Not just their words, but their actions and how they lived.
An example I can give is Jim Elliot. Jim Elliot was one of five missionaries killed by the Auca indians in the 1950's. It was his testimony that inspired me to look into the lives of others who have died or been persecuted for their faith. Prior to that, the only exsposure i have had was the men and women in the bible itself.
Now, I am in pursuit of books that will open my eyes to the stories of Amy Carmichael, Corrie Ten Boom, Hudson Taylor and others who comprise the modern day "Hall of Heroes".
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was another man of faith who gave his life to push forward the cause of God without regard for his own life. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was a German theologian, who faught the Nazi regime and their designs of a government run church, at first. Bonhoeffer also saw where this path was going. First a government controlled church, next total governemt control of the people and its industries. Mr. Bonhoeffer, later realized that he must be more proactive in his opposition to Hitler and his ideals.
Acts 8:1 Now Saul was consenting to his death (Stephen). At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
Great trials and tribulations caused the early church to go out into other areas and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Looking at the history of the Christianity, persecutions have been hand-in-hand with the message. Still today we as the church, collectively, and born again believers, individually, face daily attacks.
My point is this. I have neglected this part of...how can i say this? The continuing story of church history (i tried). These men and women have displayed a resolve that is not seen in many followers today. I am not saying it is not there in today's Christians but their stories are very compelling to me and I want to know them better.
I sense that an area of my faith will be touched by the stories i read AND, AND I will be greatly encouraged to be more bold in my faith and in my commitment to the MOST HIGH GOD.
What a wonderful journey i am about to embark on.