Week beginning: 22nd March, 2015
By Open Doors | London
'But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not "Yes" and "No." For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not "Yes" and "No," but in him it has always been "Yes." For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ.'2 Corinthians 1:18-20a (NIV)
Over the next few weeks as we build up towards Easter "Word for the week" will reflect on the glorious message of Easter and help us pray for the persecuted church. We have partnered with Open Doors and the weblinks will take you to their website where specific facts are given to help you.
As lawyers we understand that being bound by the commitments we make, or making sure that our clients understand the promises they are entering into, are of the utmost importance.
When we commit ourselves to Christ, we can do so only because God in his grace and mercy stands by the promises He made, most clearly demonstrated in the Cross. On our part we must, when we say yes to him, commit to live wholeheartedly for Him.
In 1952 Andrew Van de Bijl, the founder of Open Doors, said these words to God…"Whenever, wherever, however you want me, I'll go...". As he took this step of "yes" he began an unknown journey with God, which was to take him into the world of the persecuted church. Within three years Brother Andrew was getting off a train in Warsaw, carrying a suitcase with hundreds of booklets entitled "The way of salvation". He was risking everything for Christ in the communist world, and has continued to do so for the last 60 years.
Today hundreds of thousands of men and women who have said "yes" to Jesus are at risk of or are suffering from persecution. In just the last year Open Doors has recorded 1,062 attacks on churches for faith-related reasons. We may not be asked by God to suffer for our faith or visit those who do but we can pray for those affected and, using our legal skills, advocate on their behalf. If we don't, we face the possibility of being told that we didn't really commit to Jesus at all (Matt 25: 44-46).
1) Father, forgive me when I forget my brothers and sisters who suffer for following you. Help me to remember them in prayer and show me how I can use what you have given me to help them.
2) Lord Jesus, thank you for the courage of my brothers and sisters who stand firm in their faith in you, despite persecution. May I learn from their example and share their hope and commitment.
For further info please link through here to the Open Doors "Current persecution trends" page http://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/trends.php .