Archive for September, 2009

“Remember the prisoners as if chained with them – those who are mistreated – since you yourselves are in the body also.”  Hebrews 13:3

Lately I’ve read books and articles about the persecuted church.  I’m always shocked when I read these things, because Christianity in America is so easy.  It’s difficult to conceive of our brothers and sisters being treated so cruelly in other places in the world.  The concept is foreign to our existence.  For now anyway.

Everytime I read of someone persecuted for faith in Christ, it grips my heart, because I know that I have not remembered the persecuted church faithfully in prayer as I should.  It’s not that I don’t care.  I just don’t remember.

But what if I was imprisoned with them?  What if I was tortured with them?  Then this issue of the persecuted church would be in the very forefront of my mind at all times, because of my involvement in it.

The reality is, that because I am part of the body of Christ, I am involved in the persecuted church.  They are my brothers and sisters, beloved ones of God.  So I am asking God to help me remember them, as if chained with them, that I may offer prayers to God on their behalf.

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“….and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.” Acts 6:7

For the very first believers, being Jews, turning to Christ was more than just making a decision to change religions.  It was a total upheaval of life.  No longer were they a part of the religious tradition that they grew up in and that was such a large part of their culture.  This perhaps impacted none as completely as the priests who turned to Christ.  Suddenly, not only was their personal religious life affected, but also their livelihood.  How could they continue to minister at the sacrifices when they knew that the final sacrifice had been offered?  Everything had changed, all of life was different now.  Oh, but what joy that change brought!

I still remember the day I was born again.  It brought many changes into my life as well.  Everybody that knew me, knew something had happened.  I was different.  This is the life transforming power of our Saviour.

When Jesus Christ entered this world, He impacted it so thoroughly that all of time was forever divided by his appearance here.  He does the same thing in individual lives.

Self-help techniques may offer some level of superficial change, but only Jesus Christ can change someone from the very core of their being.  He offers a new heart, a new life, a new creation.

To a world crying out for change, I commend to you the great Changer – Jesus Christ.

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