Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cross-Bearing

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:24-25.


While I was still lying in bed, I decided that I would post for the persecuted church on all my blogs today. And wouldn't you know it, these verses were included in my morning devotions in the book of Matthew? How appropriate, when we think of the saints who are living the truth of our Savior's words in ways that most of us can't imagine.

For today and this place, I'll tell you about one of the MANY saints who are being persecuted all over the world. And folks, that number is in the millions. I'll tell you about Pastor Pabitra Kata in India. According to VOM, Pastor Kata was a former Hindu extremist , but was saved in 1999. After his conversion, this former Hindu radical right away began preaching the gospel. Who does this remind you of? I immediately thought of the Apostle Paul when I read this. And like the saints in the book of Acts, this man (Pabitra) is seeing firsthand the cost of discipleship. The Apostle Paul was hated by many when he became a Christian, as saints all over the world are hated when they become Christians. Here is one example of Paul's cross-bearing:

"And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them in prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely." Acts 16:23

You know the rest of the story. You know what happened to the jailer, praise the Lord. Pastor Kata was attacked by Hindu radicals and beaten with many stripes. Read the rest of his story at the VOM Persecution Blog. Let's pray that he, too, will be used of the Lord in his affliction. Hopefully, we can all take a few minutes from our busy and somewhat comfortable lives and read about his plight. Situations like his are so, so common in the world around us. We have to force ourselves to be aware of what's going on, to pray and even help monetarily when our circumstances allow it. I hate to sound preachy, but sometimes it breaks my heart that we in our country know so little of true cross-bearing. It's so easy to forget those who are living it.

"Take up thy cross, the Saviour said,
If thou wouldst my disciple be;
Take up thy cross wih willing heart,
And humbly follow after me."

~Charles W. Everest

2 comments:

Sara said...

Very good post Mrs. R! I like how you compared this modern persecuted Christian to Paul. I will keep him in my prayers. It is so easy for me to forget other persecuted believers because of the religious freedom we have here in America. Thanks for the reminder.
~Sara

Beverly said...

You are so right that we know SO little of true cross bearing. I'm glad you do these VOM posts. We get so caught up in our comfy cozy lives, and forget what others are going through.