During VBS: Go!
Day 2: God is for all children
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12).
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them” (Romans 12:14).
The following story is condensed from the website, www.kidsofcourage.com, part of the Voice of the Martyrs organization:
“Rebekha was angry. Her teacher expected her to sit by a new girl in her ninth-grade class in Pakistan. The new girl was a Christian, and Rebekha hated Christians! She chose to sit on the floor rather than sit by Mary, the new girl. Rebekha then had to miss school because she was sick. She needed help studying for a test. None of the other Muslim girls would help her study. Mary offered to help, and Rebekha began to like Christians a little bit more.
“Some Christians started a sewing class in Rebekha’s village, and Mary invited Rebekha to attend. Rebekha went to the class, but she sat separately from the Christian girls. She still did not like Christians very well. The Christian girls were sad about Rebekha’s attitude. They spent much time in prayer for her.
“Rebekha realized that she could find nothing wrong with the Christian girls. After two months, she asked Mary for a Bible. Mary happily gave her one. Mary asked God to help Rebekha understand the Bible and follow Christ. The girls’ prayers were answered! Rebekha not only quit hating Christians; she became one! Rebekha was happy, but her family was miserable. They tried to get her to return to Islam, the religion of Muslims. Honor is very important in many Muslim countries. A man receives honor if others in his culture respect him. He loses honor if members of his family do not follow the customs of those around him. Some Muslims in Pakistan believe they will lose honor if someone in their family becomes a Christian. That is what Rebekha’s uncles believed. The uncles took Rebekha to a canal near their farmland. When they got to the canal, they saw a deadly cobra swimming in the water. “Good,” the uncles said, “the cobra will bite her.” They threw her into the canal and hurried away. Rebekha did not know how to swim. She prayed for help. The cobra disappeared. Rebekha climbed out of the canal and praised God for keeping her safe. Rebekha returned home soaking wet. Her family was astonished. Her father said she could no longer live there since she had become a Christian. She left home, and Mary helped her find Christians who would take care of her. Rebekha was grateful to God for sparing her life.”
Over the last ten years, there have been more Believers martyred in the world, than at any other time in history. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity estimates that 1 million Christians were killed from 2000 to 2010 averaging, 100,000 a year. Last year 90,000 died, which equates to a death every 6 minutes according to the Christian Post. Yet still, we don’t have to fear. Christ provides grace sufficient, even in death by persecution. Although the word sufficient is not a word that we usually associate with great abundance, this is the true meaning found in 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10. Our God, El Shaddai, All Sufficient, lavishly provides abundant, overflowing grace for whatever work or task He has called us to do, even if it is martyrdom. God is more than enough for those who are poor in spirit, weak, but fully yielded for the defense of the Kingdom, because God’s Sovereign presence, His Shekinah glory, will rest or overshadow them, as described in Isaiah 4:5. No, we don’t have to fear. God’s strength far surpasses human weakness. And, if God calls us to a fiery furnace or cobra filled canals, we don’t have to hesitate, not for one moment, because God will descend “as a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night and His glory, as a canopy will envelop us as we enter His eternal presence in Paradise.
Thank you, Father that You are there to welcome Your people into heaven. We pray for children who are like Mary and Rebekha. Please show them Your glory today. As the bright, shining sun fills the whole earth with light and heat, so fill them and us with the light of the Son of righteousness and illuminate our souls towards good works. Give us the desire for good works and to bless others, especially as we prepare for VBS. Give us a heart like Yours; a heart that lives love in all we think and do. Intoxicate us with the pleasure of pleasing You. Amen
Thanking God for true freedom. Freedom comes when we give it all away.
- For children to experience spiritual freedom by giving all to our rescuer, Christ.
- We pray for the children who live in Asia and dark places like Pakistan. Shine Your light into this darkness. Please continue to send dreams and visions.
- For people who are experiencing afflictions and living amid a fiery furnace. Pray salvation and rescue through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Pray comfort and joy; peace and rest; and in the midst of great pain, pray that they will realize their bonds have burned off and they are free indeed.