Monday, April 10, 2017

Pastor's Ponderings, April 10, 2017

Remember Those Suffering For Christ

In the April 9, 2017 issue of Reuters, Arwa Gaballa and Ahmed Tolba, in the article entitled, “Bomb Attacks On Two Coptic Churches In Egypt Kill At Least 44, Injure More Than 100,” wrote that the Islamic State announced they were responsible for killing at least 44 people with bomb attacks on the symbolic cathedral seat of the Coptic Pope and Tanta, Egypt on Palm Sunday. On this Sunday in churches across the United States, we were blithely unaware that attending church without fear in some parts of the world is unknown.  Standing up for the Lord may get you ridiculed in America, but may get you killed in some parts of the world.

We currently have the right to worship or not worship God according to our own choosing. However, for those who love God, we have a responsibility to those who are not as fortunate.  In the Bible, the devil is described as a devouring and roaring lion. Evidence of that today is the believers who are suffering all over the world (1 Peter 5:8, 9). We cannot be so focused on our creature comforts when others in the body of Christ are concerned about just making it to the next day. My dear friend, a pastor in India, wrote me in August 2016 asking, “Please pray there may be no blood shed in our area. We need your prayers.” 

Thank God that the prayers of the righteous are effective (James 5:16).  The scriptures go further saying that after the saints have suffered, He promised that He would restore them strong, firm and steadfast (1 Peter 5:10). 

During this Easter season, along with your celebration of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Savior, please pray for besieged Christians and send support to your favorite mission organizations that are supporting them. Remember, as you serve them you are serving Jesus (Matthew 25:40).

1 Peter 5:8-10
New International Version (NIV)
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

James 5:16
New International Version (NIV)
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Matthew 25:40
New International Version (NIV)
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

1 comment:

Jacqueline R. said...

Thank you for reminding us of the blessings we often take for granted in the US. May all those who lost loved one be comforted. May all those injured receive the healing power of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.