2 Timothy 4:17, Daniel 6:16

Earlier this week, I was brushing our dog’s teeth and he accidentally bit down on my thumb as he was trying to retreat.  Later in the week, we were at someone’s house and their big, black dog playfully put its mouth around what felt like half of my forearm.  Neither of the dogs intended to harm me in any way. However, it got me thinking about Christians and lions of the past.

In Foxe’s Christian Martyrs of the World, there is a story of Christian persecution involving lions:

“During the third persecution, Pliny the second wrote to the emperor Trajan, complaining that thousands of Christians were being killed daily, although none of them had done anything worthy of persecution.  During this persecution Ignatius was condemned to death because he professed Christ.  At the time, he was living in Antioch, next in line as bishop after Peter.  As he made the trip from Syria to Rome under heavy guard, he preached to the churches he passed and asked the church in Rome not to try to save him.  Condemned to be thrown to the lions, Ignatius replied, ‘I am the wheat of Christ: I am going to be ground with the teeth of wild beasts, that I may be found pure bread.’ ”

What courage!  I wonder how many Christians would be this loyal to Jesus today?