SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : Devotional Thoughts :  Extreme Devotion

Print Thread (PDF)

Goto page ( Previous Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 Next Page )
PosterThread









 Re:

Extreme Letters - Part 3

Russia...Maria


Dear Mom and Dad,
Yesterday, August 2, I was able to speak with Varia in prison. She was thin and pale, but her eyes were shining with the peace of God and an unearthly joy.
My heart bleeds when I think about her. She is only nineteen. As a believer, she is still a spiritual babe. But she loves the Lord with all her heart and chose to take the most difficult road right away.
Please pray for her. They have taken all her things away except the clothes she was wearing. We have taken up collections and sent her packages, but I don’t think she receives all the things we send.
When I asked Varia if she regretted what she did, she said, “No, and if they free me I would do it again. Don’t think that I suffer. I am glad that God loves me so much and gives me the joy to endure for his name.”
I thank God that we have the peace to understand this. If we are in Christ, no sufferings or frustrations should stop us. I can only pray that my faith would be as strong if I were in her place.
We now believe that Varia will be sent to a labor camp in Siberia. I believe God will give her the strength she needs to endure.

Your Maria


[i]Christianity is not a one hundred yard dash. It is an endurance marathon. Scripture teaches that there are times we soar like eagles and run without growing weary. However, there are also times in our lives where long, lonely stretches loom before us. At those times, we are doing well just to walk without fainting until we gather more strength. This is the image of those under persecution. During persecution, we are simply learning to take the next step without giving up. Simply enduring is a major victory that brings glory to God. If you are undergoing a trial you don’t understand, hang on and hang in there. You are getting stronger each day—sometimes without realizing it. Soon, you will soar again.[/i]

 2008/3/10 10:20









 Re:

Extreme Letters - Part 4

Russia...Varia


Dear Maria,
At last I am able to write to you. We arrived safely at the new camp, which is about ten miles from town. I can’t describe life here, but I thank God that I am reasonably healthy and have the strength to work.
I was put to work in a machine shop with another sister whose health is very bad. I have to do the work of both of us or we will both be punished. We work twelve to thirteen hours every day, and the food is scarce. But I don’t want to complain.
I wanted to tell you that I thank God he used you to lead me to Christ. For the first time, I feel my life has a purpose, and I know for whom I suffer. I have a burning desire to tell everyone here about the great joy of salvation.
At work they curse and punish me because I cannot be silent. How could I be? As long as I am able to speak, I will witness to everyone about his great love.
There are many believers here. Last night we were able to sneak out to the river, where seven brothers and I were baptized. I will never forget this wonderful day! Please don’t weep for me. My purpose here is clear, and my faith remains strong.
Love,

Your Varia


[i]
Some call it destiny. Some refer to it as fate. Regardless, most people long to give themselves to a certain cause. Christians know it as a “calling”—God’s purpose for their lives. When we fulfill God’s purpose for our individual life, we become part of a much bigger picture. We are satisfied that whatever we do and whatever happens to us advances the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are connected. Useful. For the first time in our lives, no matter what the circumstances are, we feel we are actually contributing to something beyond ourselves. Nothing can defeat someone once they have taken hold of this purpose. What do you sense is the greater purpose of your life?[/i]

 2008/3/10 11:48









 Re:

[size=large]I will preach until I die.[/size]

PASTOR LI DEXIAN—CHINESE HOUSE-CHURCH PASTOR WHO HAS BEEN ARRESTED FOR PREACHING WITHOUT A LICENSE MORE THAN
TWENTY TIMES

 2008/3/10 13:17









 Re:

Extreme Letters - Part 5

Russia...Varia


My Dearest Maria,

At last I have found an opportunity to write you again. I am happy to report that the sister that was so sick is feeling better. We have now been relocated to another camp.

In my last letter I told you of my baptism. But I never had the opportunity to ask you for forgiveness for all the times I wronged you before I received Christ. It is only through your gracious attitude of forgiveness that I am a Christian today. Please accept my apology.

Also, I want to thank you all for the packages you are sending. Thanks most of all for the Bible. Since the Lord revealed to me the deep mystery of his holy love, I consider myself to be the happiest person in the world. I consider the suffering I have had to put up with as a special grace. I am glad that God gave me this tremendous opportunity to suffer for him.

Please pray for me that I may remain faithful until the end. May the Lord keep you all and strengthen you for the battle. Don’t worry about us. We are glad and joyful because our reward in heaven is great!

