Devotional for Day 13 – 18 August 2013
Intention: Half a billion Muslims in Greater Central Asia (between Turkey and China) are desperate to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. How long do they have to wait?
Scripture: Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (John 20:20-23 NIV)
Reflection: Today people are afraid to go to the really tough places as missionaries—to places that are in the news every day. Places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and all the countries ending with … ‘stan’. Humanly speaking it is understandable, but take a close look at what Jesus said to his disciples:
1. Jesus met his disciples after He rose from the dead. They rejoiced at seeing him, but were also clearly concerned. Jesus quiets their spirits with “Peace be with you.”
2. They along with us are to be sent out in the same manner as the Father sent Jesus to earth—also to a rather dangerous place—so Jesus is sending us.
3. We are not sent alone. Jesus breathed upon them and gave them the Holy Spirit. So it is with us too.
4. Most people stop with verse 22, but Jesus goes on to say something absolutely startling in verse 23. “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
It sounds like Jesus is giving us the power to determine whose sins are forgiven!
It is true. Because Christians are not going to the tough mission fields of Central Asia, everyday Muslim’s die in their sins. We get to decide whether their sins are forgiven or not by simply staying home or ignoring what Jesus said about the church sending workers.
Prayer: Dear Lord, please forgive us for being afraid of speaking to Muslims around us or not going to the Muslim world when you call us to go. We dedicate our life to you to use us however you wish. Thrust out more workers for the harvest of souls in the hard places of the world. Amen.
[Blogger’s Comment: It is estimated that 100 people die every minute without knowing Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. That’s 144,000 a day or 52 million a year! A majority of those are Muslim (there are 1.6 billion worldwide). Geography, culture, ignorance, inexperience, prejudice and fear all have contributed to limit outreach to the Islamic world. And yet, the past 20 years has seen a rapid (and overdue) increase of outreach to Muslims. Still only a mere estimated 10% of foreign missionaries work among Muslims although they consist of around 37% of all non-Christians in the world. When missions is done sensitively, it has been proven that Muslims are responsive to the Gospel.
27 Asian countries are predominately Muslim. In fact, Asia is the only continent where Christianity is not the largest religion. It is the home of Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism as well as 6 other significant religions. It contains the greatest concentration of the adherents of all these faiths. Therefore Asia remains by far the most significant challenge for world evangelization. I appeal to you then to get to know, pray, give, go and send to Asia (or welcome Asians God is sending to your country).
(These facts are taken from Operation World, 7th Edition).
Thank God for the extensive information available on Central Asia on the People International website. There you will find an interactive map to help you learn about the 15 countries in this ‘hard place’ of the world, home of half a billion Muslims. Take some steps today to reach out to them starting in prayer, but then follow what God is speaking to you about today. For example:
- Watch a video of God’s people around the world praying and join the 60-day Prayer Movement
- Join a prayer team going to Turkey with The Living Wall very soon – details .
- Check out Frontiers a sending agency who ‘with love and respect, invite all Muslim peoples to follow Christ’. Pray for missions along the Silk Road Routes.
- Marvel at the vision of the , the largest missions movement in the world today, and pray for it’s fulfillment. MR]
Continue in prayer especially in relation to the Muslim world.
- Pray for a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit for revival and transformation of the Muslim nations of the world.
- Pray for millions of Muslims to find Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
- Pray for an end to abortion and for God to turn back the tide of death and immorality that is sweeping even Muslim nations today.
- Pray for a multiplication of prayer, praise and worship to God across the world as never before, to bring great glory to God.