Hebrews 13:1,3 – Keep on loving each other as brothers. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow-prisoners, and those who are ill-treated as if you yourselves were suffering. (NIV)
It was my auntie's cremation the other day. My auntie was a special person; she was a golden fist in a velvet glove. Right up to her entry into hospital, she was helping my cousin's family in practical ways — always there, taking an interest doing this and that — not bad for a lady past her ninetieth birthday. She never gave in to circumstances, but rather she seized the day by the scruff of the neck until it gave in by the grace of God.
In May I saw her at the London Eye, a big wheel towering over London. She was full of life and like a teenager excited, keen to hear all the latest news.
She died peacefully in her sleep a few days ago after a lifetime of service to others, seen and unseen, but known to our Saviour. May she enjoy her reward in heaven.
Among many news sites, it is reported by Christian Solidarity Worldwide at www.cswusa.org that Christians are being persecuted in extreme measure by oppressive regimes under the guise of religion, religious politics or military rule. I ask what can I do?
What I can do is pray to bring Jesus into those individual cases that touch my consciousness. Seen and unseen, Jesus knows even the number of hairs on their heads.
Let us remember those who continue to suffer for our faith. Even though it may be thousands of miles away, and we may not be there in person, Jesus Christ is.
I believe Jesus wants us to ask Him into these places, for His will to be done worldwide. We can pray the Holy Spirit's healing presence to empower the faithful, to make a difference in their lives as they seek to stand up for their God day by day, doing what they can, here and there, as they refuse to give in.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the faithful, for your servants in all their guises, known and unrecognized, natural and heavenly. Through them you make our world a better place for many. Grant to them and us wisdom and strength to serve you more faithfully for as long as we are permitted to live in a time we call Today. Lord, hear the prayers of Your church today, deliver it from evil, in its various forms, and remind us once more of the song you put into our hearts. Amen.
Hebrews 13:5-6 – Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (NIV)