Daily Topic for March 11, 2012
In his final instructions to his disciples, Jesus communicates something very important. He wanted them to multiply what He had just done for several years—to go out and make disciples. But for this to happen, they needed to follow His example of abiding with the Father and being empowered by the Spirit. He said to them, “I do nothing on my own” (John 8:28). This is the secret of being fruitful. If we want to be effective disciple-makers and see the Great Commission fulfilled, we need to let the Lord guide us completely. We can’t see the people come to Christ without total submission to Him. An intimate relationship with Jesus must be the foundation of all missionary work.
Pray for a deeper commitment to spending personal time with Jesus each day, and leading others to do the same.
Eduard stood near his father’s casket. Bitterness and hatred lined his face. He thought, “The Russians killed my father—not with a knife or gun, but they killed him by forcing our family to leave our home in Dagestan years ago. Grandfather was the best silversmith in Dagestan, and everything went well for him. But Father could not learn his father’s craft or adapt to life in the Ukraine. He had no reason to live, so he drank himself to death.” Eduard looked at a dagger he had strapped to his side, and thought, “This dagger is the symbol of the Dargin principle of the vendetta. I may not use the dagger, but I will have my revenge on the Russians.”
Eduard is part of the Dargin population that was moved from Dagestan to Ukraine under Soviet orders. Their heart still belongs to Dagestan.
Their ancestors began a slow acceptance of Islam in the 8th century that took centuries to complete. While they claim allegiance to Islam, they practice a religion mixed with many pre-Islamic superstitions. These are reflected in the rite of the first furrow, the spring New Year holiday, the rituals for making and stopping rain, calling out the sun, completing the harvest, and many more.
Pray that the many Christian ministries springing up in the Ukraine will reach out to the Dargins while they are away from their home country. Pray that the Holy Spirit will dig the first furrow in the soil of Dargin hearts to prepare for faith in Christ.