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Islamic State militants have reportedly executed 15 Christians who have been captured in villages in northeastern Syria since Monday.
A priest who has been feeding reports to Christian aid agencies around the world, including Aleteia partner Aid to the Church in Need, said today that a Christian Assyrian lawyer in the city of Hassakah told him that about 15 young Assyrians “are martyred. Many of them were fighting to defend and protect the villages and families.”
Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana of CAPNI, the Christian Aid Program in Iraq, said that in the Christian village of Tel Hormizd: 14 fighters, two of whom were women, were killed. One of the women may have been beheaded, he said. Another 13 fighters from different villages were captured.
Altogether, including civilians, as many as 350 Christians from the area have been captured, he reported—many more than the 70 originally reported. Their fate is unknown, and there is much…
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“Let us therefore without ceasing hold fast by our hope and by the earnest of our righteousness, which is Jesus Christ who took up our sins in His own body upon the tree, who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth, but for our sakes He endured all things, that we might live in Him. Let us therefore become imitators of His endurance; and if we should suffer for His name’s sake, let us glorify Him. For He gave this example to us in His own person, and we believed this.”
~ Polycarp (80-167), Letter to the Philippians A.D., 110-140, 8:1-2
Incomprehensible, Great, and Glorious God,
I adore thee and abase myself.
I approach thee mindful that I am
less than nothing,
a creature worse than nothing.
My thoughts are not screened from thy gaze.
My secret sins blaze in the light of thy countenance.
Enable me to remember that blood which cleanseth
to believe in that grace which subdues
to resign myself to that agency which can
deliver me from the bondage of corruption
into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.
Thou hast begun a good work in me
and canst alone continue and complete it.
Give me an increasing conviction of my tendency
and of my exposure to sin.
Help me to feel more of the purifying, softening
influence of religion,
its compassion, love, pity, courtesy,
and employ me as thy instrument
in blessing others.
Give me to distinguish
between the mere form of godliness and its power,
between life and a name to live,
between guile and truth,
between hypocrisy and a religion that will bear
If I am not right, set me right, keep me right;
And may I at last come to thy house in peace.
~ The Valley of Vision, Arthur Bennett, editor (Banner of Truth Trust, 2005, 95).
I have often heard fellow Christians say that when they need a good reminder of God’s love or the sacrifice of Christ, they watch a movie like The Passion of the Christ. “Whenever I watch Jesus suffer the way he did, it reminds me of just how much God loves me,” they say. Reenactments of the crucifixion are graphic and realistic (as realistic as possible) depictions of the means of the salvation of the world. When we see the blood and the brutality, we have before our eyes a semblance of the physical suffering of Christ.
I will not deny that watching The Passion of the Christ is emotionally moving. I will also agree that Christians need to be reminded of God’s love for sinners often. However, watching a movie will not even begin to scratch the surface on the sufferings of Christ.
There is a common error in the…
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What is a day,
what is it worth to you
how will you spend it
what with it, will you do?
Twenty-four little hours.
a bunch of tiny minutes
and a lot of wee seconds
crammed right into it.
Doesn’t seem like a lot,
of time, now does it
doesn’t feel like a lot
into it, you can fit?
But each moment given,
we’ll one day give account
so make sure for Jesus . . .
you make each second count.
What is a day?
Think about it for a minute . . .
then redeem every second
for eternity, you’ll find in it!
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
King James Version
by Public Domain
Deborah Ann Belka
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!
As the world is reeling and rocking to and fro, thinking we’ve witnessed all the terror and horror that we can, the king of evil show’s more execrable images to the world. While we as Christians do not have a spirit of timidity, we are saddened and mourning with our brethren. The Bible also tells us we are not to mourn as those who have no hope…
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February 17, 2015
Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). He also said, “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27–28).
So whether someone “persecutes” or “abuses” or “hates” or “curses” us, we are to pray for them. They may be family members whose “abuses” are small and annoying — “loved ones” we don’t think of as “enemies,” but sometimes act like they are. Or they may be mortal enemies who really do plan to kill us. Small or great, we are to pray for them.
What this command does is make God a necessary part of enemy love. Prayer is to God. Therefore, God is involved in loving our enemy. We are to turn to God when our enemy abuses us. We are to talk to God about this. We are to ask him to do something about this.
What to Pray for Those Who Hate You
What are you praying for your enemies — the people who treat you badly?
Here is a good place to start — the way you pray for yourself. Would it not be strange if a prayer for our enemy should ask for less important things than we are told to ask for ourselves? Do unto others what you want others to do to you (Matthew 7:12). No. More than that. Do unto others what you should want them to do for you. And pray for others the way you should want them to pray for you.
I wish the word “should” were not necessary as an expansion of the Golden Rule. But many professing Christians are so worldly that they only pray for natural things rather than spiritual things. That is, they pray for food and health and safety and success and happy relationships. But they don’t pray for more faith, or holiness, or contrition, or purity of heart, or love for Christ, or courage in witness. So it won’t do to say to them, Pray for others the way you want others to pray for you. They show by their own prayers that the things they really need they don’t pray for.
That is not how we should pray for our enemies.
The Lord’s Prayer — Even for Your Enemies
The place to start in praying for our enemies is the prayer that the Lord taught us to pray. Whatever else you pray for your enemies, pray for them like this:
- Father, grant that my enemy — my colleague who snubs me, my wife who belittles me, my child who disrespects me, the ISIS member who wants to kill me — grant that they would come to hallow your name. Grant that they would treasure you above all, and reverence you, and admire you more than anything.
- Father, grant that my enemy would come under the saving, purifying sway of your kingly rule and that you would exert your kingly power to make my enemy your own loyal subject.
The Apostle Paul writes 2 Corinthians 10 :3 – 4……
For tho we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses……
Paul is telling us that we are not in a fleshly war. But our war is spiritual which must be waged with spiritual weapons. Paul expounds on this spiritual war further in Ephesians 6:10-18 This is a section of Scripture we know as the Christian’s spiritual armor. Time will not permit to examine each of parts of the armor. But notice in Ephesians 6:12 where Paul writes…….
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places…….
The persecution of Christians…
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“To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.”