Daily Topic for June 12, 2006
In this passage, Paul stresses that it is not our cultural heritage which makes us acceptable to God, but our heart response. We should praise God because we can worship and serve Him without having to use patterns of Hebrew ritual or the cultural forms of the first-century church! God takes special pains to say that each people is free to express worship to Him in patterns appropriate to its own culture. What a celebration we look forward to when those from every “people, tongue, tribe, and nation” will gather around the throne of Jesus Christ to sing His praises!
Thank the Lord that He accepts worship from every people group, including your own.
Ethnic groups have spread around the world in various ways. Some have been driven by persecution and some are attracted by opportunity. Fiji is a long way from the Punjab state of India, the birthplace of the Sikh religion, but it was opportunity that brought the first Sikhs to these islands. In 1879 Fiji voluntarily became part of the British Commonwealth. Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon saw sugar plantations as the only viable income for the island, but he knew the locals would be upset if they were required to work there, so Sikhs from other British Commonwealth countries immigrated as indentured laborers to work on the plantations. They were later joined by other waves of Sikh immigrants.
The Sikhs are known for their hard work. Though they started as plantation laborers, you will not find any working in the sugar fields now. In today’s Fiji, many serve as professionals, business owners and even elected officials. Sikhs comprise less than one percent of the population. Sikhs who have heard the words of Jesus have been drawn to Him, but there are few Sikhs who follow Christ in Fiji because few missionaries have gone to them.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray for God to call workers to reach out to the Sikhs of Fiji.-JS