Called to Love

“It is easier to cool down a fanatic than it is to warm up a corpse.”
Brother Andrew

Persecution may seem like a thing of the past or something that happens across the world to people and in places far away.  The physical difference between us, is not that far.  We are one body in Christ, one church.  When one part of the body suffers we all suffer. Persecution is very real, dangerous, and growing.  It’s happening to our brothers and sister in Christ.

I’ve had conversations with people, many of them were from my Christian community, about the persecution Christians are facing around the world, they would rather not think about it or pay to much attention.  They were very indifferent.

 Some of them said that only certain people are called to help the persecuted.  I don’t think it’s like that.  I think that we are not all called to the same thing, but I don’t think we are supposed to act indifferent to the people, “we don’t feel called to”.  God called us to love all people, from the outcasts, widows and orphans, tax collectors, to even our enemies.  We are not called to love only one group, but to love everyone.

Jesus said, “Love each other as I have loved you.” – John 15:12

I think that comes from fear and not wanting to get to close because somehow it could affect your life in a negative way, that it opens the door for you to be persecuted or that it’s too heartbreaking to hear about.  Some of the accounts of persecution are heart wrenching and really painful to read and to be honest it’s hard for me to read sometimes and to just not think about it.  It’s too hard to comprehend the evil in this world, but I just cling to the hope and promise Jesus us gives us of eternal life with our Heavenly Father.

When I first became aware of the persecution of other Christians it shook me.  It made me ask myself some hard questions: Would I be willing to lose everything, my family, friends, job, house, my freedom, or even my life for my faith?  Would I risk being beaten and tortured, threatened or pressured to denounce my faith in Jesus? What would living in fear of persecution due to my faith? Would I follow God’s will no matter where it could lead me? Would persecution strengthen my faith or would it break it?  What does the Bible says about persecution?

When I began praying for Christians in other countries and, people groups, ministries and organizations,  and specific people, working to help the persecuted and unreached people groups, the churches and Christians in other parts of the world didn’t feel like far away strangers in far away places. They felt real and close.

Through all my research on religious freedoms in other countries and praying for those who are persecuted, I started to see the world differently. God used what I was reading and learning to open my eyes to the global church. He showed me the church was bigger than a Sunday morning. It is His body of believers.


We are all part of the same body under Christ.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.  For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.  Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. – 1 Corinthians 12:12-17

But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. who is the head.

1 Corinthians 24-27

If one member of the body suffers we all suffer. 

Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. – Hebrews 13:3

I was amazed to find that despite persecution the church is growing.  No matter how much Satan attempts through persecution to stop the Gospel from spreading, it’s spreading like wildfire.  “For the light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.” – John 1:5

In some of the most darkest places of the world the Gospels is shining hope.


At the beginning of this year, Open Door’s World Watch List released the top 50 countries where it is the most difficult to be a Christian in 2018.

Here are the top 10:

North Korea

Afghanistan

Somalia

Pakistan

Eritrea

Libya

Iraq

Iran

Here is where you can learn more about the World Watch List:

https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/

 Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

– Hebrews 13:3


Take a Stand!

Be their voice! Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, defend and judge fairly. as Proverbs 31:7-8 says.  – “Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are in destitute.  Speak and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Pray for them! The number one thing persecuted Christians ask for is prayer.  Pray for them, pray they would remain faithful to Christ through all their sufferings and trials.  Pray their faith would be strengthen and that they would be bold witnesses to those around them and that they would forgive their persecutors.  Pray for their persecutors as well, and their country’s leaders.

Be informed and Get Involved!  Know what is happening around the world and ways you can get involved.  Here are some resources:

Open Doors USA

World Watch Monitor

Release International

Release Potential

Be Heard Project

SAT – 7

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belong to the world, it would love you as it’s own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of this world. That is why the world hates you.”

– John 15:18-19

God Bless you,

Shae


 

 

Pray Beyond the Horizon

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” 

– Philippians 4:6 

THE NUMBER ONE THING PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS ASK FOR IS PRAYER.

When we pray we are speaking directly to God, He hears us and He listens.  We might not always recognize an answer to prayer, and it might not be the answer we were wanting, but God is outside of time and sees the completed picture.  Our whole live are laid before Him, He sees our entire lives, nothing comes as a surprise to Him.

“Through prayer we can reach into the future and with loving hands touch those beyond our reach.” ― Brother Andrew, founder of Open Doors.

