Daily Topic for September 07, 2012

1 Corinthians 9:19
Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.

These words of Paul remind us of the real meaning of the incarnation of Jesus. Paul realized the great significance of Christ’s willingness to take on the form of a servant. When he met the risen Lord on the road to Damascus, Paul personally confronted the wonderful mystery of God reconciling man to Himself in the person of Christ. Though as God He was free from all men, Jesus took on the limitation of our humanity so that He could win as many as possible (I Corinthians 9:19). Paul adopted this as the key strategy of his ministry to the Gentile peoples.

Pray that the Lord will show us what it means to become slaves to the world’s peoples and use our submission to draw many to faith in Jesus.

Bairagi Ascetics

by LR

The Bairagi ascetic sat staring, swaying in meditation. He barely noticed the chill on his skin as other Rajasthani Hindus moved about the temple. The red and black painted lines on his forehead, matted dreadlocks, and white robe made him stand out as a respected holy man, but the coming day’s parade would let everyone know his status among his group. Thoughts of the silver throne he would be carried upon, and the looks of admiration from the crowd drifted through his mind. He had given up his identity, even his name, to become a devotee of the Hindu god Rama. He would be treated like Rama on that throne.

The Bairagi Ascetics are a community of very dedicated Hindu Brahmins who are tied together not by ethnicity, but by their religious practices. Half a million out of India’s 3.2 million Bairagi Ascetics live in Rajasthan. Upon the ascetic initiation, these holy men lose all personal identity, even changing their name to “slave.” Emulating Rama’s ascetic life, they do not cut their hair and wear minimal clothing. They spend their days in meditation and other religious practices.

Because they are Rajasthani-speakers, many tools exist for the Bairagi Ascetics to know about Jesus, including a full translation of the Bible, radio broadcasts, books, videos, and more. Yet there are no known followers of Christ among them. Persecution and shame within their close-knit community dissuades them from turning to Jesus.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray that the Bairagis will see that identifying with Jesus is worth renouncing all Hindu gods. Pray that God will raise up an army of prayer warriors for these ascetics who lean so heavily on false gods.

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