Daily Topic for March 09, 2009
Returning to Jerusalem and entering the temple, Jesus began driving out those who were buying and selling there. In an act of righteous judgment, Jesus upset tables and benches and prevented anyone from carrying merchandise through the temple courts. Merchants had been using the fore court (a place set aside as a court of prayer for the Gentiles) for fraudulent activities. Jesus’ action restored this court as a place where the Gentiles could worship according to God’s original intention (1 Kings 8:43).
Pray that the Lord will open our eyes so that we may see how our ignorance and selfishness might keep other peoples from coming to Him.
“Might makes right” is the lesson the Botlikh people of southern Russia learned in 1999. Their mountainous homeland was chosen by the Russian Defense Ministry for a military base to repel terrorist attacks from the neighboring Chechnya region. Although war was unwillingly thrust upon them, 2,500 Botlikh people fought alongside Russia’s regular army forces against the invaders, resulting in three local residents receiving the Hero of Russia title-the highest award for military valor. An additional 106 people were awarded the Order of Courage.
Despite their war accolades, the peoples of Botlikh are a peaceful group of gardeners who make their living by tending their orchards which provide grapes, apricots, apples, and walnuts not only for them, but for the other nearby regions. The Botlikh peoples barter for other products, especially meat, cheese and wool.
They are a predominantly Sunni Muslim community with no Scriptures in their language. Living in Europe’s least evangelized region, with no active church planting within the past two years, plus Muslim influence bent on forming an Islamic Republic leads to the Botlikh people “perishing for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). A strong national identity coupled with their own language makes it necessary for Christ’s missionaries to learn of these people by living among them in order to plant an indigenous Botlikh fellowship.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray for favorable conditions for missionaries to live in this region, translate the Scriptures and plant fellowships.-MB