Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25
After Russian church minister Daniil Sysoev (34) was murdered in his Moscow church on 19 November 2009, his wife Yulia said that he “expected the death some years prior to its happening; he always wished to receive a martyr’s crown, and the Lord has given him this crown… He said that he would be killed.”
Daniil was approached by a masked gunman who checked his name and then shot him in the head and chest. A choirmaster was also injured in the attack.
Daniil had been active in evangelistic outreach to Muslims, and many people think that this was the motive for his assassination. He had received threats via email that he would have his head cut off if he did not stop preaching to Muslims.
Grant, O Lord, that in thy wounds we may find our safety, in thy stripes our cure, in thy pain our peace, in thy cross our victory, in thy resurrection our triumph; and at the last, a crown of righteousness in the glories of thy eternal kingdom.