Tim & Zen from Vietnam. The first men in their villages to follow Jesus. It cost them so much. They lost their families, friends and community. They were beaten and had to flee their homes yet they hold onto Jesus. “I know Him. My God is gentle. I will follow Him all the days of my life”.
What does it cost you to follow Jesus?
Saul to Paul. God changes lives. What a transformation. What a difference Jesus makes in someone’s life. How are you different in knowing Jesus?
We see around the world today in many countries it cost people so much to follow Jesus. Remember our brothers and sisters in North Korea! They share our faith but not our freedom!
2 Timothy 1:1 ….according to the promise of Life that is in Christ Jesus. Jesus give us life both now and forever!
2 Timothy 1:5. What spiritual heritage are you leaving? Who are you sharing Jesus with?”
Fan into flame – Remember the rich man from Iraq who lost everything. Are you prepared to give everything for Jesus or are there things in your life you are holding onto and less prepared to give?
Helen from Eritrea – “Jesus Christ is the medicine of the world and he must be shared” Helen spent 2 ½ years imprisoned in a metal shipping container for sharing Jesus?
There is a cost in following Jesus but often a much greater cost in sharing Him. You can be a Christian your whole life, never share Jesus and not face persecution!
Matt 5:44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
Pray for our brothers and sisters but also pray for the persecutors? Remember Saul to Paul. Pray for the leaders of IS and Boko Haram and others that they too will know Jesus and have their lives transformed?
Take home points:
Open Doors works in over 70 countries helping persecuted Christians to stand strong for Jesus.
I often talk about the Free Church and the Persecuted Church but really there is one church. Gods Church. We are all part of the one body.
When one part rejoices the all parts rejoice and when one part suffers, all parts suffer.
We believe that caring for the Persecuted Church should be part of the DNA of every Christian.
To support the ongoing work of Open Doors go to www.opendoors.org.au or call 02 9451 2999.
Rob Morris (Open Doors)