HERE ARE SOME RESOURCES AND WAYS YOU CAN PRAY FOR THEM:

Voice of the Martyrs

With Voice of the Martyrs you can commit to pray for a Frontline Worker, someone who is working in a hostile nation.  https://secure.persecution.com/giftslip/frontlineworker.aspx

You can also sign up with your email to receive prayer requests from the persecuted. http://www.persecution.com/public/pray.aspx?clickfrom=%3d6d61696e5f6d656e75


Open Doors

Open Doors has a monthly prayer calendar to download and you can sign up for weekly prayer alerts.  https://www.opendoorsusa.org/take-action/pray/monthly-prayer-calendar/

November 6, 2016 is the International Day of Prayer (IDOP).  Open Doors has a downloadable IDOP kit.  http://live.opendoorsusa.org/idop/


Release International

Release International has a prayer calendar and prayer points for you to download.  http://www.releaseinternational.org/pray/ 


Prayer Boards

In the class, I taught with my Mom, about persecution we made prayer boards. https://wordpress.com/page/heartsnotforgotten.com/628

We printed Prisoner Profiles from Voice of the Martyr’s and Release International

http://www.prisoneralert.com/

http://www.releaseinternational.org/prisoners-of-faith/

We included the Open Doors’ World Watch List Map and fact sheets on the boards, along with Scriptures and quotes.

World Watch List Map and Country Fact Sheets  https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/about-wwl-ranking/


“Never stop praying.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Sometimes we may feel like God can’t hear us when we pray or that He is not listening or answering our prayers.  He does hear us when we pray and He listens to our prayers.  He might not always answer our prayers the way we want or in the time we want.  We may not even recognize His answer as an answer, but He hears us and He cares for us.  He will never leave us or forsake us.

“The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.”

– Proverbs 15:29

He will never leave you.

God bless you,

Shae

 

 

Fear is a Lie


Persecution has always existed.

One of the reasons I started this blog is because I thought there wasn’t enough conversation about persecution.  In such a short period of time, the whole world has begun talking about it in a new way.  The tangible evil is showing it’s face and wont be ignored.  They are familiar now, words that evoke images of terror and death that are designed to make us feel fear deep in our hearts: ISIS, ISIL, IS, AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula), Ansar Al Sharia in Libya, Boko Haram, Hamas, Hezbollah, Marxism, Communism.  Whatever name they are using, they all share the same roots and the same goals: power, death, destruction and ultimately to stop the TRUTH of Jesus Christ.

I often hear people talk about positivity and negativity, the light versus the dark, how if we could all just be kinder and show more love then we can influence the universe and make it a better place. I don’t believe this. I don’t believe that the universe has a personality and cares about us. I don’t believe that we came from nothing for nothing.

I believe we are created in the image of God for a purpose.  We are to love God and love each other.

Fear is a lie.

It is a distraction designed to hold you back from the truth.  We are not alone.  This isn’t just a battle against the evil we see, but against the evil we cannot see.


Ephesians 6:10-20 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The Fight against Evil

10 Finally, let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong. 11 Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil’s tricks. 12 We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world. 13 So put on all the armor that God gives. Then when that evil day[a] comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm.

14 Be ready! Let the truth be like a belt around your waist, and let God’s justice protect you like armor. 15 Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet. 16 Let your faith be like a shield, and you will be able to stop all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Let God’s saving power be like a helmet, and for a sword use God’s message that comes from the Spirit.

18 Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God’s people. 19 Pray that I will be given the message to speak and that I may fearlessly explain the mystery about the good news. 20 I was sent to do this work, and that’s the reason I am in jail. So pray that I will be brave and will speak as I should.


United in Prayer

When I began this blog I wasn’t sure who I would be writing to, I just felt pressure from God to share what I was learning about persecuted Christians. I thought I would be writing to teens in the USA, instead God is leading me to a different audience.  Along with American readers, it is incredible to see all the countries that have viewed my blog, I am honored.

My brothers and sisters in Brazil, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Dominican Republic, Australia, Canada, India, Romania, Nepal, Bolivia, United Kingdom, Algeria, Czech Republic, Austria, Philippines, Moldova, and Thailand   I am praying for all of you.

God Bless You,

Shae


We are united in prayer against the rising evil.

Philippians 1:28 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

28 Be brave when you face your enemies. Your courage will show them that they are going to be destroyed, and it will show you that you will be saved. God will make all of this happen,