Sunday, July 8, 2012

Extreme Step

Nazi Concentration Camp: Mary Skotsobaugh

“...seven, eight, nine – you! Step out!” The Nazi guard yelled at the woman. The commandant had ordered every tenth prisoner executed as punishment for two women’s escape the previous night. 

“Please have mercy on me! I have a child,” the tenth woman pleaded.

Mary Skotsobaugh stood next in line. In her heart Mary heard, “Step forward and say you wish to die in her place.” She replied to the inner voice, “Why? She is not a Christian. She is a Jewish Communist. When the Nazis are overthrown and the Communists come to power, they will be as bad as the Nazis.”

Then Mary remembered that it was Good Friday. The voice said, “On this day I died not for the good ones but for the bad ones, for sinners.”

Mary then stepped forward. “I wish to die.”

The officer laughed. “If you are stupid enough to die in her place, all right, you come forward. Her turn will come soon enough.”

As Mary went to be executed and burned in the ovens, she told them, “When God took his people out of slavery in Egypt, it is written in our Bible that he walked before them in a column of fire. I pray when my body burns it would be a column of fire that will show you the way to God.”

One step forward can make all the difference. Christians often live their lives precariously balanced on the ledge between safety and the unknown. Those who have taken the small step forward into the unknown have always found the faithfulness of God. Noah. Moses. Abraham. Deborah. Ruth. Mary. Paul. The list of biblical examples goes on and on, not to mention a host of history’s hall of fame. One step of faith changed their lives from ordinary to extraordinary. Is God calling you to step forward in faith today? Do you hear his voice in your heart? Listen up. Prepare to move. Your small step of obedience could show others the way to God.

Excerpted from Extreme Devotion, a book of 365 true accounts of men and women who totally sold out for Jesus. You can order a copy of this book from our online catalogue or by contacting our office.

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