Read Esther 4:12-17
“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish” (v. 16).
​During Emperor Nero’s first persecution, the believers begged Peter not to be seen in Rome. His life was considered necessary to the well-being of the church. Finally persuaded, he fled along the Appian Way only to be met by a vision of Christ traveling toward the city. The amazed Peter exclaimed, “Lord, whither goest thou?”
With mild sadness, the Savior replied, “I go to Rome to be crucified a second time,” then vanished. Peter immediately turned back and reentered the city. Some time later, he himself was crucified. (Ray Crooks)

I counted dollars while God counted crosses,
​​I counted gains while He counted losses,
​I counted by worth, by the things gained in store
​​But He sized me up by the scars that I bore.
​I coveted honors and sought for degrees,
​​He wept as He counted the hours on my knees;
​I never knew until one day by the grave
​​How vain are the things that we spend life to save;
​I did not yet know until my loved one went above
​​That richest is he who is rich in God’s love.
– Unknown

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose” (Jim Elliott).

This week’s featured devotional is the Thursday, September 4​​​​​​​, 2014 entry of Opening the Word. Order your copy!
Photo credit: "Wooden Cross at Souliers" by Andrew Bowden used under CC BY 2.0 / Resized, cropped.