A friend sent me a link to a NY Times article this morning about Christianity reshaping the middle east. They actually made a positive article about the work Christians are doing over in Syria and other parts of the world that are ridden with terrorism, and how those efforts are shaking the enemies of God and the West, as they see the difference between the Christian way of life and theirs. It’s about the most inspiring thing I’ve seen in awhile.
There’s missionaries, your brothers and sisters, who pick up everything, go overseas and spread the word of Jesus Christ. These people are FAR braver than someone like me, and they deserve tremendous respect and moreover, the support of those of us back home. Their showing Christ and charity to radical Islamic fighters and those oppressed by them in the region helps make people realize that their way is not the right way, and that there is a better way — THE way, the truth and the life. It’s invaluable.
What’s great is their stories are inspiring, and they can give us some practical advice for living at home according to Him. It takes time and hard work, but it’s impossible not to see the fruits of Christ’s message if you get into it:
Exactly why he sought solace in Christianity, rather than a more mainstream version of Islam, no one can quite explain. Reading the Bible, Mr. Mohammad claimed, made him calmer than reading the Quran. The churches he attended, Mr. Mohammad said, made him feel more welcome than the neighborhood mosques. In his personal view, Christian prayers were more generous than Muslim ones. But these are subjective claims, and many would reject the characterization of Islam as a less benign religion, much as they would reject Nusra’s extremist interpretation of it.
This is exactly why the Word is so important. It changes you. It’s important to read and steady yourself with God’s message every day. Even those who used to fight and slaughter Christians see it, and they can’t help be moved by it. That’s the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ms. Rashid said she dreamed of a biblical figure who used heavenly powers to divide the waters of the sea, which Mr. Mohammad interpreted as a sign of encouragement from Jesus. Then, Mr. Mohammad himself dreamed Jesus had given him some chickpeas. The pair felt loved.
God is real, and He manifests himself everywhere, but you have to be looking for Him. He is the supernatural, beyond and running through the natural. We forget this a lot in our American ways of life where all we see is the material every day in our busy lives. That’s why studying the Word is so crucial again. There is far more to existence than what our eyes see.
This all made me think of something else I saw this morning, about how another friend made a post about how he’s kept quiet about a number of things in his life, and how now he’s made the choice to speak up, to not straddle the fences where it’s comfortable, where he hopes that no one will make him a target, but he’s going to go out and live his life and profess what he believes.
Every time someone does this, it changes the world. It’s brave to do that where you may get shunned by some friends here, and that shouldn’t be minimized, even though we would be wise to remember that people like Mr. Mohammed face far worse for his bravery. Let his story inspire you to bravery. Every time you put yourself out there for Christ, even if it only changes one person in your life, that will change another person, and another. Look at the results in Syria of all places above. This man has achieved eternal salvation because of a couple of people.
Vox Day posted something incredibly inspiring yesterday on this very topic: Only two numbers matter, 2 and 12. Because one plus one is three and all we need are twelve to change the world.
That’s all it takes. You are making a difference in living by Christ even if it doesn’t feel like it. Keep hope and live strong, for it is commanded:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
Your work matters. Mr. Mohammed’s new found calling matters. Your boldness will be rewarded by the fact that others will come to see Christ and His glory. We’ll all rejoice for their coming together with the Lord in his Kingdom. Pray for our bold warriors out there bringing the love of Christ to these souls. Pray for peace.