Monday, November 7, 2016

Don’t Stand In Silence

Devotionals this week taken from the IDOP website
In the modern church calendar, the first two Sundays of November are set apart to remember and pray for the persecuted church, through the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church or IDOP. Today’s greatest untold story is that more than 100 million Christians worldwide face persecution for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Daily Christians in countries such as Eritrea, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Sudan and Sri Lanka face imprisonment, violence and even death. IDOP is a time set apart for us to remember thousands of our Christian brothers and sisters around the world who suffer persecution, simply because they confess Jesus Christ as Lord.  

Don’t Stand In Silence by John Langlois - Chairman - Religious Liberty Commission World Evangelical Alliance (WEA)
“Don’t just stand there, do something!” said my mother after she had asked me to do some household chores. She was busy. She needed help. I was just standing there doing nothing. I wanted to do something else, not what she demanded of me.  Sometimes God must think the same about us, his children. He has made it very plain in His Word what he wants us to do as His disciples.  He has commanded us to go into a hostile world to bear witness to him, in both word and deed. Sometimes our words are the best expression of our witness. At other times our deeds are more eloquent and persuasive. Usually it is both. In each case our words and our actions break the silence as we point others to the Master. Jesus has told us that the fields are white and ready to harvest and yet the laborers are few.  In Matthew 25: 31-46 we see clearly that active Christian service is not optional. When Jesus comes again He will judge us according to what we have done during our lifetime. Just as Jesus condemned the man
who had been given just one talent who hid it in the ground, in the same way He will condemn all those who “just stand there in silence” and do not obey his Great Commission. These verses show us that sometimes we are blind to the opportunities which stare us in the face. There are those all around us who are hungry or thirsty, whether physical or spiritual, like the woman at the well. We are commanded to give them food and drink, just as Jesus gave living water to the woman in Samaria. Do we minister to those who are in prison, or strangers, or those with other needs? Depending on what we do in our lifetime Jesus will categorize us either as sheep or goats. That sounds shocking to those of us who place our salvation on faith in Christ alone, without works. We believe quite rightly that when we put our trust in Christ and trust him for our salvation by His death on the cross our salvation is assured. Our salvation is indeed completely secure – but not our eternal reward. If our love for Christ is real, it will demonstrate itself in sacrificial service. James tells us that faith without works is dead. Dead faith! Is almost a paradox. Although we must not stand in silence, we certainly must stand on the firm foundation of Christ alone. When we are persecuted, like the seed falling on rocky ground in the parable of the sower, we will wither and die (Matthew 13: 20).  The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no firm foundation, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes, they quickly fall away. To witness effectively in persecution, we must stand on the firm foundation of our Rock, Jesus Christ.

Scripture to Claim:
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you… Matthew 5:44

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