Christians Around The World And In The United States

The following stories caught my attention this past week – 

Christians face growing attacks in eastern India

U.N. rushes aid to Iraqi Christian refugees

Taliban kill Christian aid worker in Kabul

We have three sobering articles about Christians living in dangerous situations and living under the threat of death simply for wanting to live for Christ amidst others who don’t want this.  They are faced daily with the decision to choose to follow their Lord and risk their lives or compromise and live another day.  I recently have been speaking with a sister in India who is afraid of the attacks reported on in the first article knowing that the terror could strike in the park, in the market, or other places that she goes every day.  Hearing these stories makes me really think about the life I live now and the things I do with my time.

In light of that, lets look at the final related news story that caught my eye, back in the United States –

Christian right intensifies attacks on Obama.

I don’t know, I guess it was sobering to read those headlines in the rest of the world and then come back to the place I live and see that what is reported of Christians here is their involvement in partisan politics.  Now certainly arguments can be made for the significance of the current election, which candidate is better or worse, how Christians should be involved in this process or not, but that’s not my intention.

My desire is to get us to consider what we all are doing with the freedom we have here and now.  I imagine some of our brothers and sisters would do great things if they lived in the time we currently do.  How would Paul use the Internet to spread the gospel?  How would Phillip use the telephone to speak to people around the world?  How would Peter use a car to travel and speak to encourage the churches?  What would Michael Servetus do with the Xerox machine?  What would the missionaries around the world risking their lives to spread the word do in a nation where their desire to speak the gospel is protected by that nation’s laws?

These thoughts turn my attention to my own life, choices, and routine.  American Christians have an opportunity to get the gospel out like few of our brothers and sisters have had in history.  What am I doing with that chance?  

The day is coming where it will be harder to do the things we are commanded by our Lord in freedom and without persecution – why am I waiting for that day?  Perhaps it will be too late by then.  As a soldier does not wait for wartime to train for war, but uses the time of peace to prepare for war, we too must take advantage of the time and place we live in now to do the things of God.  

Perhaps with the nation’s thoughts and attention turned towards the presidential election, we could turn our thoughts to what it is we as a church can do for the Lord in the next year that we have not done in the last.  Are there promises we have made that are not yet fulfilled?  Is there a need for change in our own lives, families, churches, and communities that no politician can make?  Let’s take advantage of the time and place we live – afterall, God is worthy of the sacrifice of our lives now and forever more.  Whether in freedom or under persecution, in the free land of the United States or in most difficult place on the earth may the people of God live for His glorification.

I Peter 5:8-20 – Be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

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