How important it is for us to know that our lives belong to God. God decides the day of our birth, and God decides the day of our death. But we have everything to do with the dash in the middle.
In Revelation 12:11, we read of the saints during the Tribulation who "overcame [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."They did not love their lives to the death.
These believers knew their lives belonged to God. They knew that as followers of Jesus during the Tribulation period, they could lose their lives. They also knew their times were in God's hands. Thus, they spoke up for their faith in Christ and, whatever the consequences were, they were ready to face them.
A story is told from the pages of Christian history about a believer who was brought before one of the Caesars. He was told to renounce his faith and give glory to Caesar. The man would not do it. So the emperor said to him, "Give up Christ, or I will banish you."
The Christian said, "You can't banish me from Christ, for God says, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' "
The emperor said, "I will confiscate your property."
The Christian replied, "My treasures are laid up in Heaven. You can't touch them."
The emperor said, "I will kill you."
The Christian answered, "I have been dead to this world in Christ for 40 years. My life is hidden with Christ in God. You can't touch it."
The emperor turned to some of the members of his court and said, in complete disgust, "What can you do with such a fanatic?"
May God give us more Christians like this.