Daily Topic for June 12, 2007
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.
The Riau Malays take whatever the sea gives them; they live by fishing and farming. Crops are hard to grow on their small islands where monsoons could wash an entire field out to sea in a matter of hours. The wet climate also makes disease a problem. Doctors are in short supply and many women die in childbirth. Often shamans are the only “doctors” available.
The Riau Malay people have been in constant contact with foreigners. Traders from India brought Islam to this people group centuries ago. But these people have mixed the shamanism that predated their adoption of Islam with their current beliefs. Christian missionaries have also won converts among the Riaus in years past. There are 50 Christians among the 1,600,000 Riaus, but they have become westernized to the point of being unable to relate to their Muslim neighbors.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray that Riau believers will reach their neighbors in an appropriate way. May God send medical missionaries to bless this people group with physical and spiritual healing. Pray for power encounters to break the grip shamans have on this people. There is also an open door for community development workers to reach out to the Riau. Pray that many will walk through it. May the Lord have a rich harvest among the Riau Malay!-WK