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JAPAN: Extreme Maturity

After they all had been tried, found guilty, and sentenced to die, twenty-six Christians were marched to the place where crudely made crosses stood. Almost three months earlier, they had been arrested in Kyoto, Japan, and charged with following Christ. One of the convicts was named Ibaragi Kun.

Seeing how young Kun was, an official took him aside and urged him to recant his faith to save his life. Looking the official in the eye, Kun said confidently, “Sir, it would be far better if you yourself became a Christian. Then you could go to heaven with me.”

The officer stared, startled by the young man’s faith. Finally, Ibaragi asked, “Sir, which cross is mine?”

The bewildered official pointed to the smallest of the twenty-six crosses. Young Kun ran to the cross, knelt before it, and embraced it. When the soldiers began to nail his hands and feet to the cross, he did not cry out in pain. He courageously accepted the path God had laid out for him.

The crucifixion of the twenty-six Christians on November 23, 1596, was the beginning of a period of intense persecution of Christians in Japan. Over the next seventy years, as many as one million Japanese Christians would be killed for their faith. Many would embrace their own crosses to follow the example of Ibaragi Kun, a very mature twelve-year-old boy

Spiritual maturity is not measured by a birth certificate. Chronological age has little to do with conviction. Rather, spiritual maturity is measured one day at a time. We measure our maturity by how well we daily apply our faith. Contrary to popular belief, spiritual maturity is not how much we know about the Bible. Many people are very familiar with the Bible, yet they remain strangers to spiritual maturity. Obedience to the Bible’s commands is the mark of maturity. One question will help us know how well we are growing spiritually. We must ask ourselves each day, “How much more do we look like Jesus today than we did yesterday?” Our answer is a true reflection of our growth.

Story from our daily devotional book. For more info go to https://vom.com.au/shop/books/extreme-devotion-with-study-guide-voice-of-the-martyrs/

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2 Responses to JAPAN: Extreme Maturity

  1. Julie Francis 19 January 2018 at 12:00 pm #

    Such courage and grace unger yjreat of death is asrare now as it was then. Where does Japan stand now? It breaks my heart to see India falling away from the faith, knowing how strong in Christ they once were.

    • Voice of the Martyrs 22 January 2018 at 11:38 am #

      In Japan Government policy and practice contribute to the generally free practice of religion. There were no reports of restrictions on religious freedom. Christianity in Japan is among the nation’s minority religions. Sadly only about 1 percent of the population claims Christian belief or affiliation.

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