I thought, at first, he was speaking metaphorically. The more I read, the more I realized that he literally expected to be burnt at the stake for preaching the Gospel.
I wanted to tell him that God didn’t expect that of him, that he would never be granted a visa, and that it was more likely he would be thrown in jail if he ever went to Baghdad. Who was I to tell him that he was wrong?
God calls us to present our lives as a living sacrifice. For some of us, that means going to exotic and dangerous places. For others, it means witnessing to friends on the job. Yet, He expects the same attitude of self-denial of us all.
Whatever God calls us to do, it is the least we can do for the one and only true and living God, for the God who came to earth and defeated sin and death so that we may live in eternal victory.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.