Be of Good Cheer
Matthew 9:2, 14:27, John 16:33
I. BE OF GOOD CHEER - WE HAVE HIS PARDON - MATT. 9:2
II. BE OF GOOD CHEER - WE HAVE HIS PRESENCE - Matt. 14:27
III. BE OF GOOD CHEER- WE HAVE HIS PROMISES
Festo Kivengere, a leading evangelical minister in Uganda, wrote a book called I Love Idi Amin. In this book, he described the history of the church in Uganda, and in the following excerpt he told of the first Christian martyrs in the nation's history:
"Earlier that same year, 1885, three Christian boys had shed their blood for Christ in Uganda. The king had ordered the arrest of these page boys in an effort to stamp out Christianity. The eldest was fifteen and the youngest was eleven-year-old Yusufu. They held fast their faith and staked their lives on it, though people were weeping and their parents were pleading with them.
At the place of execution they sent a message to the king: 'Tell his majesty that he has put our bodies in the fire, but we won't be long in the fire. Soon we shall be with Jesus, which is much better. But ask him to repent and change his mind, or he will land in a place of eternal fire and desolation.'
They sang a song which is now well loved in Uganda as the 'martyr's song.' One verse says, 'O that I had wings like the angels. I would fly away and be with Jesus!' Little Yusufu said, 'Please don't cut off my arms. I will not struggle in the fire that takes me to Jesus!' Forty adults came to Jesus the day the boys died. This was a new kind of life, which fire and torture could not control. We have a memorial near Kampala where these youngsters are remembered as the first Christian martyrs of Uganda.
By 1887, the end of the first decade of the church, hundreds had died. There were martyrs out of every village that had believers. They were only beginners, they knew little theology, and some could barely read, but they had fallen in love with Jesus Christ. Life had taken on a complet ...
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