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Home / Weekly Message / 04-15-07: St. George Great Martyr
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04-15-07:  St. George Great Martyr

We can even look far back into the Old Covenant to find instructions which encouraged the saint martyrs of the Church of Christ. "The Lord said, `Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go"' Joshua 1: 9.

Even in the most minute details of our lives we ought be encouraged by these instructions from heaven. If we apply them to the seemingly insignificant, unimportant and daily resolution of problems and encounters, we will strengthen ourselves when serious decisions must be responded to. Following the death of Moses, Joshua was faced with a new job in a strange land. He witnessed the example of Moses before him. God charged Joshua with leading the people into the hostile promised land. Surely doubt and anxieties gripped him as he considered the overwhelming task that lay before him. But our heavenly Father understood Joshua's fear and three times commanded him to "...be strong and of good courage." And of course, most importantly, our God promised to be with him. We all face challenges and new territories to conquer such as illness, career change, or personal loss. St. George also was called to face the same dilemmas we routinely encounter. And like Joshua we can face these uncertainties with courage by drawing on God's promise to be with us no matter what strange land of problems and challenges we face, we assume the spiritual character God insists we make our own: courage and strength.

Joshua then became a faithful witness for the Lord. St. George because of his gratefully received love of Christ also became a faithful witness in his time and place. We are called upon to do the same. St. George praised God in all the circumstances of his daily life. No doubt he said, "I praise God with my hands. If I am left without hands, I will praise him with my feet. If I am left without feet, I will praise him with all my heart and soul. When God calls me, then my purpose for praise will be completed." His continuing, never-ending prayer was: "I believe I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living" Psalms 27: 13. He had every reason to glorify God and so he never left that obedient path.

Not only knowing, but believing is most important in the life of a follower of Jesus Christ. St. George the Martyr prayed for and assumed the stature of the disciples whom Jesus spoke about when he said, "My disciples know with certainty that I came from you and they believe that you sent me" John 17: 8. The Pharisees version of God's revelation to them made them erroneously certain that Jesus was a heretic. In their eyes, they were right and He was wrong. They had to silence Jesus and if He could not be silenced, he had to be destroyed. The problem with personal interpretation and individual pursuit of belief is that it begins to seriously think it is the only group on whose side our God is and therefore that faithfulness demands viewing all others as enemies to be destroyed. The pagans in the time of St George thought like this as well. Moslems in our present day think like this. St. George sounded the cause of Christ so he had to be eliminated, to be destroyed if he would not offer sacrifice to the Roman gods. Just as the Pharisees illustrated, such hateful venomous arrogance can be an enemy of faith and more importantly, an enemy of God. This arrogance flies in the face of what God's revelation to us teaches, "Blessed are the poor in spirit" Matthew 5: 3; "Do not judge, or you too will be judged" Matthew 7: 1; "Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up" I Corinthians 8: 1. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. No understanding the whole and complete picture can lead us to perdition.

Christian certainty of which St. George was wholly and totally possessed is a different kind of certainty. It is not the certainty of the mind, for our minds always remain susceptible to the influence of sin as well as our limited knowledge and understanding. Realizing the significance of what Christ did for us transforms our hearts and souls. If we are as certain of God's love for us as was St George, we can over come the world as Christ assures us.

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