Daily Topic for March 26, 2014

Ezra 1:2
Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, "The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build Him a temple at Jerusalem.

What a surprise to read the words of Cyrus (a Gentile), the most powerful world ruler of his day, telling his people that the Lord had given him all the kingdoms of the earth and had appointed him to build Him a temple! God certainly does not act according to our expectations! The Scriptures declare, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases” (Proverbs 21:1).

Pray that the Father will direct the hearts of today’s Russian leaders to accomplish His purposes among the Muslim peoples in their midst. Pray that they will remember that Christ is the King of the earth, and that their lives are in His hands.

Abaza People

by PLS

Twenty-five hundred years ago the Greek historian, Herodotus, noted that Greek seafarers encountered a tribe named the Abaza along the eastern shores of the Black Sea. The descendants of the Abaza later migrated northeastward into the Caucasus Mountains. For the past 1,000 years they have been loyal Muslims. A war-like people, the Abaza have known little grace. Many died in the Caucasus Wars with the Russian Empire in the middle of the 19th Century. The Abaza now live in at least 14 towns and villages in the mountain region of Karachai-Cherkessia in southern Russia. Their ancient language is fascinating; it functions with 63 consonant sounds and only two vowels! For an outsider it’s definitely a mouthful of intense sounds.

Among the 43,000 Abaza, there are 10 known believers. One of the new Christians explained: “when one understands in one’s own heart language that God in Christ has forgiven me… it’s so much easier to be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ has forgiven me. The fruit of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control-can start to grow and spread throughout the culture.”

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray for a fledgling effort-which is barely underway-to begin translating portions of the New Testament into the difficult Abaza language. Pray for the few followers of Jesus among the Abaza to embody the forgiveness and kindness of Jesus to all whom they meet.

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