Recently, I have been led to follow the words of Hebrews 13:3, to “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” Especially, recently, to make a real point to pray, every day, for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, around the globe, who are suffering persecution. To pray for their safety and protection. And, to make a point to pray for “the persecutors;” that “they will realize that the Messiah has already come, His name is Jesus, and He is alive forevermore. That He is the Savior of the world, and He is the only way to the Father. That Jesus is the Way … the only Way.” Period. That’s what I pray, literally, word for word.
I also make a point to follow the words of Psalm 122:6, to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” This, I can honestly say, is a part of my morning prayer time.
Please keep in mind … please … that I am not “picking on” just one group or faction or religion. This was just a way to find out, in more detail, about my Christian Brothers and Sisters, around the world, and the persecution they are facing. I pray, every day, for all those who are being persecuted, by any group or faction or political system, etc. My prayers cover them all, but this particular guide detailed just those facing persecution from this particular group/groups.
Allow me to be honest: I live in the United States of America, and am so glad to do so. Because of where I live, and how I live, I just “don’t have a clue” about what it is like to live in a lot of other countries. I don’t. Neither do a lot of us. Oh yeah … I mention about the price of gas, and how we are always complaining, “over here,” about the price of a gallon of gas. How that “the rest of the world” has been paying so much more, for years … I just don’t have a clue about how hard it is, for so many around our world, just to survive, from day to day. How we complain about our “religious freedom” being taken away … we just don’t have a clue … we just can’t imagine how large a percentage of the earth’s population is facing life and death situations, every day … just because of their faith.
We feel like there is nothing we can do … certainly, the “News” doesn’t cover much of this. Certainly, if this was such a “huge problem,” the “News” would cover it … our Government would be outraged … we would take any step possible to stop it …
Hey! I don’t know a lot about what’s going on “over there,” do you?
Think about this: If there really is a “World System” out there … if it really existed … if what the New Testament writers warned us constantly about, does exist … that we, as Christians, are not part of the “World’s System,” doesn’t it make sense that we would be “shielded/blocked” from finding out about certain things happening in the world … especially the persecution of our Christian Brothers and Sisters???
I think about the “turmoil” going on now, in our country, in the political system (there’s that word “system” again), as we head toward another Presidential election. Turmoil? Turmoil? Playoffs??? Sorry … that’s from another line of work … We think we have political turmoil in this country? Regardless of how the elections turn out … who wins … who loses … think about how remarkable the peaceful, democratic process of the “changing of power” is, here in our country. Think about it. Then, look at what’s happening around the world. How does a “new party” take over power in most of the world? By ballets … or by bloodshed? No wonder the United States is so “different” from the rest of the world. Sadly, however, this “different” has a way of shielding us from “everyone else.” Oh yeah … if there is a situation, “over there,” which “affects our interests,” then we’ll hear about it.
But, as a “Christian” nation, a nation ordained to “look after those less fortunate” than us … does the merciless persecution of thousands, including women and children, even make the 6 O’clock News? If we are a Christian nation, shouldn’t we defend Christians? As a Christian nation, shouldn’t we rescue those being uprooted from their homes … being tortured and killed … because, they, too … call themselves a “Christian?” Their only crime is believing in Jesus … If we really are a “Christian” nation … shouldn’t our “interest” be in other Christians?
That’s sounds so good, I must repeat: If we are a Christian nation, shouldn’t our “interest” be how other Christians are being treated? Don’t “those other” groups “go haywire” when members of their faith are captured/held by an “unbelieving” group or government? Shouldn’t we realize that if we allow Christians, anywhere, to be persecuted … that may open a door somewhere else …?
If we ignore our Brothers and Sisters … that does mean we are family, right? Brothers and Sisters? If we ignore our Brothers and Sisters “over there,” how long would it take for us to start ignoring our Brothers and Sisters “over here?” Same family, right?
Same family, right? Let me get this straight: If other people think they can “beat up” our brothers and sisters over there … doesn’t it stand to reason that they will start to believe they can beat up our brothers and sisters over here?
Same family. Different block.
Same family. Different block.
Please … Please … understand that this is not an “anti” anything message. Not “anti” this, or “anti” that … It is, rather, a “pro” message … as in “pro-fession” of our faith, and encouragement for, and to, those of “like precious faith.” To those in the same family. But, on a different block.
That would be us.
Ok. Ok. Let’s talk missiles. I remember reading Rick Warren’s book, “A Purpose-Driven Life.” One of the great statements he made was about prayer. That prayer was the greatest weapon of all. He may not have used the word “weapon,” as I am, extremely, paraphrasing. He wrote that prayer was like a guided missile. You could launch it from anywhere … and, it could land in the heart of anyone … anywhere …
So, I encourage you to pray. Every day.
For our family.
Even though they may live on a different block.
Would you believe that my only intention was to introduce a Video?
But, God gave me this.
I must share.
To my family.
Even if they live on a different block.
I also didn’t plan on more than one part … but, God gave me this, and I’ll share the “numbers” next time.
Blessings to you, and your family (even if, on different blocks),
Richard. Vincent. Rose.