Friday, August 7, 2020
After twenty-five years of hard work, the Sharif Bible has been published in Arabic for Muslims. For the first time in history, the Bible has been translated specifically for Arab Muslims. It speaks to them meaningfully and naturally. It is a stirring, vibrant translation that offers the Holy Scriptures in a way that causes Muslims to feel at ease with its words, names, expressions, style, and format. They acknowledge that what they read is written for them.
At the same time, the Sharif Bible translates literally such expressions as “Son of God” (for Jesus), “God is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and God is our “heavenly Father.”
The response from Muslims has been overwhelming. Also, Christian cross-cultural workers from various organizations and groups are sounding upbeat reactions and reporting enthusiastic responses to the Sharif Bible. Work is now underway to complete the Sharif Study Bible in Arabic, an important tool for leaders and pastors of new believers from Muslim backgrounds.
Almighty God, I thank you for the Bible, your written revelation to humankind—so simple and clear. And thank you for the Sharif Bible translation that presents your Word to Muslims in the same way—simply and clearly. I pray that many Muslims around the Arab world will receive it with joy and open hearts. Break down the barriers the enemy has raised to keep it from reaching Muslims. Change the hearts and attitudes of those who seek to ban your powerful Word.
I pray that you will open doors for large distributions of the Sharif Bible in every city, town and village in North Africa, the Middle East and the Arabian Gulf. You are able to provide funds for such a big dream.
May people who receive the Sharif Bible read it and be transformed, comforted and built up in their faith. Bring a great harvest of believers from Muslim backgrounds into the Kingdom. For your glory, I pray in Jesus’ name and by your Spirit. Amen.
When I came on your words I devoured them; they were joy and happiness to me (Jeremiah 15:16, REB).
Friday, July 31, 2020
During this season, Muslims the world over celebrate Id al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice (other names are used in different areas). This celebration commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son (Ishmael, according to Islam) in obedience to God’s command. But God provided a ram for Abraham to offer instead.
For the celebration, each family or group of families kills an animal, usually a sheep. Wherever Muslims are, whether in Mecca taking part in the hajj (pilgrimage) or anywhere else in the world, their religion requires them to slaughter an animal.
Merciful and redeeming God, I ask you to open Muslims’ eyes during this season to see the Lamb you provided for the atonement of the sin of the world. May they open their hearts to Christ, who was led like a lamb to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7), who died on the cross, and who rose again to set us free from sin and condemnation.
Help Muslims realize that Jesus agonized, suffered, and died for them so that they could have joy, peace, and life in him.
May they accept your provision to redeem them “with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19). Let them hear his cry on the cross declaring, “It is finished.” Then they will see how pointless it is to try to gain God’s favor through the millions of sacrifices they slaughter during this season.
Compassionate Father, reveal to Muslims the Lamb of God who now sits upon the throne in heaven. Draw them by your love to join saints and angels in singing the heavenly chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12).
Where is the lamb for the burnt offering? . . . God himself will provide the lamb (Genesis 22:7-8, NIV). There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29, REB).