Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Liena's Prayer: Counting the Cost In Syria

This past week I was struggling with discouragement. I don't believe it is merely coincidental that personal trials become complex when we shift our gaze off of Christ. It's easy to blow things out of proportion and minimize how self-centered our struggles really are.   
Liena's children counted the cost to follow Jesus
I found my wakeup call through the testimony of a woman in Syria. Liena and her family turned down offers of asylum in Western countries after civil war broke out in Syria. They knew the cost that might be required, but they chose to remain as witnesses to their Muslim neighbors and as an encouragement to other Christians.

Liena was a dedicated Christian, faithful wife and mother of two. In her prayers, she asked God to use her to reach more people. And then God asked her to make one more commitment.

Her story begs the question, "What does it truly mean to be a Christian?"

Through this woman's testimony God opened my eyes to see beyond the daily grind of my own selfish struggles and trivial burdens. How do we even begin to understand this type of sacrifice in the culture we live in? Will you pray for me? I am praying for you. Please watch this... 

Nov. 2, 2014, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Please visit Voice of The Martyrs for more information on how you and your church can get involved. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Calling Millennials to Stand Firm in a Demoralized Nation

The morals of a nation do not rest on the shoulders of politicians but on those who call themselves followers of Christ.  When moral corruption takes hold of a nation, perhaps we should get our eyes off of the government and run a spiritual checkup on the church.

But maybe we need to take it a step further and start with asking God to evaluate our own hearts? 

We live in a crucial time in history where black and white issues have become gray. The moral code of God's holiness has been mocked by situational ethics and political correctness.  In a world that is quickly falling apart Christian millennials should take a step back and reevaluate the high cost of being a follower of Christ.

Contrary to our culture Jesus told his disciples:
  • Put aside your selfish ambitions
  • Take up your cross
  • Follow me 

Jesus goes on to say, "If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?"

So Jesus is basically saying...
  • To keep your life, you loose it
  • To give your life to Christ, you keep it
  • To gain the world, you lose your soul
  • To give your soul to Christ, you gain your soul 

What you might not realize is this: the habits you form today create a lifestyle that influences your future as well as the future of our church and nation. The way you spend your time, the value you place on money or possessions and the people you hang out with all reflect the value system of your heart.

The morals of this country rest on the personal decisions you are making in your life. Are you putting Christ first? Are you following Jesus command of setting aside selfish ambitions, taking up your cross and following Him?

Repentance of a nation starts with individuals who are willing to sacrifice their life to stand in the gap for the Glory of God. Are you willing to join them?