Are you prepared?

iStock_000023191651LargePrayingThe dictionary defines a martyr as “a person who is killed because of his religious or other beliefs.”

Interestingly enough, the English word martyr is really a word transliterated from the original Greek martyr, which simply means “witness.”  The first martyr is Stephen who is found in the Book of Acts: 6 &7. I was re-reading John Foxe’s “Christian Martyrs of the World”. It was first published in 1554. It was not based on a pleasant or feeling good about ourselves book. It’s certainly not a self-help book. However, generations were brought up on John Foxes which, according to some, was the most readily writings that was read aside from the bible, during the 16th century. It is a Christian who believes and puts into practice the teachings of Jesus.

The martyr in Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” is the hero. In today’s world, we are all of different people groups, or of different countries, and backgrounds, but, if we are truly Christians, we are no longer just that, we are members of the body of Christ…no matter where we were born, raised, background, or language.

Being a Christian is not a matter of country or association or denomination, it’s a matter of HIM who called us to be one with his body. “For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, is one body: so also is Christ.” 1 Cor. 12:12

As I read and listen to the news of today, I wonder what St. Paul listened too. It was not CNN or Fox News. Perhaps, he and others were more concerned with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and less concerned with the ongoing trouble of the time.  “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom. 8: 38-39.

At the end of the day, what really matters, 2 Peter 3:8–9 ‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’

So, it really does not matter what the news is. The Lord is coming. Maranatha!

Freedom to love our neighbors as ourselves

Christians – Pray for the Persecuted daily. Freedom to love our neighbors as ourselves

Every Christian is a member or a part of the Body of Christ. We are HIS Church. Christ’s body is not one denomination – it’s all denominations. So, if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it. (1 Cor. 12:26). We should feel it. We should have empathy and compassion for the part of the body that is suffering. But, do we?

We all know that Jesus is no longer on this earth. We are his body. We are his feet, his hands, his heart, and his compassion. Christ’s body is still suffering through his body of the Persecuted Church. Remember when Paul was on the road to Damascus and Jesus asked him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? (Acts 22:7) These are the Lords words. In persecuting the followers of Jesus (HIS body) he was persecuting Jesus. Is that any different today? Has the body of Christ changed or have we changed?

St. Paul, admonished us to help those that are suffering for the sake of Christ with actions not just words. Paul, the former enemy of the Church became the most prominent persecuted member of the Church. St. Paul, knows of what he spoke. St. John told us, “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but indeed and in truth” (1JN.3:18) and, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (JN.13:35) In John Piper’s Desiring God he wrote a very good description of putting Love into action. He said, “Love is the overflow of joy in God that gladly meets the needs of others”

It’s up to each of us to stand up for those members of the body of Christ who cannot speak up and help themselves and to help them in their hour of need. (Pr. 31:8-9) Please show your love and solidarity for the Persecuted Church by joining us at the Joshua 1:9 Freedom Run on Saturday November 14, either in person or virtually, we are all one body no matter where we are. If you can’t attend please pray for the Persecuted Church and if you are able, please donate.

God Bless

Patrick Carberry, Founder
Joshua 1:9 “Be Strong and Courageous”