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What is Our Vision?

What is Our Vision?

 Contributed by Fred Shelton

Are your eyes wide open? What do you see? What are you looking to see? “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22) 

The word of God is the basis for true freedom in any language, in any period of human history, in any country, community, or river valley. Freedom to live life to its fullest satisfaction. Freedom to enjoy the exceeding riches of HIS amazing grace is the goal for every follower of Jesus Christ. Freedom to know God and to love God to worship HIM in spirit and in truth. But it is the distractions, the deceitfulness, the love for this world that limit the understanding and the vision of the soul to discover this freedom. Do you only see that which gives satisfaction to your soul? Do you only pursue that which brings pleasure to your world of existence? Are you distracted by the cares of this life? Will you pray for VOC ministries? 

Northern Pakistan is being filled with refugees from Afghan and other surrounding countries as the Taliban gains strength. The Voice of Christian ministries is seeking to address the dire needs of these Christian refugees as they seek places of safety. The VOC Ministries in Karachi, Quetta, and Peshawar, Pakistan are providing housing, clothing, medical assistance, and food provided by the gifts of God’s people. It requires the love of God filling the hearts of God’s people to support those whose lives are enduring great trials of the faith. “Where there is no vision, the people perish:…” (Proverbs 29:18) Are we distracted by the cares of this life? Is there cause to pray and to give? 

I would like to excite your vision to see and understand the abuse of those who would love God with their heart, soul, mind, and strength, as well as, loving their neighbor as their-self. What crimes against humanity can be charged to those who have purposed to love God and to love others? Do they seek to take advantage of the poor and hungry? Do they seek to rob and to steal from their neighbors? Do they use burning, cutting words to attack and to divide? No, for they feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty. They show hospitality to the stranger and clothe the naked. To those who are sick or imprisoned, they visit and encourage. For the follower of Christ, see these as opportunities to love their Savior. “…, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40) 

The individual, the family, the community who would come to faith IN CHRIST in a Muslim world, in a secular world, in a community void of the grace of God would become salt and light. They would become conduits for blessing. Their prayers would command HIS blessing and provision upon all who inhabit this faith community. And yet it is for these very reasons they are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. I wonder when we hear of their faith journey and the great faith challenges, they face. Will we support them? Will we love them? Will we let them know we are here? We are your hands lifted to the throne of God. We are your feet that walk along beside you and carry you if that be the need. Our heart detects your brokenness, and we are moved with compassion. The Spirit of the living God indwells you and indwells me, and HIS Spirit bears witness to our oneness.

At first our hearts are grieved to hear stories of individuals who embrace the claims of the gospel and are thrown from their Muslim homes and forever rejected by their family. To hear of young girls who are forced to marry older married men not for love, but purely from the man’s desire to have another wife. Polygamy is accepted in the Muslim world and with it comes the abuse of girls and women on many physical and emotional levels. Muslim men who come to faith in Christ are fired from their jobs, some beaten, some murdered. These are real people. These are real persecutions, and for what reason? They have put their faith in Jesus Christ and have begun to follow HIS teachings. Their names are listed at various websites on the internet. There are ministries praying for and reaching out to these individuals and families. Oh, but we know these are things that happen in other places, other countries, not in America. For in America, we are still free to seek, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have no fear of persecution in America. 

I challenge you to read through the book of Judges and see the many times God gave the nation of Israel over to their oppressors. They became slaves, were persecuted, slaughtered. Why, because they ceased to worship the only true God. They became distracted by the various gods of their time. Every man was doing that which was right in their own eyes. Their slavery was born from their desire to serve their own selves. Has prayer and Bible study been restricted in the public schools of America? Have churches been shut down and sold for failing to collect taxes from their employees for the state? Are their pastors who have been accused of “hate speech” because they taught Scriptural doctrines on the family and home? The answer is yes to all of these questions and Muslims who have come to faith IN CHRIST receive some of the worst acts of persecution in the home of the brave and the land of the free. The secular state in America seems to be gaining strength. The anti-christ movement of the last days is becoming more and more popular. If revival tarries, the Christian church in America will suffer the same vicious attacks Muslims who have come to faith IN CHRIST are presently experiencing in the Communist and Islamic states around the world. As members of the body of Christ, we do not have the leisure to ignore the persecution of other believers. We have a moral and spiritual responsibility to minister to them. If we fail in the execution of our responsibilities, we may find ourselves in the same situation until the lesson is learned.

 

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2Timothy 3:12)

 

This is true as this is the promise of God, but if in our state of busyness, we walk on the other side of the road to ignore the robbed and wounded, we may find ourselves to be the ones lying on the road down from Jerusalem to Jericho in desperate need of ministry. I wonder do you suppose there are Muslim women who would desire to be cherished, honored, and protected by their husband? Are there those who long “…to know the love of Christ,…” from their husband? Are there those whose desire is to receive from one who has vowed before God to live in the provisions of grace and faith thus releasing the love of Christ through this life to this most beloved and cherished wife? I think yes. Therefore, we must pray. We must go. We must give to love these who are persecuted and those who have not yet come to faith. What is God saying to you this day? What surrender is HE requesting of your soul? Do not allow the distractions to cloud your vision. Pray that God would anoint your eyes with HIS eye salve that thou might be able to see.