Finish Well

Friday, December 30, 2016

We have come to the end of the year. How have we used 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 to be called home. Others, however, will continue to have duties and responsibilities ahead of them.

Whether we finish our journey sooner or later, we always need God’s grace to do well and end our pilgrimage worshipping 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 one more request: Please, Lord, bring into your Kingdom millions of people who still do not know you. Through the power of the cross, release those who are oppressed by sin (Luke 4:18), rescue those who are perishing, and 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, SAB).

God’s Incarnation

Friday, December 23, 2016

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 , 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).

Valley Of Elah

Friday, December 16, 2016

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).

Muhammad

Friday, December 9, 2016

During this season Muslims around the world celebrate Muhammad’s birthday. Muhammad was born in AD 570 in Mecca, in what is now Saudi Arabia, and died in AD 632. His tomb is in the city of Medina, north of Mecca.

At age 40, Muhammad reportedly started receiving messages from God. At first, Muhammad was persecuted by his own tribe. But as he gained followers and Islam became stronger, he fought wars to conquer people for his religion.

Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last and most important of all prophets sent from God, that he brought the final religion, Islam, and the final revelation from God to man, the Quran.

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the Almighty One and the Ruler over the kings of the earth. You are enthroned above the angels and all the universe. I pray that you will manifest your glory to many Muslims this week. Show them your mighty power. Come to rescue them! Deliver them, O merciful Lord, from Satan’s tyranny. Help them pledge their loyalty and allegiance to you, the only true Savior. Make your face shine upon them. May they set their fervent affections on the One who died for their sins and rose to give them life. I pray in a special way for the Muslims I know—friends, neighbors, colleagues. In the name of Jesus, break the power of the enemy in their lives. Bring them from darkness into the light of the Gospel.

Fill many homes with the joy, singing and celebration of lives transformed by the power of the cross of Calvary. Keep believers faithful and true to you to the end.

Promise

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, NIV).

Rational Thinking In Islam

Friday, December 2, 2016

Muslims are required to obey blindly and follow Islamic religious precepts without questioning or reasoning. Critical reading of religious texts is forbidden. Most Muslim schools rely heavily on rote memorization of the Quran as well as other material.

Mainline Islam discourages questions about religion, believing that “to think is to be an infidel.”[1] So one should not inquire or argue, but just accept. Rational thinking is said to be like “an ass; you ride it only till you get to the king’s palace. In order to enter, you need to leave it at the gate. Islam is the king’s palace. You need to leave your reasoning [at the gate] in order to enter [Islam] God’s religion!”[2]

Prayer

Lord God our Maker, majesty, power, glory and honor belong to you. You made us rational beings with amazing brains to reason and think. For that, we thank you and praise you.

You take no pleasure in seeing people die without having hope in Christ (Ezekiel 18:23). I pray for Muslims who think they are betraying God and their society if they question their religion.

Free their minds from such fetters. Give them clear and sharp minds (1 Peter 4:7). Grant them wisdom to decide to live for the One who died to save them. May Christ, the light of the world, shine in their hearts with his unfailing love and enduring mercy. May they receive him as their Lord and know the joy of his forgiveness and love.

In your great compassion, do not abandon Muslims in their desert (Nehemiah 9:19). Guide them with your light to the cross. Help them to love the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their mind (Mark 12:30).

In the mighty and glorious name of Jesus. Amen.

Promise

Be transformed by renewing your mind. Then you will know God’s will, for it is good, pleasing and perfect (Romans 12:2, SAB).

Footnotes

[1] In Arabic: alfikru kufron!

[2] As quoted in The Closing of the Muslim Mind, , p. 116 &

Islamic Banks

Friday, November 25, 2016

Islamic banks do business according to the guidelines of Islamic law (Sharia). That law does not permit interest of any kind on loans. Investments are to be made only in goods considered permissible by Islam (halal). For example, they do not invest in alcohol or pork products or gambling.

Islamic banks have the same goal as all other banks: they want to make a profit. So, how do they do that? They change words used in the financial industry in order to avoid the prohibitions! Accordingly, instead of lending money and collecting interest on it, they “rent” the money and collect “rent” on it! Instead of collecting interest for credit card purchases, they collect “penalties” for not paying the full balance immediately!

When you plan to buy a home, you need a mortgage. If you go to an Islamic bank, the bank buys the house from the original owner and turns around and sells it to you at a profit. Then they let you pay the price in monthly installments!

Each Islamic bank has a board of Muslim scholars to make sure that transactions comply with the rules of religious law.

Prayer

O the depth of your riches and wisdom and knowledge, Lord God! How unsearchable are your judgments and how inscrutable your ways! (Romans 11:33).

You care for all peoples, tribes and nations. You see from heaven above the exponential growth of the Islamic financial industry around the world. You know that fanatic fundamentalist beliefs initiated these banks, and that the incredible income from oil has nurtured and amplified their success.

I pray for the owners of these banks, for their employees and workers, for shareholders, investors and borrowers. Bless them by leading them to the knowledge of Christ the Lord and Redeemer of all humankind. May they confess Jesus as their Lord and King. Help them dedicate their lives and talents to the cause of the Gospel of grace and love.

I pray for the scholars on the Sharia boards of these banks. Bring them to Calvary to see Jesus who gave himself to save humans from sin. In his name I pray. Amen.

Promise

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones (Proverbs 3:7-8, NLT).

Taqiyah

Friday, November 18, 2016

The concept of taqiyah allows Muslims to deceive non-Muslims. This word means to mislead, dissimulate or outwit.[1] So a Muslim who feels threatened because of his religion can deny anything that might endanger him—even his faith![2]

Taqiyah is based on quranic verses such as: “Let not believers take disbelievers as supporters… except if you fear danger from them” (Quran 3:28, Noble Translation, p. 71).

Muslim commentators explain this verse as follows:

  1. “If you, Muslims, are under non-Muslim authority, and you fear for your safety, act as if you are loyal to those non-Muslims… while hiding inner hatred for them.”[3]
  2. “When a Muslim fears evil from non-Muslims, he may protect himself through outward show.”[4]
  3. “Let us grin in some people’s faces while our hearts curse them.”[5]

So Muslims can act like non-Muslims and even claim they are Christians to protect themselves!

Prayer

Lord Christ, Light of the world, the way and the truth and the life, we worship and adore you. Our hearts groan for Muslims who do not know you as the glorious Lord and loving Savior.

We are surprised that this teaching is part of their religion. We are tempted to denounce them for sanctioning deception. Forgive us, Lord. Help us to intercede for Muslims with compassion.

You desire honesty, truth and integrity (Psalm 51:6). We pray for those who deceive others. Draw them to you and cheer their hearts with your divine presence. Lead them by the hand to the cross, shower your mercy upon them and help them experience your grace.

When Muslims who have come to Jesus share the Gospel, fill them with courage they have never known before. In Christ’s name I pray.

Promise

“If you live by what I say, you are truly my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32, GW).

Footnotes

[1] Hans Weir, p. 1282.
[2] Taqiyah in Islamic Thought (Arabic), Dr Sayyed Thamer Amidi, Risalah Center, n.d., p.11.
[3] At-Tabari, d. 923.
[4] Ibn Kathir, d. 1373.
[5] Abu Darda, one of Muhammad’s close companions.