "Now I begin to be a disciple. I care for nothing, of visible or invisible things, so that I may but win Christ. Let fire and the cross, let the companies of wild beasts, let breaking of bones and tearing of limbs, let the grinding of the whole body, and all the malice of the devil, come upon me; be it so, only may I win Christ Jesus!" And even when he was sentenced to be thrown to the beasts, such was the burning desire that he had to suffer, that he spake what time he heard the lions roaring, saying "I am the wheat of Christ: I am going to be ground with the teeth of wild beasts, that I may be found pure bread."
Re-read that and let that sink in. Not all of us will be called to be martyrs, but NONE of us are called to love television, apparell, parties, gossip, ignorant, stupid worldly things, more than we love Jesus. If dying is not gain to you, you must ask yourself the question "Do I Really Know Jesus?" And if you don't unite with Him in faith, for He is the only Savior you have.