“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (Jhn4:34)… “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him” (Jhn7:16-18).
We shouldn’t try achieve our own will, but His will: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matt7:21-23)
"But God forbid that I should boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."
Boasting in the Cross only
We have nothing in our lives to boast about that is greater than the Cross and the One who was crucified on it. We boast in the Cross because it is the power and wisdom of God, "For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God ... but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God." (1 Co 1:18,23,24) By the Cross, the greatness of God's love was manifested (John 3:16) as when we were still sinful, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8) By the Cross we were saved, and Christ bought us by His precious blood, and paid our debt for divine justice. (1 Pet. 1:18; 1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Cor. 7:23) By the Cross, the curse of the law was abolished. (Deut. 21:23; Gal. 3:13) By the Cross, the middle wall of separation was broken. (Eph 2:14) And we were reconciled to God the Father. (Eph. 2:14; 2 Cor. 5:17-19) Moreover, Jesus unified the Jews and the gentiles, and made them one in Himself by the Cross. (Eph 1:16-18) By the Cross, we are empowered to conquer Satan and his armies, and to obtain all the graces of the new covenant, and to eat from the tree of life.
Martyrdom and the Glory of Martyrs
The story of martyrdom in the history of the early church is the story of early Christianity and its spread across time and everywhere. It illuminates the way to the kingdom with the light of true faith granted to us from the Father through His only begotten Son. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). This great love was manifested on the cross, as He made Himself a sacrifice of atonement for the whole world, in order to bestow salvation and eternal life to all who believe in him and want to live a life of holiness. The pure life, deeds and virtues of those martyrs are luminous before our eyes, encouraging us to walk in their footsteps to enjoy our eternity.