My 21 brothers

Twenty-one beheaded.  This is just one report I heard this week alone. 

We continue to hear of Christians around the world being martyred, wrongfully imprisoned, persecuted.  Last year, the number of Christians killed simply for being Christians doubled from the year before!  2,123!  That is a small town.  That number doesn’t include the numbers who are persecuted and jailed for their faith.

These are our family!  We can’t stand by and do nothing.  Most of us burn to do something, anything when we hear of these horrendous atrocities.  But, what?  What do we do?  What will make a difference? 

We feel as powerless to do anything, as the victims themselves were.  Do you know what happens when we feel powerless?  Nothing.  We do nothing. 

First, we lament the situation, or rage against the mind-boggling evil.  We ‘share’ the story on social media.  We shake our heads over morning coffee with our co-worker.  Then………..Nothing

 Our hearts slowly grow toughened to the news stories.  We shake our heads and change the channel.  We grow weary of hearing of subsequent attacks.  We become numb from powerlessness and doing…..nothing

My dear family, my sweet sisters and brothers, we cannot continue to do nothing!  Jesus did not save us to leave us standing in the corner wringing our hands, shaking our heads, and taking cover.  He did not imbue us with His mighty authority for no reason.  We are called to STAND. 

You with the 50 hour a week job, 3 children in school, an ailing mother and too many loads of laundry to catch up on, you can do something!!  We can all do something!  We are not powerless.  We are powerful.  Just as they were powerful.

What?  They were powerful?  Yes, very much so.  What better, stronger testimony can a person give for Jesus than to STAND, when everything in them wants to save their own lives?  They didn’t back down.  They didn’t forsake Him, their Savior, our King.  They died rather than deny Him.

So, what can we do?  We can do a couple things.  Everyone can do these without leaving their current position in God’s army.  Right where you are you can PRAY and PROCLAIM!

Stop!  Don’t roll your eyes!  Prayer is the number one best weapon you have, we have.  More often than not, it is a weapon we not only don’t keep locked and loaded, we don’t draw and fire when needed, either!  Nor do we put in much target practice!

Let’s change that!!  TODAY!  Let’s be an enormous Family of prayer.  We don’t have to spend hours on our knees each day, not that that is a bad thing.  We can start each day, the moment we open our eyes, before those feet hit the floor, praying protection and provision over our Christian Family around the globe.

Each time the news comes on, we can use that as a reminder to lift them in prayer.  How powerful our prayers are!  Why would we not use them?  Let us cover them completely and also, petition for the souls of those doing the persecuting.  Even our brother, Paul, was once a persecutor of Christians.  PRAY!

PROCLAIM!  Our family needn’t have died in vain.  We can share their stories.  We can remind people that the God we serve is worth dying for.  We can tell those stories, using them to point others to Jesus.  Think of the power in them.  They would rather their earthly lives be savagely taken than to denounce their God!  It doesn’t get much more powerful than that.  You don’t do that for someone who doesn’t love you, who doesn’t mean the world to you, no one just willing allows their own slaughter for no good reason. Don’t let them fade quietly into the dark.  Let their testimony speak. PROCLAIM! 

Lastly, I leave you with this reminder because though it may not seem relevant it bears repeating.  YOU, are fearfully, wonderfully, uniquely created.  YOU are loved.  YOU are the child of the most high God.  Walk like it!  Talk like it!  Remember WHO you are!  Remember WHO we are!  We are our brother’s keeper!!  Take that responsibility to heart and with pride proclaim Jesus to the world!