viernes, 20 de diciembre de 2013

jueves, 19 de diciembre de 2013

From obstacle to instrument


What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

Our Open Doors colleague, Ron Boyd-MacMillan, shares the following insight from his teaching, “Why I Need to Encounter the Persecuted Church.”The persecuted church teaches us that everyone is either an agent of God’s will, or an instrument of God’s will. Everyone in this world has only two choices: they can choose to do God’s will by co-operating with God, or they can choose to defy God and do his will unknowingly.“Remember, our God is so great even the persecutors serve him,” said a Chinese pastor wryly. He was referring to arch-persecutor of the Chinese church, Mao Tse Tung, who launched the fiercest anti-Christian campaign of the 20th century in the 1960’s. Called the “Cultural Revolution,” he swept away all churches, burned all Bibles, and imprisoned all the pastors.Yet all he succeeded in doing was pushing the church deep underground, where it became embedded in the family structure and Chinese culture in a way 300 years of evangelism had failed to accomplish. From this fire emerged the world’s largest revival – where the church grew from 1 million in 1950 to over 80 million today.“We say,” smiled the pastor, “that thanks to Mao – who thought he was annihilating the church – we have the greatest revival. He thought he was killing the church, but all the while he was doing pre-evangelism. God had the last laugh. Glory be to God – He always gets his will done.”This truth is also showing up in India. Since 1997 violence against Christians has increased greatly as a result of the election of Hindu extremists. Yet the effect of the extremism has been to drive thousands of low caste Hindus into the church. 

The more Hindu extremists persecute Christians, the more moderate Hindus are drawn into the church.It is a glorious truth the persecuted awaken us to. Everyone ends up furthering the will of God! Even those who put obstacles in the way of the church serve God, because God just turns the obstacle into an instrument. This means that we must not despair when we think conditions for the flourishing of our Christian lives or our churches are less than perfect. Take your worst enemy or the one feature of your life, society or church that causes you most despair, then put your mind into gear and think – how would God work his will through this obstacle?Are you childless? Maybe God is using that to give you a greater ministry, impossible with the responsibility of family? Are you powerless? Maybe God wants to show his glory and make you marvel? We may not get an answer, but it is a thrill to try, because we know everyone is either a willing agent or an unwitting instrument of the will of God.He’s too great, and he loves the world too much, for it to be any other way! God takes the obstacle, and makes it the instrument!

RESPONSE: Today I will be an agent to accomplish God’s will realizing He can make me an instrument.

PRAYER: Lord, make me an instrument of Your will and work as I choose to cooperate with You.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS)A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission

miércoles, 18 de diciembre de 2013

Touching Godliness

Hey you, guys! I will be posting soon a review of K.P. Yohannan's book "Touching Godliness". I can only say this book is incredible. Can't wait to tell you more about this!!

Confession #1

The most difficult thing to do in these past days has been: do not complain. I'm a person that when it's optimistic is a really good one. But when I'm complaining... I'm kind of a monster... I get really grumpy. So, when I read this  "Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7 NLT)" , it kinds make me feel bad and uncomfortable with who I am. I should put my effort and live my life as God wants: not complaining, not gettin grumpy when things don't get right, because this only demonstrate that I don't trust him enough to let Him do whatever he wants to do and also... demonstrate a lack of humbleness... 

