DATE: June 23, 2019
TEXT: John 5:39 - ESV- 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
Recently Pastor Wayne Cordeiro of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii went to China to hold a Leadership seminar for believers. It was a risky venture for the minister.
Amazingly, the threat of a prison sentence didn’t seem to bother the event’s participants. Maybe that is because of the 21 people who came to the conference 18 of them had already been imprisoned for their faith.
In the course of the instruction, two things became evident.
The first thing which became apparent was they didn’t have enough Bibles to go around. When the Pastor told the group to “Turn to 2 Peter 1”, he saw one of the ladies loan her Bible to a friend . Even though the lady was without her Scripture, she still participated in the discussion.
During a break the impressed Pastor talked to the lady about her ability to quote passages at length. She explained: “When she was in prison people smuggled pages of the Bible to her. These pages she committed to memory. It didn’t take too long before she had memorized entire books of the Bible,”
“Amazing”, the pastor said. “Not at all”, responded the lady. In prison you have a lot of time, but not much to do. There are many Chinese who have spent their prison time and have memorized the entire Bible.”
At the end of the conference, many who attended asked him to pray for them. “And what shall I pray?”, he asked. They responded, “Ask the Lord to make us more like you,” The pastor declined to do so, Maybe you, like the Chinese, would like to know what he said. If so, here goes….
The pastor spoke the truth. I can remember my Confirmands howl when they had to memorize 1 Bible verse each week. They made me feel like the inquisition For the most part I wasn’t..
On the other hand, we have a Savior Who gave His life, His all to save us. We who still have relative freedom of faith should make use of the opportunity to show our thankful hearts to the Redeemer. How did Luther say it: thank and praise, serve and obey Him.”
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Your followers live in many different circumstances and situations. Yet, in all those places Satan still besets them. Send Your Holy Spirit to keep us all safe and sure as Your saved and thankful-hearted children. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
The devotion for today was inspired by various recent news articles. For further reading you may wish to go to this address https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/mikaela-matthews/imprisoned-chinese-christians-memorize-entire-bible-they-can-t-take-what-s-hidden-in-your-heart.html: and the article written by Mikhaela Matthews
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html