That God Be Honored Kendall Lankford
May 8, 2018
I love reading. I especially love to read about the godly men of old, who took a stand for truth and faced the gravest dangers for what they knew concerning Christ. I appreciate these men, partly, because of their boldness and passion. They knew what they believed and it was so real to them they were willing to risk everything! I also look up to them because they considered the glory of God worth more than creaturely comforts.
I want to live this way!
So, as I was reading today, I came across a story I have never read before about a church planter named Marcus Arethusius that I wanted to share. This man lived around 325 AD and was persecuted mightily for the stand he took for Jesus. Listen to how Thomas Brooks describes him. (I updated the quote to reflect modern English).
“I have read of that noble servant of God, Marcus Arethusius. He was a minister of a church in the time of emperor Constantine. He was a man who had obediently followed the direction of the emperor by overthrowing an idol's temple in his city. However, after Constantine died, there was a new emperor, Julian (The Apostate), who rose to power. This new emperor forced the people of that place to rebuild the idol temple and all of them were ready to do it.
Yet, Marcus refused.
This caused an uproar in his city. But because of the emperor's edict, his own people, the one to whom he had preached, took him and stripped him of all his clothes, and abused his naked body. They gave him up to the children, to lance him with red-hot pen like knives, so that they left his body riddled with holes. And then, they caused him to be put into a basket, drenching him with honey, in order that he would be set out in the sun so that the wasps and flies would bite him.
And all of this cruelty they showed him, because he would not dishonor God. He would do not one thing towards the building up of this idol temple! No matter how hard they persisted with him he would not give in to their demands. Finally, they pleaded with him to give only a half-penny toward the effort, and if he would do that small thing then they would deliver him from the brutality.
But he still refused them all.
Though the giving of a halfpenny might have saved his life; he chose rather to suffer the worst torments that men and devils could invent and inflict, so not to commit the least sin whereby God should have been dishonored.”
- Thomas Brooks
This story is so inspiring to me because it stems from a deep and satisfying relationship with God. Marcus did not want to suffer any more than we do today, but even more than that, he did not want to dishonor the God that He loved by giving into even the tiniest sin. He lived his whole life that God be honored.
"Sometimes doing what honors God will cost us everything. But knowing Him, and living for His honor, is worth far more than anything we might lose."
I pray our lives are consumed with the honor and glory of God!
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. - Romans 8:18 CSB