Daily Topic for April 09, 2008
Acts 8:1 is just the opposite of Acts 1:8! Instead of going out voluntarily as the Lord had commanded, the church had to undergo persecution in Jerusalem that forced believers out to Judea and Samaria. Even then the original disciples stayed behind. Why? Did they stay because they felt their leadership was necessary at home? We may never know. We might wonder, however, that if the apostles had obeyed Acts 1:8 sooner-and voluntarily-the persecution might never have come. Dare we expect God to hold back persecution and other “promptings” from us if our attention is confined to “building up the home base”?
Pray for discernment from the Holy Spirit.
“Sometimes Christians relate to immigrants poorly, but it’s clear that God is moving people around for a new age of church growth. This presents a phenomenal opportunity to share the gospel,” says Jud Lamos with Mission to the World (MTW) of the Presbyterian Church in America. Nowhere is that seen more than in Europe. Some estimate that 25 million Muslims now make their home in Europe. This it is especially evident in Brussels, Belgium, where immigrants make up more than 50 percent of the population. For this reason MTW is making Brussels a hub for ministry.
Christian pastors who are from Muslim backgrounds point out that part of their challenge in Brussels is “to help immigrants integrate and assimilate, to help them feel at home… Islam is a no-return street; once you go out, you can’t go back in.” The immigrants are struggling with an identity crisis, but they need a spiritual identity as well as a national one. One Arabic speaking pastor tells of a diverse group of Christians; Turks, Kurds, Armenians, and others sharing a meal together while baffled Turkish Muslims watched. He adds, “Only Christ can bring together enemies like this.”Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray for the Brussels model to be replicated throughout Belgium and the rest of Europe.-JS