Daily Topic for December 22, 2009
As we recall Jesus’ birth, we see Almighty God crossing the greatest barriers, which separated Him from man. And in God’s initiative to live among us we see the missionary dynamic necessary to reach unreached people groups like the Turks. Jesus - the missionary Word of God - became flesh so that 33 years later He might die and decisively deal with the barrier of sin. The same Word that had created man became man, took on human flesh, and lived for a while among us. It is now our task to cross other barriers (culture, language, religion) to the unreached peoples and proclaim the Word in person!
Pray that as the Father sent His Son that He will now send us.
In a nation ruled by strict Shariah (Islamic) law, a slip of the tongue can mean the death penalty. That was the case recently for a Turkish man in Saudi Arabia who used God’s name in vain during a disagreement with a neighbor. The neighbor later reported him to the police, resulting in his arrest, imprisonment and a sentence of death by beheading.
The harsh nature of this penalty revolves around the fact that some Islamic judges consider it heresy to use the name of God in this fashion. They leave no room for repentance. It is simply an “unpardonable sin.”
This punishment, although typical where Islamic law is imposed, has strained relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The two staunchly Muslim countries have been connected since the days of the Ottoman Empire, which rose to power in l299. In these situations, however, the law stands. Even an appeal from Turkish President Abdullah Gul requesting a pardon for the man was unsuccessful. In the past, Turks (as well as Saudis) have been beheaded for other crimes, including drug smuggling.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray for Turks to see the merciless nature of Islamic law, and flee to the Man of Grace. Pray for God to communicate the love and forgiveness available in His only Son, and the opportunity to repent of all sins, no matter their seriousness, and enter everlasting life.-CL