This weekend, we reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made for all of humankind. I think of His words to all His disciples to take up our cross daily and follow Him – Luke 9:23.
The cross was an instrument of Roman torture. It was a symbol of suffering and death. For us to “take up His cross daily” means our willingness to suffer for the name of Jesus, even it is means death. Making this a most personal statement, “Tim, Jesus is calling you to follow Him, even when following Him may come at a high price.”
According to the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, “More Christians were martyred in the 20th century than in all previous centuries combined.” According to statistics from Nigeria, India, and Iraq, it is estimated that currently more than 200 million Christians are being persecuted worldwide.
The recent news from Egypt reminds us that many believers live in very dark and hostile places around the world and are extremely vulnerable to danger or even death. These believers are people like you and me. They have families, friends, and homes. They have worries and fears about the future. They want what is best for the ones they love. And they are choosing to follow Jesus in the face of great opposition.
Take a moment today to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who are enduring suffering today. Ask God to give them mercy and grace to endure. Also, ask the Lord to give them boldness to share Christ in the middle of their suffering.
Love you guys!
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