Devotional for Day 13 – September 13, 2013
Based upon a devotional by J Michael Johnson, the International Director of PEOPLE INTERNATIONAL serving the peoples of Central Asia.
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?
“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)
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 – to the safe and to the dangerous places – so Jesus is sending us.
He said, “as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” John 20:21 NASU
Are you waiting to be called and sent? Well Jesus has called and sent all of us to reach the world for Christ.
3. We are not sent alone. Jesus breathed upon them and gave them the Holy Spirit. So it is with us too. The Holy Spirit is always with us, empowering us, and guiding us as believers.
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 His disciples the power to influence whose sins are forgiven!
Think of it. In many ways, this is true of us. Because Christians are not going to the tough mission fields of Central Asia, everyday Muslims die in their sins. We get to join God in helping the sins of others ultimately being forgiven or not by praying, giving, sending, and going or by simply staying home and ignoring what Jesus said about the church sending workers.
Pray this Prayer:
Dear Lord, please forgive us for being afraid of obeying You, and for not speaking to Muslims around us or not reaching out to the Muslim world when you call us to do so. We dedicate our life to You to use us however you wish. Help us to reach Muslims with the truth and love of Christ. Send out more workers for the harvest of souls in the hard places of the world. Amen.
Continue in prayer using the 4 prayer points as the Lord leads you.
1. Pray for a worldwide outpouring of the Holy Spirit for revival and transformation of the nations of the world.
2. Pray for the lost to find Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
3. Pray for a multiplication of prayer, praise and worship to God across the world as never before, to bring great glory to God.
4. Pray for the ReFRESH conferences, Sherwood and our part in seeking revival in our country and the nations.