Monday, February 1, 2010

Extreme Devotion


The people of Hadley begged Dr. Rowland Taylor not to go see the bishop of Winchester and Lord Chancellor. They knew the bishop was furious at the teachings of Dr. Taylor.


For nearly twenty years, the English Bible had been legally distributed in England. Dr. Taylor had simply taught all those in his church to read the Bible for themselves and to follow its teachings. In contrast, religious leaders under the brutal rule of Queen Mary I called for strict adherence to the customs of the church.

After being insulted and accused by the bishop, Rowland replied, “I am a Christian man. I have not blasphemed against the church. In fact, by your own charge, you are the heretic. Christ died once and for all for the sins of mankind. It is sufficient. You and your traditions can offer nothing more.”

For the next two years, Dr. Taylor was a prisoner. When he learned that he would be burned at the stake outside Hadley, he leaped for joy. He was not concerned for his safety. Instead, he rejoiced at the thought of traveling through Hadley and once again seeing his brothers and sisters in the faith.

Dr. Rowland Taylor was martyred in the winter of 1555.

Love is spoken in many different languages. People need to hear love in their own language in order to recognize it. Some husbands serve their wives breakfast in bed to demonstrate their love. Still other spouses need a thoughtful gift in order to hear “I love you” loud and clear. Greeting card companies hope we’ll say it with words. Jesus, however, says that his love language is obedience. That is how we express our love to him. When we obey him, we show that we love him. Taylor was martyred for teaching his followers to speak Jesus’ love language. He taught them to read the Bible and obey its teaching. Show Jesus you love him, and honor Dr. Taylor’s memory today.

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