February 4 - Courage

Courage

COURAGE

Telemachus, a fourth-century Christian, who lived in a remote village who tended his garden and spent much time in prayer. He was a monk. One day in prayer he heard the voice of God telling him to go to Rome, so he obeyed and walked for days. He arrived in the city at festival time. The little monk followed the crowd surging down the streets and into the Roman Coliseum.

He saw the gladiators stand before the Emperor and say, "We who are about to die salute you." Then he realized these men were going to fight to the death for the entertainment of the crowd. He shouted: "In the name of Christ, STOP!"

But the game began, he pushed and shoved his way through the crowd, climbed over the wall and dropped to the floor of the arena. When the crowd saw this tiny figure running to the gladiators and shouting, "In the name of Christ, STOP!" they thought it was part of the show and began laughing.

When they realized it wasn't...the laughter turned to anger. As he was pleading with the gladiators to stop, one of them plunged a sword into his body...he fell to the sand. As he was dying, his last words were: "In the name of Christ, stop!"

Then a strange thing happened. The gladiators stood looking at the tiny, broken, dying figure lying there. A hush fell over the Coliseum. Way up in the upper rows, a man stood and made his way to the exit with head bowed. Others began to follow. In dead silence, everyone left the Coliseum.

The year was B.C. 391. It was the last battle to death between gladiators. Never again would men die for the entertainment of the crowd. All because of one tiny voice! ONE VOICE...ONE LIFE WHO SPOKE THE TRUTH IN GOD'S NAME!

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you!" (Deuteronomy 31:6).