Finish Well

Friday, December 29, 2017

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 and be called home. Others, however, will continue to have duties and responsibilities ahead of them.

Whether we finish our journey sooner or later, we 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 loving Father! Blessed be your holy name. You have called me to follow Jesus as my Lord and Savior. What joy! What grace and mercy! What a privilege to finish this year as a child of the Kingdom, a servant of Christ—at peace with God, with people and with my conscience! You have carried me in your arms all along the way! Thank you.

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

Equip your Church and give her the power to see the fulfillment of your plan of salvation 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 22, 2017

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).

Spiritual Warfare

Friday, December 15, 2017

We are involved in warfare, not against people of any religion, race or persuasion, but against evil forces and powers that control the dark realms of this world (Ephesians 6:12).

In this warfare, we do not use armaments and bombs to kill and destroy humans and buildings. Rather, our weapons are faith in God, complete dependence upon his eternal Word, empowerment by the Spirit of Truth, and prayer and intercession. These are the weapons that can demolish Satan’s power and defeat all demonic plans against the Kingdom of God.

When we pray, the Spirit of the Lord draws people to Jesus. As they receive his Word and decide to live for him, he empowers them to lead decent, holy lives. Every soul thus rescued is a blow to Satan and a victory for Christ our King.

Prayer

Lord of all and Master over all the universe, Messiah, King and Savior, we worship you. You alone are God. We pray that Muslims will come to you through the cross of Jesus. We also pray for ourselves. We are engaged in a fierce warfare and struggle against Satan, our adversary. Help us put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-18).

Fill us with resolve and courage, and strengthen those among us who are tempted to quit in the heat of battle. Help us all to stand firm in the face of unrighteousness and defeat Satan, the world and self. Crown us with purity, holiness and victory that come only from you.

Teach us to love as you love and forgive as you forgive.

In the name that is above every name, the name of Jesus, amen.

Promise

We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5, NLT).

Priests for Christ

Friday, December 8, 2017

God has chosen us, believers in Christ, to be priests (Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6). A priest is a mediator who speaks to God on humans’ behalf and brings them messages from God.

Just imagine what will happen when millions of Muslims come by faith to Christ and fulfill his good purpose in their lives! They too can become his priests, Christ’s representatives to teach people God’s commands and precepts. Accordingly, they can represent their own people in God’s presence and intercede for them.

Lofty hope? God is able to do abundantly far more than we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, you are our Advocate and Mediator in the presence of God. Blessed be your holy name. We rejoice in you. You sympathize with our weakness; you understand our troubles. Thank you.

We bring to you the many millions of Muslims who do not know you. They have no one to plead their cause at God’s throne. You love them. Send your Holy Spirit in a mighty sweep across Muslim lands to bring them in unprecedented large numbers into the Kingdom. Make them the salt of the earth and lights in this world to bring other Muslims to you.

May many Muslim believers in Christ fulfill their responsibilities as priests for their families, friends, tribes and towns. By faith we claim them as “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that [they] may declare the praises of him who called [them] out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once [they] were not a people, but now [they] are the people of God” (1 Peter 2:9-10). Hallelujah, amen.

Promise

You will be called God’s priests and ministers of our God (Isaiah 61:6, SAB).

Muhammad

Friday, December 1, 2017

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).

Vegetarian Lions!

Friday, November 24, 2017

How did a pack of hungry, starved lions become non-cannibalistic and refuse to eat the prophet Daniel? Read Daniel 6. Daniel said that God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths. They could not hurt him!

The Islamic State (ISIS) seeks to establish the rule of Islam all over the world. Their goal is to have the whole world under one State, one religion, one law. For some time they have been using very violent methods: beheading people, burning them alive, raping women and children. Such cruelty is not new.[2]

We pray that those who commit such atrocities will be transformed by the power of the Spirit of God into docile, gentle, and kind human beings. More than that, we pray that they will become servants of Christ, the merciful and compassionate Lord and Savior.

Prayer

Majestic God and most merciful Father, we bless you. We look around and see that “Every corner of the earth has become a den [or a nest] of violence” (Psalm 74:20). Enemies of the cross are raising “their flags as a token of their victory” (Psalm 74:4). Yet, we know that you are the One in control, and you are just.

We pray that you will “defend the weak and fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. …deliver them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:3-4).

Be a stronghold and a fortress for those who are helpless, feeble and abused. Protect them and wrap them in your arms of love.

We pray for those who are bereaved, who have lost loved ones and possessions. Hear and answer their prayers, comfort them, meet their needs.

We pray that families will be reunited and that they will acknowledge your mercy and love.

Father, bring ISIS members to the cross of Jesus. Manifest your love and sacrifice to them. Transform them into messengers of love, righteousness and compassion. Amen.

Promise

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:4-5).

Footnotes

[1] This expression is not original to me! Others have used it before.
[2] Muhammad himself used very cruel methods to take revenge on his enemies. During some wars, Muslims flayed their enemies alive (e.g., in the Battle of Lepanto, 1565).

Violence in Islam

Friday, November 17, 2017

Most Muslims are peace-loving people. Yet, the Muslim religion has terrible elements of violence built into it. In the Quran, all the references that talk about friendliness, tolerance and acceptance of others came before those that command and commend violence. In Muslim theology, if there is a discrepancy between two different verses in the Quran, the earlier is cancelled by the one that came later. For example, “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256) came earlier than and was cancelled by “Fight and slay the infidels” (9:5).

On September 11, 2001, Muslim fundamentalists hijacked four airplanes. More than 3,000 people were killed in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. The World Trade Center was demolished, and part of the Pentagon, the United States defense building, was damaged. Though people in the United States, Europe and many other parts of the world were outraged, some Muslims danced with joy and triumph.

Any religious system that sanctions violence and promotes murder and religious cleansing is fundamentally incapable of civility and unable to help people spiritually.

Prayer

Almighty God, Creator of humans in your own image, I approach this subject with a heavy heart. Some people see such insane acts of murder as part of their religious duty. They are disillusioned and abused by Satan, the enemy of God and of humans.

Arise, O God, and deliver them from the grip of the evil one. Free them from the shackles of Islam. Don’t let them go to eternity with blood on their hands. Change their hearts by your love and power. Make them new persons through the cross. Fill them with your love.

We pray for the families of those killed or injured and maimed in acts of violence in many places around the world. O God, fill the emptiness in the hearts of the bereaved by your presence. Help them receive Christ in their lives. Give them grace to forgive those who have so violently inflicted such cruel losses.

In the name of Christ who forgave us and teaches us to forgive others. Amen.

Promise

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth… Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God (Matthew 5:5, 9, NIV).