Your Varia

[i]
Varia was never heard from again, but her love and witness for Christ were never forgotten. Her young life was likely snuffed out by the cruel authorities who imprisoned her for her faith. However, her legacy burns brightly in the hearts of those who know her story. Her life brings irrefutable evidence concerning the strange level of friendship that suffering affords. Suffering for Christ can actually bring us closer to him in ways no other experience could. The Bible calls it the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings—an exclusive level of human experience. Growing closer to Christ through suffering is something best understood by firsthand experience. How have you seen your own personal suffering bring you into a closer walk with Jesus Christ? How did this happen?[/i]

 2008/3/12 12:17









 Re:

Jeremiah Logara never knew resignation, only determination. The Muslim soldiers had arrested six boys from his church and falsely accused them of being spies. When Jeremiah, their pastor, tried explaining that the boys were Christians, not spies, the soldiers decided to arrest him too.

The Islamic soldiers tied Pastor Logara’s arms and legs together and hung him four feet in the air with a rope. They whipped him and dripped hot melted wax on his chest. He recalled the prayer of Jesus in the Garden. He prayed, “Oh God, if it is your will for me to die today, let it be done.” He could not bear that he might give in to the tortures of the Northern Sudanese Arabs as he stood before the young, impressionable boys.
But God’s will was that he live on as a testimony for these boys. He was released. But the boys were detained. Pastor Logara imagines the boys were probably being forced to train as soldiers.
When the pastor reflected upon that incident, he recalled, “I thought of Jesus’ death, that Jesus died to save the whole world. I thought my death could be part of the salvation of these boys as I followed in the footsteps of my Lord. I pray my example of suffering for them will encourage them to remain faithful to God.”


Children love to walk in the footsteps of their parents. On sandy beaches, they strive and stretch to plant their tiny feet within the pattern of their mom or dad. Ever-trusting, they follow the path wherever it may lead. Likewise, Jesus’ footsteps may lead us through some trying terrain. We may follow him through trials and tribulations that we never would have chosen for ourselves. However, if we are committed to following Jesus, we have released our right to choose our own destinies. Following Jesus provides a clear example for our children and other observers to imitate. The path we take matters. What impressions are you leaving in the minds of those around you?



 2008/3/12 12:54









 Re:

Susannah Wesley was born in 1668, in England, when the state church and government crushed any form of Christian worship or education not controlled by them. This determined Christian woman began programs of Christian education for adults in her kitchen and daily with her children.

In 1662, six years before Susannah was born, the English government passed a law forcing the state church’s Book of Common Prayer in all worship services. Two thousand clergy were forced to resign.

In 1664, a law was passed forbidding more than five people who were not family members worship together without a state official. In 1665, the Five Mile Act was passed aimed at Nonconformist ministers who were forbidden to come within five miles where they had founded a congregation. This law was upheld for almost 150 years. Soldiers destroyed meeting houses, took away furniture and Christian books. Five thousand Nonconformist Christians died in prison.

Although Susannah was associated at times with the official church, she refused to be a “Sunday-only” Christian. Her angry neighbors burned her fields and stabbed the three cows that gave milk to her family. They called her children “the little devils.” One of her children, John Wesley, the founder of the Methodists, led a great spiritual awakening in England. He had learned perseverance from his mother.

 2008/3/13 15:09
destinysweet
Member



Joined: 2007/11/19
Posts: 159


 Re:

Susannah Wesley..Isn't she the mother that sat in the kitchen and if her apron was pulled over her head ..no one was to disturb her..period...as she was communing with God in prayer?

This picture has stayed with me for decades..I have always has very long hair..and because I began to pray continuously..oftimes my hair would fall over my face ,hiding my countenance from lookers-on/prying eyes..God would say that it was like my veil..like this mother of righteous sons..Susannah? who needed privacy in a busy life..time when she would not be disturbed. Granted ,I, at first felt like 'Cousin IT' a little strange,and had to resist the urge sweep it away so I wouldn't appear strange to others..instead I was encouraged to leave it alone and understood that this was a time that God especially did not want me disturbed..as what He and I were in the midst of was not to be interrupted. Praise God for the lives of our brethren who having gone before us have trodden the narrow path as revealed to them in Christ.
Thanks for sharing this..you couldn't know unless I offered that I had a picture of this very thing this morning during my devotions..so encouraging and welcoming to find this post here this afternoon!I love how God is moving in the midst of His beloved saints..jointly fit together..for our edification and encouragement! Hallelujah!