Respuestas tardías

Respuestas tardías

El Señor tu Dios es el Dios verdadero, el Dios fiel, que cumple su pacto [...] y muestra su fiel amor a quienes lo aman y obedecen sus mandamientos.
Deuteronomio 7:9
Ya hemos hablado en este libro devocional que los tiempos de Dios no son nuestros tiempos y esto afecta en gran medida a ciertas personas.
Hay muchos de ustedes que no tienen mayor problema con sentarse a esperar que Papá Dios conteste a una pregunta u oración. Otros, por el contrario, son tan desesperados que necesitan las respuestas de inmediato y en cuanto las solicitan.
Cuando vamos a la Biblia, encontramos ejemplos que nos muestran que en algunos casos Dios tardaba mucho tiempo en contestar. Uno de estos lo tenemos en Job. Su tiempo de prueba fue tan difícil que se le murieron todos sus hijos, perdió todos sus bienes y terminó con sarna y rascándose con una teja. A pesar de eso, y en medio de su frustración, confiaba en que Dios no lo abandonaría. Aunque, claro, hubo ocasiones en que se quejó por la indeferencia ante la maldad y hasta le reprochó al Señor lo que consideraba su descuido cuando le dijo: «Recuerda, oh Dios, que mi vida es un suspiro; que ya no verán mis ojos la felicidad» (Job 7:7).
Luego, Dios cambió las cosas a su tiempo y le aumentó al doble la prosperidad anterior a Job.
Le extendió la vida a ciento cuarenta años y pudo ver a sus hijos, y a los hijos de sus hijos, hasta la cuarta generación.
El Señor no permite que suframos sin motivo, y aunque ese motivo esté oculto en los propósitos divinos y nunca sepamos el porqué, debemos confiar que Él siempre hace lo bueno.

Claudia Pinzón

Staying in the fight


And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:22
Daniel, a young “underground” house church believer from Muslim background (MBB) would not attend the open church in his Middle Eastern city because he felt its leaders were cooperating with the government. Everything had to be secretive in the house church meetings with no loud singing. It was risky meeting like this. Daniel shares his story of discovery and what he learned from the experience:
“A few months ago, I was at the church leader’s house. They were old family friends and I was helping their kids to repair their computer. The mother answered the door and men came into the house. They were plainclothes police with papers that showed they were from security and had authority to arrest. They took everyone’s phones, disconnected the internet, and gathered all of the computers while they searched the house for Bibles. They found 300. They didn’t want to touch the Bibles, like they were dirty. They took the husband and wife away in handcuffs.
“The leaders were still imprisoned when the police came to my house about a month and a half later pretending to be postmen. In my whole life, that was the first time I saw my father cry. They searched through my room and took my computer, my books, my prayer notebook, my written plans for our youth group, and my personal Bible. They also took my sister’s laptop and all of our cell phones. At the end of their search, they told my parents that they were going to take me with them. My mother was distressed, but I hugged her and told her I would be back.
“They took me to the central prison. I was there for two weeks. They only beat me the first day, but they still threatened me. For the first week I didn’t answer their questions, but the second week was difficult. I was imagining my mom and dad—I had talked to my dad and knew it was a more difficult time for them than for me. I still wondered what I had done wrong and why I didn’t have the right to praise my Lord.
“After two weeks they let me go after guaranteeing I wouldn’t flee. About a month later they also released our leaders on bail. After that, they told me my case was still open and they could call me in at any time. We were uncertain of our sentence because they wouldn’t hold a trial for around six months. Constant pressure. It was a pleasure to be persecuted for my Lord.”
Asked what he learned from the experience, Daniel replied, “First, God taught me patience. Eventually, even though I was worried about my family, God gave me a chance to witness to my persecutors. I really don’t hate them. I love them because they don’t know what they’re doing. They’ve been taught bad things, they’re not bad themselves. I felt a responsibility to tell them about the light of Jesus that can break through their spiritual darkness…I want western people to know that God is working in the Middle East, through persecution, deception, and difficulties.”
RESPONSE: Today I will be thankful that God can work through my fellowship of believers regardless of the level of freedom we enjoy.
PRAYER: Pray for those in underground house churches who risk everything to meet and fulfill the five functions of the church.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS)
A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks

domingo, 3 de noviembre de 2013

Share like a vagabond

I wanna ask for your help like a vagabond. PLEASE pray for the persecuted church. We're remembering this month all those who are suffering for their faith. I'll be posting how you can pray for them.