Friday, July 26, 2013
Speaking For Those Without a Voice
Do we who have freedom realize what it would be like to be caught, as it were, in a spider's web? It is not pleasant to talk about, but brothers and sisters of ours in the Body of Christ are trapped in an ugly web of Christian persecution even as I write this blog. It has only intensified in recent years, as human history winds down. If it were not for an influential ministry called Voice of the Martyrs (or VOM), as its called (www.persecution.com), I would not be as knowledgeable as I am. It occurred to me the other day while praying that not only were these real people with the same aches and pains that I have, but they were members "in particular" of Christ's Body.
In I Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul emphasizes that we all are the members of Christ's very own Body. There could be no higher association than to be included in His own flesh. But look particularly about what Paul says because
we all share in that privilege:
I Corinthians 12:24-27 says
"For our comely (well-formed, decorous, honorable*) parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to the part which lacked; That there should be no schism in the body but that the members should have the same care for one another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST and members in particular."
*definition of comely from Strong's Greek Dictionary of the New Testament, #2158
Our brothers and sisters in foreign lands are being slaughtered for their faith in Christ in many places, like in Nigeria. Families are being torn apart. Others are being burned out of their churches or having villages being bombed in the Nuba Mountain region of Sudan, while others are attacked with machetes. Some have to run and hide, not just in Africa but also in India and Pakistan, Iran and other countries. Another fine missionary organization that ministers to the Nuban believers in Sudan is the Persecution Project Foundation ( see www.SavetheNuba.com or firstname.lastname@example.org )In addition to providing relief from attacks, they also are committed to providing clean water wells across the region. Without these wells, many would die from disease.
In many places across Asia, believers come under attack when they convert to Christianity from their former religions, as is reported by the ministry Gospel for Asia (www.gfa.org) But this comes with the possibility of persecution as well. These are only a handful of many who help those who also a PART OF CHRIST'S BODY, and just as important as we are.
In the book of Hebrews (chapter 13, verse 3) it commands us to:
"Remember the prisoners as if chained with them--those who are mistreated--since you yourselves are in the body also."
It all goes back to being in the Body. If your particular part was screaming out in agony, and no one even cared, how is that showing the tender mercy of Christ? There are many urgent needs in this world. I can't possibly meet all of them. Galatians 6: 10 can guide me, though:
"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith."
We will discuss different ways of helping our brothers and sisters next time. Till then, God's grace and peace to all.