This is an article written by a preacher in India, but it could be similar to the persecution of Christians around the world. They are asking for our prayers. The preacher, Kyle Clayton, knowing the power of prayer, asked you and me to pray for the Church in India. Here is the article:
I was speaking to a man a few days ago, a man I met recently. He is a member of a denominational group, but shared some interesting facts with me concerning church work that a friend of his had been doing in Pakistan. He showed me some picture of children who were orphans. Why? Because their parents had been executed. What was their crime? They had converted from Islam to a faith in Christ.
He talked about a young Pakistani man who cared for these orphaned children. He was providing them with food and shelter. The man I was speaking with showed me some pictures on his smart phone. He swiped a picture on his phone to another picture. It showed the same young man hanging from a tree. He had been executed for helping those orphaned children.
The threat of this violence is much worse in Pakistan, but those who are Christians are in danger in India as in all Muslim countries. India has a Nationalistic government that has a very anti Christian stance. Pro Hindu and Muslim activists have damaged church buildings. They have beaten Church members and killed at least 3 preachers of the Church.
These same hostile conditions exist in many Muslim nations. Our congregation has supported the spread of Christianity in Ethiopia and India for many years. Let us all resolve to continue to give to these great works and especially continue to pray the power of the word will change the world.
This past year was a very trying year for so many. Not much has changed as we start a new year, but this too shall pass. Some have lost much in this troubled year and many are still hurting. Lost loved ones, sickness, lost incomes, lost homes. So many different struggles for so many to overcome. How do you get over something that makes your heart so sorrowful? As one who knows the sorrow of losing a child to sickness and an adult child to the world, I understand the pain. We lost my wife’s parents at a very young age. We get the feelings of pain, sorrow and just feeling lost and uncertain about so much. Jesus knows the human emotions of sorrow and loss. Jesus wept over the sadness He was feeling over His friend’s death, even when He knew the outcome was being raised again. Sorrow is a strong emotion and can overwhelm you, if you let it. So please talk to someone. Please talk with God and pray for strength and understanding.
You must find your joy in the promises to come. Find it in your heart to be thankful for the time you have been given with your loved ones, for tomorrow is not promised. Pray for the ones who have walked away from the safety of the Lord. Pray they find their way back before it is too late. Pray they will have sorrow to the point of repentance. Never stop telling them you love them and that Jesus does too. Find strength in God’s Word and always turn there when feeling sad or weak. Find comfort in God’s love and the love of your brethren.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.)
2 Corinthians 5:1 (For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, external in the heavens.)
In Him, Chuck
So, we all have hopes and dreams of how our life here will go. Many things that you hope for, change as you get older and wiser. There is nothing wrong with chasing a dream for what you want in your future. Just be careful not to get lost in it and lose sight of the important things about our future. Sometimes the road to a success you have seen for yourself, changes and takes a turn you didn’t expect. Be prepared for the unexpected as best you can and sometimes be prepared to change your sights on a different dream to hope for. Many people in this world put their hopes in all the wrong things. Some people put all their focus on wealth and will do anything to acquire it, at any cost. They will sacrifice all they have, including the ones that love them to get it. Some gamble to get it or have all their hopes in a lottery ticket. Some maybe just risk it all on a chance to get all they think they hoped for in this world, costing them so much more than they think.
1 Tim 6:9 (But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.) Men often put too much hope for their future in wealth. I know we need money for food and a home, but don’t put too much hope in being rich. If you do become rich in your lifetime, don’t put all your hope in your money.
Where should our hope be focused? Hope in the One that was there in the beginning and will be there forever. The One that was willing to lay down His own life for us all.
Romans 8:24-25 (For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it). Ephesians 2:12-13 (remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.) So, let our hope be focused on the really important truth, that is life eternal. Don’t let the things of this world separate you from God. Never lose sight of that hope.
Titus1:2 (in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,). Keep your hopes on things that are certain and eternal. Pour out your hopes and dreams to God. Live for Him and find your happiness in the hope of the promises.
In this world there are things that you can wait to take care of and some you cannot. Getting some of the chores done around the house can sometimes wait if you want to do something else, unless it is a water leak or something serious that can cause damage. There can also be some health issues that may be a wait and see situation. If it isn’t life threatening, that is. If you’re thinking of making a major purchase you surely want to sleep on it and don’t buy immediately. There are other times you should act immediately like when my dad was up in an almond tree with a chain saw. The chain caught his pant leg after cutting off a branch and it cut through the pants and into his leg. ”Ouch right?” Luckily he was able to climb down and drove himself to the house to get a ride to the hospital immediately. Maybe it would be a good idea to not climb trees with a chainsaw all alone, just saying. There are also things that will require us to act immediately in our lives. What about ‘our forever’ talked about in the Bible?
Mathew 4:19-20 (“Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.) Maybe we should be a little more responsive like these men were, when we respond to what Jesus says to do. When Jesus worked His miracles and healed people, it was something that happened immediately. The servant was healed that very moment. The paralytic picked up his bed and went home. The woman with a hemorrhage for 12 years was at once made well. The girl in the official’s house died, Jesus took her by the hand and the girl got up. When Christ Jesus did or spoke something he wanted to be, it was immediate. He has promised us a beautiful wonderful life after this world. He always speaks the truth and it always comes to be.
So what shall we do? Why do we wait? Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. There is no name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. So let’s act as if that is the most important thing we need to teach others as it is. Acts 9:20 (and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”) When the jailer was converted in Acts16, it says and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household.
It is too important to wait for later, for tomorrow is not a certainty. If you believe, please act immediately and don’t put off your salvation any longer. If you know someone that needs Jesus, teach them the good news immediately. Don’t delay, act now it may be too late tomorrow. The Lord said to Paul in a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent.” Let us do the same without delay. May the Lord Jesus be with us all.
In Him, Chuck
13397 West Ripon Road, Ripon CA 95366