Pray for them!
‘Remember…those who are mistreated.’
The Bible tells us, ‘Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters’ (v. 1 NIV 2011 Edition). Then it gets specific: ‘Remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.’ On April 18, 2007, three Christians in Turkey were killed for their beliefs. Necati Aydin was one of them. He was a thirty-five-year-old pastor in the city of Malatya, and Max Lucado tells his story: ‘By the time Necati reached the office, his two colleagues had already received visitors; five young men who’d expressed an interest in the Christian faith. But the inquisitors brought more than questions. They brought guns, bread knives, ropes, and towels.
The attackers brandished their weapons and told Necati to pray the Islamic prayer of conversion: “There is no God except Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.” When Necati refused, the torture began. For an agonising hour the assailants bound, interrogated, and cut Christians. Finally, with the police pounding on the door, they sliced the throats of their victims. The last word heard from the office was the cry of an unswerving Christian: “Messiah! Messiah!” Such stories have a way of silencing us. This morning’s traffic jam is no longer worth the mention…Such stories make us ask ourselves: “Would I make the sacrifice? Would I cry out, Messiah! Messiah? Would I give up my life?”’ When we complain about frivolous things, you have to wonder. The Bible says you’re to pray for your fellow Christians around the world who are suffering ‘as if [you yourself] were suffering.’
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The Word For Today is written by Bob and Debby Gass