Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bold & Full of Courage

I often forget how easy I have it--I can choose from multiple church services and can freely declare my faith in the Lord in public places. Although I may get weird looks or mean comments regarding my belief, I do not know persecution. I do not know what it feels like to literally risk everything for my God. Although I made that claim when I became a believer (and believe that if put through a horrible situation, I would still cling to God), I do not know what suffering for God looks like. We're doing a series in church called "Christian Atheism". After seeing this amazing video at church the other day, I was reminded of my desire for God and how crazy that should look to non-believers. The kid in this video reminds me that I should CONSTANTLY be making myself uncomfortable for God. He was able to publicly declare his faith in front of all of his peers at a public high school graduation! That is incredible to me! I should not feel comfortable at ALL in my faith! I should continuously be talking about God, especially to those who don't believe, and especially if it makes me seem "strange" in their eyes. I don't put myself out there nearly enough, and it's no longer an option. God has this absolutely crazy love for us, I mean He gave His son to die for us so we could be with Him and be free from the shackles of our sin that otherwise would keep us locked up! I want to have that kind of crazy love for everyone I encounter! I want everyone to see what that love looks like and be able to encounter that love!

During the sermon at church on "Christian Atheism", I was reminded of the Christians worldwide and the things they sacrifice to pursue and encourage others to pursue and I realize how much I take for granted. I saw a recent article about a woman in Sudan who could face death because she owned and was distibuting Bibles! In Somalia, .5% of the population is Christian. People are beheaded for owning Bibles and being believers of God, and not the popular "Allah". In Egypt, Christians are treated as second-class citizens, even being discriminated against when it comes to employment. In Libya, the only way to receive Christian literature is through secret. A non-Libyan Christian man who sought to share the gospel in Libya was beaten and held for 45 days before he was deported. In Morocco, it is illegal to evangelize. Less than .1% of the population is Christian. In Mauritania, ANY ONE that confesses they are a Christian will be put to death. That's right...just simply stating, "I believe in God" would get you killed. These are all statistics just from Northern Africa. It gets even worse in Asia. It makes me rethink my faith and the way I live it out. I believe that I do a good job of sticking to my faith and witnessing, but after reading more in depth about these poor Christians worldwide that are willing to sacrifice absolutely everything for our God, it makes me want to be more like them! This verse is so encouraging when it comes to this topic!

"The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name." -Acts 5:41

The Bible should be taken literally and be an example to Christians today of how to be a Christian in this crazy messed up modern world. This verse is my new life motto. I want to be overjoyed that I have the honor to face such disgrace from those who find it unappealing or disgraceful...after all, that is the least our God deserves! I want to be a full on Jesus Freak. So, in conclusion, I have a goal for this summer and for the years and years to come--I want to live like I'm giving up everything for God. Not just theoretically or hypothetically, but literally as well. I hope you too can gain insight from some of the things I've said and be reminded of God and His sacrifice, the sacrifice of Christians worldwide, and the sacrifice you too should be able to make for our Heavenly Father!

Have a blessed day :)

No comments:

Post a Comment