So often, we think, and write, about how thankful we are for the blessings God has bestowed upon us. Blessings we enjoy every day. Every day.
And, that, so many of the blessings we enjoy here in the United States are a direct result of … just where we live … in the United States.
Especially in this past year, God has really placed it on my heart to learn about, and to pray for, our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, around the world, who, simply, just don’t have these freedoms and blessings we so easily take for granted “over here.” And, I mean the basest, the most elemental things we take for granted. Like this word “freedom” we so easily toss around, not realizing how “strange/foreign” this word is, to so many.
Let’s not forget-ever-why we have these freedoms … the sacrifices made, and being made, in order for us to, just, “be free.”
But, let us also not forget those who don’t enjoy these freedoms. Just because of their belief, they are persecuted. Yes, we may all have an idea of what “persecution” is … but, I’ll admit … I don’t … I don’t know what it’s like to live in constant danger, every day … just because I am a Christian. Just because I am a Christian. I don’t pray enough … I don’t give enough … I don’t think enough … about my Brothers and Sisters in Christ … who, plain and simple … may not live to see tomorrow … just because “word has gotten out” that they are a Christian.
This makes me think about the way I act. The way I talk. The things I do. Based on my actions … my actions alone … Has “word gotten out” that I am a Christian?
Based on what others see in me … will they report that I am a Christian? Yes, I’ve heard the question, and it’s still a good one:
“If I was on trial for being a Christian … would there be enough proof to convict me?”
Funny … just thinking about that … I already feel “convicted,” but in a different way.
The thought occurs to me now that, if I truly am a Christian, one of the things I must do, I have to do … I must be compelled to do … is to “remember those in bonds, as if I were there with them.”
Let me say again, that, if I really am “what I say I am,” I must not forget to pray, every day, for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ. These are men, women, and children … yes, so many children … who, while inside, they know what “being free” really is … do not know what “freedom” in their world, outside, looks or feels like. Every day brings new challenges, just to stay alive. They’ve had to move, or be moved, relocated … because they “refused to move.” Men, women, and children … murdered … yes, murdered … just because “word got out” they chose to follow Christ.
I’m writing this on Black Friday. I won’t go out. I think about what others are thinking about today. Maybe “praying” for a good parking spot. Maybe “praying” they won’t run out of money.
I’d like to just think today about those whose time has “run out” because “word got out” that they were the “real deal.”
The “real deal.”
What a thought for this weekend. A “real deal.”
Let me write again: As a professing Christian, has “word gotten out” that we, yes I, that we, are “the real deal?”
If they begin to round up the “real Christians,” would my name be on the list?
I just walked onto the front deck. I live out of “town,” in what’s called the “Swedish Village.” It was quiet, as a looked around, through the falling snow (yes, we’ve got snow on the ground), and
it was so peaceful. Passing in front of me, walking down the street, no cares in the world, was a deer. He looked so peaceful. Just strolling down the street, a deer walking down the road of a quiet, peaceful village. I thought about so many of our Brothers and Sisters, whose village has been decimated, whose village is no longer a “village,” but a war zone. I didn’t have to worry about ducking down, afraid I’d be seen. I didn’t worry about binoculars focused on me … following my every move. I didn’t have to worry about neighbors, watching … watching … waiting for an opportunity to “strike.” Watching, and reporting, my every move. That deer … strolling down the street … without fear …
Well, I sat down to write something totally different.
Let’s remember those whose lives are so “totally different” from ours. Who can’t just walk outside, without danger. I pray that, while our lives, and circumstances, are totally different, our faith won’t be different.
Let’s pray that our faith won’t be different.
Let’s remember that we have others to think about. To pray about. And, to support.
While this freedom we enjoy gives us the chance to act, and live, pretty much any way we want, we have the freedom, and I’ll say it … we have the freedom to live any lifestyle we choose, even lifestyles that, not so long ago were abhorred, not glorified … included in that freedom is to “get the word out,” and the freedom for “the word being gotten out” about us.
When Jesus returns (and He will), I don’t want to be “left out.”
Lord, please help me to “get the word out.”
To be “one of the ones” about whom “the word has gotten out.”
Richard. Vincent. Rose.