Sunday, November 1, 2015, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). It is a day where Christians all over the world make a special effort to pray for those believers who are suffering for their faith. I encourage you to join us as we pray for those who share our faith but not our freedom.
For more information on IDOP and other ways you can support suffering Christians click here.
To see the current World Watch list – a list of the top 50 countries in the world where faith in Jesus Christ costs the most – click here.
There’s an ongoing debate in our country about immigration, and it can get pretty heated at times. With so many sides to this complicated issue, sometimes it is hard to separate fact from misinformation. As Christians are we supposed to welcome one and all with open arms? Should we build a wall? Do we provide education and healthcare for those here illegally?
Well, there is a woman in Atlanta, Georgia, who decided to leave politics to the politicians and actually DO something for the large and diverse immigrant population in her community. She started an organization called Refugee Beads that utilizes the talents of individuals to make gorgeous handmade jewelry. Not only is Refugee Beads providing jobs for people, it is also using the profits from the sale of the jewelry to fund after-school and mentoring programs for children. You can read about this wonderful organization here. Visit their online shop here.
As a believer, I have wrestled with those questions asked above. I can see valid points on both sides. However, I have decided that when it comes to this issue I am going to be ruled by these 2 principles: (1) I am going to declare and live like this world is not my home and I’m just a passin’ through, as the old hymn says. That means that even though I am extremely grateful to have been born in the United States of America, I recognize that my true citizenship is in heaven and my home here is temporary. With the privilege of being born in a free country comes tremendous responsibility to advocate for those who were not. (2) When I am unsure about how to respond to the immigration crisis or to immigrants (whether legal or not), I am going to determine to have the heart of God. What exactly does that mean? I am going to search the Word of God and see how He instructs His people to treat aliens in a foreign land. The way God asks His followers to behave reveals His attitude. Believe it or not, the Bible has a lot to say on the subject.
Jesus said that everything we need to do and be as a follower of Him is wrapped up in two statements: love God and love people (Matthew 22:36-40). We MUST stop living our own agendas and start living a life of self-sacrifice. I am trying. I hope you are, too.