God’s Incarnation

Friday, December 25, 2015

One of the major cornerstones of biblical Christianity is the doctrine of the incarnation, that is, God became man. This is the miracle of miracles, the most majestic of all events! Yet Muslims absolutely reject it. They totally oppose the doctrine of the deity of Jesus Christ.

When Christians declare that Christ is God, Muslims misunderstand it to mean that Christians worship more than one God. To them, Jesus was only human and was a prophet like all other prophets.

Further, when followers of Christ say that Jesus is the Son of God, Muslims misunderstand that to mean that God, like humans, had relations with a woman and that Jesus is their son!

PRAYER

Amazing love! How can it be, that the majestic God, Maker of heavens and earth and King of all the universe, should come in the form of a man, a slave, to be “Immanuel—God with us” to redeem us!

Father in heaven, grant Muslims a special measure of your grace to accept the wonderful truth that Jesus Christ is God become man. Help them realize that this does not degrade or humiliate you; rather, this is the pinnacle of majesty. It is ultimate love and compassion. It is utmost sacrifice.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God and Lord of all, you are rich, but you became poor for our sake. May this truth shine forth into the souls of many Muslims this week. May they embrace you in their hearts with joy and gladness. May the Child who was born in a manger, the Lion of Judah, be crowned King and Master over the House of Islam! In his precious name I pray. Amen.

PROMISE

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 1:14; 3:16, NIV).

Finish Well

Friday, December 18, 2015

It is the end of the year. What have we done with the fleeting time? What does the coming year hold for us? How will it unfold? Some of us will reach the end of our pilgrimage on earth and will be called home. Others, however, will still have duties and responsibilities ahead of them.

Whether we finish sooner or later, we always need God’s grace to do well and end our journey worshiping at the throne of Christ.

PRAYER

Glory and honor be to you, Almighty God, my Father! Blessed be your holy name. You have called me to follow Jesus as my Lord and Savior. What joy! What grace! What mercy! Thank you.

When I finish my pilgrimage here, and the time comes for me to sign off and go to my eternal rest, I have only one more request: for the many people who still do not know you, please, Lord, bring them by the millions into your Kingdom. By the power of the cross, release those who are oppressed by sin (Luke 4:18), rescue those who are perishing, bring home those who are lost and wandering (Proverbs 24: 11; Psalm 82:4). Give them spiritual eyes to see Jesus in his love and compassion. Help them to trust Christ, the Lord.

Equip your Church and empower her to accomplish your redemptive plan and purpose for all people, including Muslims.

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13, NIV).

Amen.

PROMISE

As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with your likeness when I awake… God will wipe away every tear from their eyes (Psalm 17:15; Revelation 7:17, Sharif Bible).

Came to Christ this Year

Friday, December 11, 2015

During this year, if you have prayed for Muslims to come to Jesus, be assured that God answers prayer. Perhaps you will not know who came to Christ or how it happened, but what a surprise there will be for you in eternity! You will meet people that you prayed for without knowing them!

We rejoice in the harvest of those who enter the Kingdom of God. Every year untold numbers of Muslims put their faith in Christ and receive forgiveness of their sin by his grace. They become part of the Church of the living God and start walking in the light.

PRAYER

God, our Savior, how we magnify and rejoice in you! We delight in your mighty power to save. We bless and praise you for those precious souls you have rescued from the grip of Satan. They are washed in the blood of the Lamb. Hallelujah! You have accepted them in Christ.

Now they have fellowship with the Father and with the Son. Now, they call you "Father"! Now, they approach your throne of grace with faith, love and joy. We adore you for that.

And we also pray for them. May you continue to work in their life, as you give them victory and cleanse their conscience from dead works in order to serve you, the true and living God.

You are able to keep them from falling and to present them before your glorious presence without fault and with great joy. You are the only God our Savior. To you be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen (Jude 1:24-25).

PROMISE

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand  (John 10: 28-29, NIV).

Deborah

Friday, December 4, 2015

When there was a serious lack of leaders among the men of Israel, God raised up Deborah! She was a prophetess and judge. The Lord prompted her to call Barak to lead Israel’s army to break off the yoke of their oppressors, but Barak was hesitant and refused to go unless Deborah went with him. So she herself took charge. She went into battle; and that day God gave Israel a decisive and historic victory over their enemies (Judges 4; and read the Song of Deborah in Judges 5). [1]

PRAYER

Lord God, our Maker, thank you for always reminding us that you made us humans male and female. What brilliance! We are indeed privileged to be your creatures.

Thank you for using Deborah. What a blessing she must have been to her husband and family.

You put your Spirit upon her and made her a mighty leader. You blessed her and used her to inspire the general of Israel’s armies with courage!

O Lord, we need women like Deborah for the Muslim world: spiritual leaders (4:4, 6, 7, 14), civil and political leaders (4:4; 5:14-15), wives (4:4) and mothers (5:7) full of courage and resolve (4:9; 5:7), and women of the Word (5:1-31). Instead of the false notion that women are second-rate creatures made solely for man’s pleasure and for producing babies, you, O Lord, made them to be your instruments of blessing, nurture, stability and strength for the family and society.

