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Discussion Forum : Devotional Thoughts : Pt 2... In The Fellowship of His Sufferings.

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 Re: 4/28/18... What God can Deliver?

Daniel 3:15

... and who is the god who can rescue you from my power?...

My Brothers and Sisters,

As I was listening to Daniel this morning the question above was posed to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They refused to worship the god of Nebuchadnezzar. But instead chose to remain faithful to the God of Israel.  Nebuchadnezzar in his arrogance said of the three Jewish young men. And who is the god who can rescue you from my power?

We know the outcome of the story. God could have easily chosen to have struck Nebuchadnezzar down with a lightning bolt and the three young men delivered from being thrown into the fire.  Many times we, as American Christians, want to see God deliver in this way.

But instead they were thrown into the fire and in the midst of their affliction God was with them. The fourth man is believed by many to have been the preincarnate Son of God himself, Jesus.

Jesus did not deliver them "from" their affliction. But rather delivereded them "through" their affliction.

We see this in the persecuted church today. That God does not nocessarily deliver our brothers and sisters "from" their persecutions.  But he rather chooses to deliver them "through" their persecutions.  

Countless times I have read where our persecuted brothers and sisters say please pray that we may endure the persecutions. Please pray that we will bring glory to God in the midst of our sufferings. Please pray that we will have strength to endure the sufferings of Christ.

Those in the shadow of the cross are not heroes. They are not super saints.  They are brother and who are broken before the Lord. They are brethren who are living out the crucified life of Christ.  Indeed they have entered into a depth of the sufferings of Christ that does perfect their faith as unto him.

Let us continue to remember our persevuted brothers and sisters in our prayers. Let us learn from their examples and go deeper in Christ. For surely persecution will come upon our shores. And we need to look to the Lord Jesus. We need to look our persecuted brothers and sisters in terms of how to endure the sufferings that will surely come upon us.


 2018/4/28 17:18

 Re: 5/1/18...God's Protection

In addition, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the word of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen and guard you from the evil one...1 Thes. 3:1-3

Brothers and Sisters,

Paul was a front-line worker. When we read his letters, Paul and his team worked in areas where it was dangerous to share Jesus. Yet the word was going forth and bearing fruit.  So Paul's prayer was for the word to go forth and for the protection of his team.

Today those who work on the front lines need our prayers. They need our prayers for the word to go forth among the unsaved. They need our prayers for their protection.  Many of the frontline workers labor in areas where it is dangerous to openly to share one's faith. And then many who come to faith in Jesus have a target on their back. For they are marked for persecution.  They are marked for execution.

Some American believers would say to me, brother Blaine, you exaggerate. But then read accounts from ministries who work with the persecuted.  I continually read accounts where persecuted frontline workers are always at risk.

In Acts 15, James testifies that Barnabas and Paul, were men who had risked their lives for the Lord Jesus Christ. Daily our brothers and sisters risk their lives for the Lord Jesus.  Can we at least not offer our prayers on their behalf?

What can we pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters. The request they most often ask of us.  Pray that we are not delivered "from" our persecutions but "through" our persecutions.

Please pray for the word of God to go forth and bear fruit in the restricted nations. Please pray for the protection of those who minister that word. Please pray for the persecuted who are in the shadow of the cross.

In the bonds of Jesus.


 2018/5/1 8:55

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