Daily Topic for December 04, 2013
The church in Sardis was known as the “live” church. They had enthusiasm, but there was something missing: the fruit of all their zeal for God. It is easy to get these two out of balance. To the church in Ephesus God warned them that their work for Him was getting in the way of their love for Him. The church in Sardis also had a passion for work, but little to show for it. Ultimately, the Master is going to measure our faithfulness by this two-fold standard: Our zeal and love for him and our work for Him.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you and your church balance between zeal and obedience.
You have heard of the Twelve Apostles; but how many of you have heard of the Twelve Imams? Shi’ite Muslims see the original twelve imams as the legitimate heirs of Mohammed, beginning with Ali, Mohammed’s son-in-law. As the years passed, the Alawite sect split off from the Shi’ites. Alawites commemorate Christmas and Palm Sunday. They believe in the divinity of Ali and in reincarnation. Alawites also see the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca as a personal journey for greater spiritual understanding rather than just a pilgrimage. And like the Sufis, they engage in a mystical strain of Islam. Because of these beliefs and practices, they are viewed with suspicion by the more orthodox Muslims.
When the Alawite Assad family came to power in Syria in 1971, they integrated Shi’ite and Alawite political factions. Although the Alawites make up only 12 percent of Syria’s population, the Assad family managed to use the Ba’ath Party and the military as a base for power. During the recent “Arab Spring” the majority Sunni Muslims rose up against what they saw as an overly powerful minority, and they initiated the civil war. The result has been the death and displacement of thousands of Syrians.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray for a return to peace and stability in Syria. Pray that the Alawites will understand that the only way to know God is through Jesus Christ. May their commemoration of Christmas this month become a bridge for God to open them to faith in Christ as their Savior.