I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. Luke 12:8

George, a 30-year-old Bulgarian, served in the army of the Ottoman Turks at the time when they had established themselves in Europe. One day he overheard some soldiers making fun of Jesus Christ. Jumping to the defence of his Saviour, he found himself suddenly under attack from the men. He was tied up, brought before a governor and twice asked to retract his words. But when he refused to stop witnessing for Christ, he was beaten again and imprisoned. The next day he was brought before the religious leaders of the area, who, encouraged by an angry mob, sentenced him to death by fire. George was burned to death on 26 March 1437 for defending his Lord.

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, Whose mercies are new unto us every morning, and Who, though we have in no wise deserved Thy goodness, dost abundantly provide for all our wants of body and soul: Give us, we pray Thee, Thy Holy Spirit, that we may heartily acknowledge Thy merciful goodness and serve Thee in willing obedience; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

The Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church, 1917

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.

Photo by Joao Cruz on Unsplash

George (1437)

Originally appeared on Isaac Publishing

Irshad Masih (2005) – In the Firing Line