Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "How Sweet The Name Of Jesus Sounds"1 (Lyrics)
Isaiah 42:6-7 – I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, and I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, and those who dwell in darkness from the prison. (NASB)
There are over 135 memorials, spread across 25 countries, which commemorate the genocide of over one million Armenians in 1915 because of their refusal to deny Jesus Christ and worship Allah. On April 24th each year, thousands of people march to these monuments and lay flowers in remembrance.
One such Armenian who was the lone survivor of his family was Armen Arakelian, my father. There was a period of time in my father's life when he carried out a prison ministry. His first step was to enlist his whole family to help minister. Gradually, other members of the local church were added to his team. One Sunday afternoon, my father, along with an elderly woman and me, headed out in our family car to visit a detention camp for Los Angeles County non-violent inmates. After a brief time of group singing and a solo by me, my dad delivered a gospel message. Following the time of worship, as we mingled with the inmates, there were several who expressed that they were blessed. Praise Him!
My father's legacy of faith continues with his son, John Arakelian, my brother. Recently, he and his wife have been miraculously drawn to an involvement as volunteers with an international prison ministry called Kairos in the state of Texas, U.S.A. Kairos is a Greek word meaning "in God's special time" or "in the fullness of time", offering an opportunity for participants and guests to re-consider their life choices. The results of teaching their last three-day course in Christianity were gratifying. All 42 inmates enrolled completed the course and are now part of small accountability groups with whom they will meet each Saturday for worship and discussion of their Christian walk. Praise God!
What can we do to pass our legacy of faith to the next generation? God's Word has the answer:
Deuteronomy 11:18a,19 – So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. (NLT)
Our children will have a tremendous advantage by teaching them God's Word at an early age and by making prayer a vital part of their lives. More importantly, biblical principles should be practiced at home as well as publicly in the church and community.
The challenge before us: In an increasingly advancing, technological, and troubled world, let us lead our children to become leaders who will present the truths of the gospel to win the world to Christ.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for creating us new persons through our acceptance of Your salvation through Jesus Christ, our Lord. We implore You to give us the strength to share the gospel faithfully with those who do not know You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.