Thursday, April 24, 2008

Maybe I Take My Faith Too Lightly

Most mornings our family gathers in the Living Room at the house at about 7A.

We read a scripture. I share a thought or two. Ask a question or two. And then we pray.

We usually pray for someone else in the room; about what there day contains, etc.

Today we broke with tradition. I did read a Scripture. I read from Matthew 10:37ff where Jesus says, Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

(By the way, if you think I'm holding myself up as some kind of spiritual hero, read on. The heroes, "those of whom the world was not worthy" [Heb. 11:38] will become obvious.)

Our family did pray, but not for each other. Why the change?

The following may shed some light, both on why we prayed for others AND why Jesus was so harsh in this passage. (Verses 34-36 tell us Jesus did NOT come to bring peace to the earth, but a sword and to turn people against each other! Hating family members?! Bringing a sword?! Really??)

The following story comes from Voice of the Martyrs, a group that stands up for persecuted Christians around the world. They tell their stories to those of us living in relative comfort and ease. (It was forwarded to me by Terri Kalmbach.)

Four Christian Teachers Murdered
On April 13, four Christian teachers, two of them converts from Islam, weremurdered by Islamic militants in Beledweyne in south-central Somalia. The four teachers, two British citizens of Somali origin-Mr. Daud Hassan Ali (64) and Ms. Rehana Ahmed (32)-and two unidentified Kenyans, were shot and killed by Islamist insurgents during a midnight raid on the Hakab Private English School. The Islamic extremist group responsible for the violence, alleged that they fired indiscriminately and that the teachers were killed in crossfire. Local people, however, believe the teachers were singled out fortheir suspected evangelistic work. The wife of Daud Hassan Ali alleged thather husband was targeted because he was a Muslim-born convert to Christianity. Pray the families of those killed will rest in the knowledge that those who die in the Lord will be raised with Him. Pray the perpetrators of this attack will come to repentance and salvation. Pray for wisdom and protection for those serving Christ in Somalia.

This story challenged us to take our faith seriously. It caused us to repent of living a casual faith. It made us weep for those who have no one praying for them. We decided they needed our prayers today.

I hope it does the same for you.

The church will be open tomorrow from 6:30 - 8AM if you'd like to stop by and pray.

Grace & peace

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