_________________
G.M. (Destiny) Sweet

 2008/3/13 19:26Profile









 Re:

Quote:

destinysweet wrote:
Susannah Wesley..Isn't she the mother that sat in the kitchen and if her apron was pulled over her head ..no one was to disturb her..period...as she was communing with God in prayer?

This picture has stayed with me for decades..I have always has very long hair..and because I began to pray continuously..oftimes my hair would fall over my face ,hiding my countenance from lookers-on/prying eyes..God would say that it was like my veil..like this mother of righteous sons..Susannah? who needed privacy in a busy life..time when she would not be disturbed. Granted ,I, at first felt like 'Cousin IT' a little strange,and had to resist the urge sweep it away so I wouldn't appear strange to others..instead I was encouraged to leave it alone and understood that this was a time that God especially did not want me disturbed..as what He and I were in the midst of was not to be interrupted. Praise God for the lives of our brethren who having gone before us have trodden the narrow path as revealed to them in Christ.
Thanks for sharing this..you couldn't know unless I offered that I had a picture of this very thing this morning during my devotions..so encouraging and welcoming to find this post here this afternoon!I love how God is moving in the midst of His beloved saints..jointly fit together..for our edification and encouragement! Hallelujah!



Praise God that you were encouraged! I'm letting my hair grow long too. I've decided never to cut it again. :-D

 2008/3/13 20:05









 Re:

Richard Wurmbrand, a Romanian pastor who suffered in prison for fourteen years, once told a story that he had heard from a fellow prisoner. It had helped him through his most difficult times of torture. The brother told him:

“I once went to a circus and witnessed a most impressive scene. A sharpshooter placed a burning candle on his wife’s head. He then stepped out of the center of the arena and, from quite a distance, shot the candle off her head.

“After the show was over, I approached her and asked if she was ever afraid the arrow would strike her. She replied, ‘Why should I be? He was aiming at the candle, not at me.’”

When Pastor Wurmbrand heard this story he thought, “Why should I be afraid of the torturers? They don’t aim at me. They may beat my body but my real being is Christ within. I am seated with him in heavenly places, and therefore they cannot touch my real person. From this incredible viewpoint I can look down and see the futility of their efforts.”

Pastor Wurmbrand lived through years of suffering and had neared death many times. But he was encouraged with this simple lesson and even flourished spiritually because he knew his place with Christ was secure, no matter what happened to his body.


Persecution, though indescribably painful, has its limits. Neither physical torment nor emotional trauma can destroy the deepest parts of who we are. What we carry on the inside is the most valuable part of ourselves—our souls. Christ’s Spirit lives within us and protects our soul from emotional and physical harm. True, our enemies may strike us and even kill our bodies. However, when our enemies take a swipe at us, they are really maligning the name of Christ—the one who lives within. And he can never die again. However personal and pointed the opposition, it is really part of a bigger picture. The battle may involve us, but it concerns an overarching war between good and evil.




 2008/3/14 8:27









 Re:

“Are you not afraid of what we will do to you?” the Communist colonel asked, his tone a combination of mockery and challenge.

Young Pastor Kochanga, having preached only one sermon in his career, stood before the colonel, knowing that the man held the power of life or death over him. He answered in a respectful, yet fervent tone.

“Sir, truth is never afraid. Suppose your government would decide to hang all mathematicians. How much would two plus two be then? Two plus two would still be four.

“We have truth, as true as a mathematical equation. We have the truth that there is a God, and he is our loving Father. We have the truth that Jesus is the Savior of the world and wishes to save everyone, even you. We have truth that there is a Holy Spirit who empowers men and gives them light, and we have the truth that there exists a beautiful paradise.

“Whatever whips and whatever instruments of torture you have, it will always remain so. Two plus two still equals four.”

Kochanga was beaten almost beyond recognition and then was never seen again. Though his battered and bloody face was hard to recognize for the other prisoners, in heaven he was immediately known and welcomed.


“Tell the truth.” Children learn this command at an early age, yet its wisdom is timeless. If we will return to simply acknowledging what we know to be true, we will always have the words to say when we are called upon to testify for Christ. Many people often feel unqualified to witness for Christ, saying they lack “training.” We fear being asked a theological question we don’t know how to answer. However, professing Christ doesn’t require course credit in apologetics. Simply tell the truth about what you know—just as those who have experienced religious oppression. Testifying about Christ is easier than it seems. We must go back to the principle we learned in childhood. We are commanded to acknowledge Jesus Christ—to tell the truth.



 2008/3/15 4:12





©2002-2020 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy