Monday, 22 September 2008

Pray for our persecuted brethren in India.

Sphere: Related Content India has been a relatively calm place until recently. All the anti-conversion laws being passed in India and other Islamic countries are giving the persecution of christian a legal covering. But why the jittery among these other religions? Why should men fight for their gods. Why are they afraid of Christianity? Is it that they don't have strong argument to withstand the reality that Christianity presents?
Brethren, let us continue to pray for our brethren.

http://www.persecution.net/images/countries/india/india1.jpg
Specific instances of personal attacks can be named all across India. In May 2005, the death sentence for the man convicted of murdering Australian missionary Graham Staines and his boys in 1999 was commuted from the death sentence to life imprisonment. Seeing this as leniency for those who kill Christians, a Hindu militant and at least two others entrapped and murdered two pastors on the outskirts of Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh.

Reports of village churches being destroyed and church leaders being threatened by local Hindus continue to be a daily reality in India. Other persecution faced by Christians is more subtle, as converts to Christianity are often cast out of their families and face poverty and ostracism.

Prayer Requests

* Pray that militant influences in the government will continue to decrease and that freedom of religion will be recognized throughout India.
* Pray for protection for pastors, evangelists and other Christian workers as they share the Good News of Jesus.
* Pray for that those who turn to Christ will find the means to have their needs met.
* Pray that those who seek to hinder the work of the Church in India will see the love and grace of Jesus in the lives of Indian Christians.

See more here
Share/Bookmark

Friday, 12 September 2008

Brokenness - Study One Part 2

Sphere: Related Content Breaking and re-moulding of the clay to meet the Potter’s taste ( Jer.18:1-6)

“O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.” Jer 18:6 (KJV)

Here God is saying that He can handle us the way the potter handles the clay. He is not saying that we are inanimate as the clay or that He has no affection for us, He is just trying to emphasize His sovereignty over our lives and all that concerns us just as the Potter primarily determines what happens to the clay.

One of the ways we grow in relationship with God is when we begin to grasp the fact God does whatever pleases Him in heaven above and in the earth beneath and in all of His creation. He does not exist for us or because of us, we exist because of Him and for Him. He is the Creator while we are His creatures.

His pleasure is more important that our pleasure. In His pleasure, we find our own pleasure. Any pleasure pursued outside of Him ends in disappointment and failure. We are made perfect only in Him. His glory is more important than our glory. In fact, all glory belongs to Him.

In the picture that the prophet paints for us, the wish of the Potter is more paramount than the wish of the clay. He often have reasons for breaking the old vessel He has made in order to re-mould it again. He has that freedom and every man that must follow God must acknowledge this freedom and respect it.
The prophets seem to understand God better than most of us today. Isaiah said:

“But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” Isa 64:8 (KJV)

It is a way of declaring our submission to God. Many a times, it takes God months and years of training in order to bring us to this submission. He keeps pitting us into breaking experiences that teaches us that He has the final say in our lives. He allows experiences that shatter our ‘child-hood’ behaviours of thinking that we will always get what we want. He teaches us that we have to allow Him to be God in our lives. It is all about Him. This maturity is not always easy to come by.

We are supposed to be positively responsive to Him as He trains us. We are not bastards. Every child that the parent loves undergoes discipline. We must submit to Him. Perhaps when next you find yourself in situations you cannot control,; things are just out of your hands and you can not do anything about it, that maybe God speaking to you to allow Him to be God in your life.
That is freedom indeed.

Conclusion:
Brokenness means willingly losing your rights and will into the will of the Potter to mould you into, not what you want to be, but what He wants you to be. God breaks certain areas in our lives so that we can become malleable in His hands for effective use. The harder the area, the harder He breaks. Most of the times, He breaks the old vessel entirely and begins to mould a new one to His taste. We experience brokenness when God sends us to His workshop for shaping, depending on the place HE has, in His sovereignty, meant for us to fit in His church. Those that run away from the workshop and abandon training end up causing confusion and noise in the church. When people look at them, they question their life because they are not adding beauty to God’s building- the church. Who are you in God’s building?

Download the Small Group Study Guide here
Share/Bookmark