Friday, December 2, 2022
Ignatius was born in Syria when it was a Roman province. As a young man, he put his faith in Christ and eventually became Bishop of Antioch. He and his friend Polycarp were disciples of the Apostle John, which means he was a Church leader in the generation right after the Apostles. Because of his faith in Christ, he was sentenced by the Roman authorities to die. On his way to Rome to be executed, he wrote a letter to the Roman church asking them not to try to rescue him from death. He said he was ready to give his life for the sake of the One who had died for him. He also told the believers there that the fierce wild beasts waiting for him were a blessing!
To close his letter, he said he knew what was good for him, because “finally I have started becoming a disciple to my Master…. It is better for me to die than to own kingdoms of this earth.”
In Rome, they threw him to those wild beasts, and he was martyred.
Lord Jesus Christ, you experienced persecution (John 5:16; 15:20). When you suffered, you left us an example, that we should follow in your steps (1 Peter 2:21).
Let Muslims who have come to Christ know that the troubles we encounter here are small and momentary. Yet, they achieve for us a glory beyond any comparison (2 Corinthians 4:17).
I pray for my Muslim friends who have decided to follow you. As you filled Ignatius of Antioch with faith and courage, give converts the determination to live and die for you. Help them realize that there is nothing too dear to sacrifice for you, you who gave your life to save us.
In your precious name. Amen.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:10, NIV).
Friday, November 25, 2022
An imam is a Muslim religious leader. He leads prayer in the mosque and performs other religious duties. An imam is also a community leader who gives counsel and direction to his people.
Jewish priests were among those who staunchly opposed Jesus and antagonized him. Would you expect that a large number of them would become believers in Jesus? Yet, according to the New Testament account, that is exactly what happened (Acts 6:7).
Let us believe together that through the mighty power of the Spirit of God, tens of thousands of Muslim imams will put their faith in Jesus Christ the Lord.
Almighty God, my Heavenly Father, I come before you boldly because of the Lamb who died on the cross for me. I am forgiven because he shed his blood on my behalf. I bring to you the hundreds of thousands of imams around the world. They need the Lord of all in their lives. Only Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, can penetrate their hearts and bring them into the blessed Kingdom.
Reveal to them Christ in his glory and love, compassion and power. Help them realize he is the Master, the Lord, and the Redeemer of all.
I thank you for the imams who have already placed their faith in Christ the Lord. Help them grow continually in the love of God and the knowledge of Christ. Give them wisdom by your Spirit. Protect them and their families. Illumine their hearts and minds to know how to lead their congregations into the light of Christ. Teach them your Word. Help them depend on you.
Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you (Jeremiah 1:18-19, NIV).