Saturday, November 08, 2008

The World is Not Worthy


And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. Hebrews 11:36-38


I hope we haven't forgotten them. In all the hubbub of the past several weeks, they've continued in their struggle and suffering. Where are they? They're in Iran, China, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Iraq, Pakistan, and on and on. In times past, they've been found in places like Scotland and Germany. They will always be there for as long as there is a true Church on this earth. Who are they? They're the persecuted saints now and through the ages. They've been beaten, imprisoned, tortured, burned, drowned, shot, stabbed, and verbally maligned. They've been kicked out of their homes and towns. Their families have turned against them. Why do they endure such? For the sake of a Savior who loved them and gave Himself for them. For the sake of the promise of a better country, a city which has been prepared for them. These are the ones of whom it's said that the world is not worthy. Praise God for them. Reading and hearing about them gives us hope; we're encouraged to press on ourselves in the little that's asked of us.

And we're encouraged now to pray for them, at least for the ones who are still alive. Those who have already gone on don't need our prayers. They've arrived. Hallelujah.

Tomorrow, the 9th, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Please hop over to the VOM's
Persecution Blog where Stacy has outlined Specific Prayer Requests for you and your church.

I need to post this hymn again. There has been so much discussion about war these days. There's something about all the arguing and discussion about it that wearies me. But as I said over a year ago when two people I know where martyred for Christ in a foreign land, I want to remind us that true believers are engaged in a warfare and we're soldiers. Let's never forget that. We may have forgotten because we've had it relatively easy compared to some of the saints that are suffering elsewhere., but let them be a reminder to us that we are indeed soldiers. Last year I posted this hymn as a salute to those two fallen soldiers who had perished while engaged in "battle" for the cross of Christ. I want to post this again (I am so sorry I've gotten away from my Saturday hymn post) in honor of the persecuted saints scattered throughout the world. And while you read this, don't forget: You're a soldier too. Be ready.

AM I A SOLDIER OF THE CROSS?


Am I a soldier of the cross,
A foll'wer of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own his cause,
Or blush to speak his Name?

Must I be carried to the skies
On flow'ry beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?

Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?

Sure I must fight if I would reign:
Increase my courage, Lord;
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by thy Word.

Thy saints, in all this glorious war,
Shall conquer, though they die;
They view the triumph from afar,
And seize it with their eye.

When that illustrious day shall rise,
And all thine armies shine
In robes of vict'ry through the skies,
The glory shall be thine.


~ Isaac Watts

6 comments:

Penless Thoughts said...

We must never forget that many are persecuted each and every day for the proclaiming and claiming the Name of Christ. There but for the Grace of God go I.
Susan

momstheword said...

Thanks for stopping by. You didn't get carried away, I enjoyed your comments. Sorry I made you sad though! It makes me sad too. We don't trust our beagle around small children because we don't know enough about him.

Also, thanks for posting this. We need to be reminded constantly how very blessed we are to have the freedom to worship as we do.

Patti said...

Sadly, it is all too easy to forget about the plight of our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. Many of us, I think, are mocked for our belief, and that mocking bothers us. But we need to remember that those across the globe, especially in the 10/40 window, are more than mocked---they are tortured and killed for their commitment to Jesus. As Penless Thoughts said, "there but for the grace of God, go I."

Thank you, Lord, for the religious freedom you have blessed us with. We pray that you would encourage and strengthen our persecuted brothers and sisters and that you would protect them from those that would harm them for having a commitment to you.

Thanks for the reminder, Maxine.

Blessings,
Patti

the voice of melody said...

What a touching post, written so beautifully.

Most of us don't stop and think how blessed we are to have the freedoms we enjoy. Thanks for this important reminder.

Many sweet blessings!

GRANDMA'S KITCHEN said...

Wonderful post, Great song!!! We are so blessed , we have it so easy to worship the way we see fit and sometimes we forget that there are still those who are still giving their lives for the "FAITH THAT WAS ONCE DELIVED TO THE SAINTS." We should be earnestly contending for the faith as Soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ. May we be ever faithful even unto death if necessary. connie

Thanks, Maxine.

Beverly said...

Thank you so much for keeping these dear saints in our thoughts and prayers.