Daily Topic for June 09, 2010
In this passage, Paul stresses that it is not our traditions or our cultural heritage that makes us acceptable to God, but our heart response. We should thank 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 group is free to express worship to Him in patterns appropriate to its own culture.
Pray that peoples like the Palembangs will soon understand that faith expressing itself through love is far more important than their traditions and religious law. Pray that the Lord will give them a hunger to rise to the standards Christ has set.
Run a Google search on the word “Palembang” and the first thing that pops up is a city in Indonesia. Not just any city, but the capital city of the South Sumatra Province. However, Palembang is also the name of a people group. Not just any people group, but a people group with no Bible, no churches, and only about 25 believers.
Like other groups on the island of Sumatra, the Palembangs practice a mixture of Islam and tribal superstitions. Local proverbs extol their allegiance to both religions, but when the two are in conflict, kala-kala sare’at oleh adat – “tradition wins over religious law.”
The name “Palembang” means “to wash the muddy river water to find gold.” In years past, some people believed that the Palembang region held hidden treasure. Yet today, many Palembang are unemployed and struggle to survive in poverty.
Pray for Palembang people to be washed from their sin and find their true treasure in Jesus Christ. Ask for the Lord to alert mission agencies to the desperate need of this people. Pray for Him to raise up and dispatch translators and evangelists who will provide the Word and the gospel in the Palembang heart language. Pray for the JESUS Film to be distributed far and wide among the Palembang people.