When was the last time you thought about the persecuted church? I admit it was not always at the forefront of my mind. Not at least until recently that is.
After reading “I am ‘n'” put out by The voice of the martyrs, the persecuted believers are very much on my mind these days.
Some of you may recall that Islamic extremists placed the symbol “n”, which is pronounced “noon” which stands for the Arabic word for Nazarene on all of the houses and businesses that had Christians living there. And after Jeremy Courtney drew the symbol on his hand and posted the picture on his twitter account to bring awareness about what ISIS was doing, Christians around the world took notice.This quickly became the rallying symbol of Christians as they changed their Facebook profile pictures, marked their faces, hands, clothes with this symbol to identify with the persecuted believers.
But I ask you and myself…
would we have been so quick to change our Facebook profile pictures and mark ourselves as Christians if our lives had actually been in danger like those of our brothers and sisters in Mosul?
Would I so readily and proudly embrace the cross of suffering under horrible persecution and maybe even die for my faith if that sort of thing were happening here in America? Now you might say that is crazy and Americans would never let that happen in America but would I go live in a country where the Gospel is so hated by people to the point where they can legally beat me to a bloody pulp for believing it?
How far would I go in risking my life for the Gospel? If I can’t even share my faith with the clerk at the grocery store, or the person cutting my hair, or a family member then I am probably not willing to lay down my life for my faith.
The sad reality is that once things like what is happening in Mosul is not popular in the news or on social media anymore we quickly forget what is happening around the world. So because of that, I wanted to create ways to remind myself to always be thinking of and praying for our brothers and sisters in the faith. As Hebrews 13:3 puts it we need to “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them-those who are mistreated-since you yourselves are in the body also.” (NKJV)
“How far would I go in risking my life for the Gospel?”
We are not only one person in Christ. We should be a unified body of believers so that “…if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.” 1 Cor. 12:26 (NKJV)
Do we suffer in our hearts when we hear or read of our Christian brothers and sisters being beaten and tortured for their faith? Is it just a feeling that comes and goes as soon as another video pops up about kittens in our feed?
Whether it be a sticky note on the bathroom mirror, on the dash of your car, a bracelet around your wrist or a reminder on your phone. I feel like we need to create ways to pray for other believers at all times of the day.
There is a great app called prayer mate that is really helpful for this. You can add your own personal prayers or add prayers put out by different organizations like Open Doors and The Voice of the Martyrs. You can add reminders for any time of day so it makes it easier to remember to pray for the things that people have asked us to pray for because it is not right in front of us.
I want to remember…
I highly recommend reading “I am ‘n’ ” because it is more than just Christians being persecuted for their faith. They are showing us through their faith and through their actions what it means to really live for Christ. The believers attitudes towards their persecutors are supernatural. All the while our persecuted brothers and sisters are not asking to avoid persecution but are asking for the strength to withstand the persecution when it comes.
And I don’t know about you but I am tired of living a mediocre Christian life. The kind that keeps me safely tucked away behind the walls of my church. I want to stop sitting and start doing. Where will that take me? God only knows…
Please share this ^^ and spread the word!
You can get the book “I am ‘n'” here. All of the net proceeds go to helping our brothers and sisters in Christ!!