Yes, Lord, we pray that through women like Deborah, you will cause the earth to tremble, the mountains to shake and the heavens to pour down blessings upon Muslim peoples and nations (5:4-5). In Jesus’ name.

PROMISE

Lord, those who love you are like the sun rising in strength (Judges 5:31, Sharif Bible).

Footnotes

[1] All the references on this page are from the Book of Judges.

Valley of Elah

Friday, November 27, 2015

Read 1 Samuel 17.

David met Goliath and defeated him in the Valley of Elah. While strong and seasoned soldiers were fleeing, young David courageously went out to encounter the giant. He saw Goliath’s challenge to Israel as a direct challenge to God.

David recalled how the Almighty had rescued him and given him victory in the face of previous grave dangers.

Now, facing the formidable Goliath, David depended totally on God’s power rather than on military equipment. He believed that God would hand his enemy over to him. He refused any trappings of war that would hinder him and slow down his progress.

In the face of Islam, do you feel like David meeting Goliath? Does the giant you face loom bigger and stronger than you? By the help of the Holy Spirit, you can have the victory.

PRAYER

Almighty God, in you we take refuge. There looms a “Valley of Elah” for your Church! Let us never be put to shame (Psalm 31:1). You are the eternal Lord who is able to subdue and overcome any Goliath that stands against you.

Help me to differentiate between Muslims as people and the Islamic system as a giant that opposes the Kingdom of Christ. Give me love for Muslims, sacrificial love. However, I pray that you will demolish the system that stands in opposition to the King of kings and Lord of lords (2 Corinthians 10:4).

This giant is too much for me. I cannot defeat him on my own. I cry out to you. Give your Church strength, endurance and stamina, and use us as your vessels to accomplish your will to bring Muslims to the Kingdom of God.

Help us, after every victory, to give you glory and honor. You alone are worthy. Amen.

PROMISE

Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in [your] way; it will become a level plain before [you]! (Zechariah 4:7, NLT).

God Our Creator

Friday, November 20, 2015

God created everything: heavens and earth, man and beast, sky and sea, trees and plants, mountains and valleys, stars and planets, colors and shades, the beauty of sunrise and the glory of sunset, heat and cold, summer and winter, rain and wind.  All are his handiwork!

Muslims acknowledge that. Yet, they seem to view the Creator as disengaged from his creation. They think of God almost like an absentee landlord. The notion that the great Creator would come to earth as Immanuel to dwell among humans is foreign to Islam. They cannot imagine that he would involve himself in their everyday affairs.

PRAYER

Blessed are you, God Most High, Creator of all. You fill the earth with stunning bounty. You adorn the universe with glorious beauty. You alone are Lord and Master of all that is. The entire universe owes its existence to you.

The chirp of sparrows and roar of lions, the stillness of waters and tumult of  waves, the glimmering of stars and clapping of thunders…all join me in proclaiming that you are the Master Creator of all (Psalm 19). Glory and honor, power and majesty, kingship and rule, all belong to you, Lord God. We bow down and worship you. The multitudes of heaven worship you (Nehemiah 9:5-6).

Pour out your grace on Muslims, so that they too will join us in giving glory to Christ, the Son of God, the King of kings. Help them see him in his love and accept his sacrifice on the cross for our forgiveness. May they feel restless until they yield their lives to Jesus. “You made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it finds its place of rest in you.” [1]

May millions of Muslims sense your arms around them and be touched by your compassion and grace. May they praise the precious name of Jesus.  Amen.

PROMISE

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—the LORD, who remains faithful forever (Psalm 146:5-6, NIV).

[1] St. Augustine, Confessions. Book 1, Chapter 1, God’s Greatness.

Hudud

Friday, November 13, 2015

The best translation of hudud is boundaries or limitations. In Islam, this refers to the limits of acceptable behavior. If you go beyond the limits, you are breaking the law and deserve punishment (Quran 2:187). Hudud crimes are those related to leaving Islam (apostasy), unlawful sex, killing, stealing and use of alcohol.

Punishment includes death by stoning or beheading, amputation of the right hand, imprisonment, flogging and fines. Such punishments are considered “debts” that need to be paid to God. Repentance does not exempt the “sinner” from receiving his due punishment.

The purpose of such penalties is to serve as a deterrent, to stop the “sinner” from repeating his sins, and to put fear in the heart of others tempted to break those laws!

PRAYER

Almighty God, our Father, we stand in awe of your grace and mercy. We are all fallen humans and deserve only condemnation and death. Yet, in your compassion, you sent your only Son to die for us. Thank you for Calvary. Thank you for the cross. Jesus paid our debt and took our punishment.

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.[1]

Thank you for graciously bringing the Islamic teaching of hudud to my attention. I feel for Muslims; they do not know that the eternal Son sacrificed himself to set them free from judgment. Open their hearts to accept Jesus. Help them by your Spirit to repent and believe the Gospel (Mark 1:15).

Let them experience true freedom in Christ and live the life of joy he gives. In his name, I pray.

PROMISE

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 4.19 NIV Luke 4.to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:18-19, NIV).

[1]Khaled M. Khaled, Successors of the Apostle. Moqattam: 1970, p 66, in Arabic.