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Extreme Devotion: Daily Devotional Stories of Ancient to Modern Day Believers Who Sacrificed Everything for Christ Review by Deborah Wuehler

The Voice of the Martyrs

What an appropriate title: Extreme Devotion. What I was not prepared for was the extreme emotion I encountered while reading these daily devotional stories. This book is power-packed with extreme examples of people from all countries and all walks of life who gave it all for Christ. These are true testimonies of Christians living out their faith under the worst circumstances and even dying for their faith.

Each day contains a Scripture passage, a short story, and a brief application for living. Each fits on one page and is easily read in a few minutes, but the impact is unforgettable.

My 11-, 13-, and 15-year-olds devoured it. They couldn't just read one story a day. They were so impressed with the authenticity of what it means to live and die for Christ. One of them read the whole book in a few days.

From my 11-year-old: "For me, it was very shocking what Christians are going through for their salvation. We have it easy here. Others have the risk of being killed just for being baptized or for being a Christian. It encourages me to be thankful for what I have here and the freedoms that I have to worship God. It also encourages me to keep going instead of giving up."

From my 13-year-old: "It opens your eyes to the reality of how many religious freedoms we have here and that we should use them while we still have them. It is also a way to hear about how people went through terrible suffering for Jesus' sake."

These examples of martyrs and sufferers will strengthen your resolve to be an "all or nothing" follower of Christ. I could not fathom the pain and suffering of some of these fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and yet their faith was as strong as their love and devotion to God. I was humbled and often ashamed of my desire for a comfortable Christianity. I understand better now the Scripture that says, "To live is Christ; to die is gain." The book has also influenced me to "remember my brothers and sisters in chains as if bound with them."

This book is not for the weak stomached and may not be suitable for very young children. (Preteen would be at your discretion.) But I highly recommend it for teens and adults who wish to get out of their comfort zone and boast "extreme devotion" for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Reviewed by Deborah Wuehler, Devotional Editor, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2006