July 2, 2014

ecclesiastes3-11

Matthew 14:1-12

A judge in Sudan has sentenced Meriam Ibrahim to be tortured and executed. Her only crime? Her Christian faith. Born to a Christian mother and a Muslim father who abandoned her, Meriam was raised Christian, but the government of Sudan does not recognize her faith. To Sudan, she is Muslim because her father was Muslim. Her Christianity makes her apostate, a criminal. The Sudanese judge gave her three days to recant her faith. Meriam is pregnant, and her husband is an American citizen. After she gives birth, Sudan will punish her with 100 lashes, then kill her. A massive effort is being raised to save her life. Pray that the Lord Jesus will intervene that she might be saved.

Suffering for Christ has a long, long history. In the Gospel text, John the Baptist was beheaded because he proclaimed truth that the king, nor anyone else, wanted to hear. We probably will not experience persecution resulting in torture or death. But be warned that persecution is very real in a culture that too often rejects the Lord Jesus. We all will have many opportunities to stand and speak for him.

Prayer: Lord, grant us peace and assurance as we stand up for Jesus. Amen.

Today’s devotion was written by Thomas W. Corbell,
Pastor of  Mt. Hermon Lutheran Church in Statesville, NC.

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