PC-USA 2018-10-23 - My Sister's Keeper

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A few weeks ago, Mike wrote a devotional related to persecuted Christians. I had been working on one of those, myself, but when Mike sent his, I stopped. But later, I realized that perhaps God was intentional about putting persecution victims on both of our minds, at the same time. Thus, I will continue with the thoughts that God has lain on my heart.

Some people think that persecution of Christians ended many years ago. In reality, there is more persecution of Christians today, than ever.

Every month, somewhere in the world over 250 Christians are killed, and over 50 churches are attacked.

In Genesis 4, after Cain had killed his brother, he feigned innocence, asking God “Am I my brother’s keeper?” I have heard this verse quoted when people are trying to evade responsibility for their own actions. Assuming we are of sound mind, we all have responsibility for our own behavior and words, and in this case, that includes responsibility for taking a life, and not in self-defense.

But sometimes we have a responsibility for others, as well, including looking out for those who cannot take care of themselves. Christ taught us to love others AS we love ourselves.

In like manner, the Apostle Paul instructed the disciples in Philippians 2:4, “Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” (NASB) Sometimes we wonder what we have to do with people thousands of miles away, such as those being persecuted in Pakistan or Nigeria. But there are no geographic limits on looking out for our fellow Christian family members.

We need to take these victims’ situations into our own hearts, and remember them often in prayer. Just one example: The last I heard, a young woman in Nigeria was still being held captive by the terrorist group Boko Haram, because she refused to deny her faith in Christ. Those who recanted were freed, but she stood her ground.

Yes, we are our sisters’ and brothers’ keepers. While we cannot personally free those in prison, nor can we personally stop their torture and other abuse, we CAN do something. We CAN pray fervently for them, we CAN support trustworthy organizations that are helping them, and we can write our political leaders about the plights of the persecuted victims. We CAN treat them as we would hope that others would treat us, if we were in their situations.

1 Corinthians 12:26 (NASB) And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it

The motto of one of my favorite Sheriff’s Departments (Clayton County Georgia) is:

“We defend those who cannot defend themselves.” This would be a pretty good motto for us Christians, as well.

I hope that you will join me in adding persecuted Christians to your daily prayer list, and in asking God to show you how you can help.

[email jan] Janice P. Moser

http://www.cfdevotionals.org

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All verses are from the New American Standard Version (NASB) unless otherwise noted.


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