|Iranian Pastor Youcef in his prison cell.|
When one member of the Body of Christ is hurt - the entire body hurts. As committed Christians worldwide cry out for Mercy for our brother, Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, we get a living example of what it means to be a REAL disciple of Jesus!.
Continuing on in Hebrews 11, verses 14-16 underline what we spoke about in yesterday's THINK, when the WORD was "SEPARATION"! Separation from what? Separation from the world systems of their man-made religions, rituals and traditions. Here are the verses:
Hebrews 11:14-16 NKJV:14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country.Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
Evangelical Christians in this country are engaged as never before as they see a Christ follower who is living verse 16 above! Youcef is not only not ashamed of the gospel in a dark and evil place, but has picked up his Cross! In fact, the entire passage above speaks to this very issue.
If there was ever a distinction between the religions of hate in this world and the Quiet Confidence we find in those of us committed to Christ, it is this drama playing out in an iranian courtroom this week.
All across the oppressive islamic world, more and more actual reports are coming into our people about increasing instances of Visions of Christ! Entire villages are seeing the huge Man in White and without hearing some preacher preach the Gospel, they are getting saved by these powerful encounters with "ISA al-MASIH" (or Jesus Messiah)!!!!
In short, these poor villages are having the same encounters with the Living Christ which Saul, later the Apostle Paul, had on the Road to Damascus! As a result of these massive conversions, (some documented by our sister in Yeshua - CHRISTINE DARG in her book "The Jesus Visions -Signs and Wonders in the Muslim World"), persecution and vile assaults on believers are increasing in intensity.
All we can do from this vantage point, is continue to pray for victory for these persecuted saints. A good places to start will be the upcoming International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on November 13.
Today's word - COMMITMENT - is reflective of the theme of Hebrews 11 and our Faith. Like Pastor Youcef and many with his story around the cruel world, we must be grounded FIRMLY in Christ and the only way we can have this Firm Foundation, is to be completely and just fully Committed and Sold out to Jesus! Are you ready??!!!