Pastor Jonathan's Monday reflection:
"Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus." Acts 5:41-42 (ESV)
Praying for the persecuted church, hearing of the Apostle's being beaten and rejoicing... then turning on the news and witnessing the event in a small church, not unlike ours, where half of the congregation was killed by a gunman. These are strange, violent days, but the church goes on.
We begin the week praying, much in the same way we did during our worship gathering, that the Lord would build his church and grant us the resiliency of the persecuted church, the passion of the church in Acts to go one preaching Jesus. To experience a life where Jesus is our all and only.
We may not be called on to face what others do or succumb to random violence as some. But we will be given plenty of opportunities to live like Jesus is our greatest treasure and sharing him with others is not only our stated mission but our guttural passion.
Would you join me today in prayer, for victims near and far of hate and violence against the church? And pray for power to go on preaching in this name, that Jesus would be lifted high, that we would lift him high.
Lord, come quickly. End the violence of our day and give us hope in you alone. Help us to go on pursuing you and telling others about you. Give us joy in the midst of the struggle and pain. Give us you. Amen.