VIDEO Psalm 140

Despite the Torture and Beheadings Their Faith In Jesus Remains Strong

Churches are turned into Mosques or into Jails to house Christians.

Christian women and children are taken and sold as slaves.

Many Christian men, women, and children are told to convert to Islam or die, they choose a beheading.

Their Faith In Jesus Remains Strong and they sing praises to God

This is Psalm 140 being recited in their neck of the woods
Κύριε εκέκραξα προς σε – Lord have cried to thee

Translation

Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war. They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah.

Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings. The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah.

I said unto the Lord, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord. O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.

Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah.

As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them. Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.

Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.

I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.

Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

Pray for Persecuted Christians throughout the world.

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Displaced

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9

Have you ever felt completely out of your comfort zone, totally removed from all that’s familiar? It’s the feeling of being displaced. We cherish familiar settings, places that we have grown accustomed to, places that are compatible to our relationships and lifestyle. In a fast-moving, mobile culture that pushes us from here to there like tumbleweeds, we long for a familiar environment to provide sanity and serenity. For most of us, displacement can be stressful and scary.

For some, displacement is more than a fear—it’s a reality. Many permanently displaced people walk the streets of our inner cities; some by their own doing, others through the winds of “fate.” In the marketplace, many find themselves displaced from jobs, and all the meaning and fulfillment they received from being productive in the workforce has suddenly disappeared. Throughout history, wars have displaced sons and daughters. Think of all who were displaced by Katrina. Cruel and oppressive regimes have spawned pilgrimages of millions who fled the tyranny of fear, leaving the comforts of their native land to move to unknown places.

Whatever the cause, displacement is an unwelcome and unsettling prospect. It almost always means loss and sacrifice.

That’s what strikes me about the wonder of what happened at Christmas. In order to rescue us from this fallen place, Jesus became a displaced person. He relinquished the privilege of reigning as Creator and King in order to incarcerate Himself in the body of a child. He spent 33 years walking on this planet rejected by His own, scoffed by His family, misunderstood by both political and religious leaders, and ultimately crucified. Why would He have voluntarily and so dramatically displaced Himself from the grandeur of His glory and all the marvelous perks of paradise to subject Himself to that?!

Some of us might willingly be displaced as an act of sacrifice if the cause were great enough. That’s why some leave family and friends to go to war. But, as Paul notes in Romans 5:7, “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.” Which makes the next verse all the more incredible. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5: 8).

The stunning point of Christmas is that God considered my needs and the worth of my relationship to Him to be sufficient cause to endure the trials of displacement. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,” the apostle Paul wrote, “that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Jesus displaced Himself to guarantee a permanent place where eternally I can be secure, safe, and satisfied without any fear of ever being displaced. I find it interesting that what I am longing for here can only be realized there. Thanks be to God, my permanent address is already assigned to me and, if you know Christ as Savior, so is yours.

Let’s not miss the wonder of what really happened at Christmas. Jesus Christ was the most significantly displaced person in history—and He did it willingly so that permanent displacement would never be our fear. What amazing love!

YOUR JOURNEY…

-Have you ever been displaced? What caused it, and how did you respond? Allow Jesus’ example of displacement to give you courage should it happen again.
– Read Jesus’ prayer for His disciples in John 17:6-26. In John 17:14, He said, “They are not of the world any more than I am of the world.” How does being a follower of Jesus make you displaced in this world? Be encouraged by the privilege of identifying with Him in this way!

An Anchor in the Tempest

Hebrews 13:5-9

W hat do you do when the storms of life come? To whom do you turn? Where do you seek comfort and security during tumultuous times?

We all realize that storms will come and go unexpectedly throughout life. Yet even when struggles throw us off balance, the Word of God assures us that we can maintain a steady footing, regardless of the circumstances. How do we do that?

There is an amazing truth in the Bible that, once you take hold of it, will keep you steady during even the most trying of situations. That anchor for the storms of life is simply this: Jesus Christ never changes.

You might wonder, What is meant by “anchor”? Think about it this way: Every single thing in your life—career, relationships, finances—is in a constant state of flux. In fact, you yourself are growing, learning, and developing every day. There is nothing anyone can do to stop this continual change. So, if we try to hold tight to things like resources, friends, abilities, or prestige during times of hardship, we can’t keep from being pulled one way or another. Why? Because we have affixed ourselves to something that is itself moving. We have chosen a foundation that isn’t stable.

However, when we fix our hopes in Christ, we can be sure that the anchor will hold. He isn’t moving, changing, or leaving. Regardless of all the things in life that can morph and shift, He is the same as He always has been. Jesus is the only sure footing in an unstable world. And He can keep you steady, too.

Can It Be?

“Christ also suffered for us. . . . Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1 Peter 2:21-24)

Those who love good church music have come to love Charles Wesley’s commitment to and knowledge of his Savior and the Scriptures, for he wove into his music and poetry deep insights which challenge and thrill us even today. One of his hymns, “And Can It Be That I Should Gain?,” has unfortunately been abridged in modern hymnals. The original five verses are expressed:

And can it be that I should gain,
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him, to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That thou, my God, should’st die for me?

Even the Old Testament saints wondered why God loves man so. “What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?” (Job 7:17). The New Testament contains many similar expressions of wonder. “Behold, what manner of love [literally ‘what a different kind of love’] the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. . . . And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:8-11).

The point is we were desperate sinners deserving His wrath. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love [i.e., ‘amazing love’] wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)” (Ephesians 2:4-5). JDM

Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice

Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.—Psalm 63:7.

ON our way rejoicing gladly let us go,
Conquered hath our Leader, vanquished is our foe!
Christ without, our safety! Christ within, our joy!
Who, if we be faithful, can our hope destroy?
On our way rejoicing as we homeward move,
Hearken to our praises, O Thou God of love!
J. B. S. MONSELL.

I CANNOT understand why those who have given themselves up to God and His goodness are not always cheerful, for what possible happiness can be equal to that? No accidents or imperfections, which may happen, ought to have power to trouble them, or to hinder their looking upward. ST. FRANCIS DE SALES.

Why should we go to heaven weeping, as if we were like to fall down through the earth for sorrow? If God were dead (if I may speak so, with reverence of Him who liveth for ever and ever,) we might have cause to look like dead folks; but “the Lord liveth, and blessed be the Rock of our salvation.” None have right to joy but we, for joy is sown for us, and an ill summer or harvest will not spill the crop. SAMUEL RUTHERFORD.

Our bodies washed with pure water

Our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22

Thou shalt … make a laver of brass, … and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: when they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; … they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not. — Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you. — If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

In my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another. —There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth. —Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity. — I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Exodus 30:18-21. 1 Corinthians 6:19. 1 Corinthians 3:17. Job 19:26,27. Revelation 21:27. Habakkuk 1:13. Romans 12:1.

I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause

I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause. Job 5:8

Is anything too hard for the LORD? — Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. — Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. — Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.

Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD.

It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. — The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.

Genesis 18:14. Psalm 37:5. Philippians 4:6. 1 Peter 5:7. Isaiah 37:14,15. Isaiah 65:24. James 5:16. Psalm 116:1,2.