Daily Topic for April 27, 2012
Acts 8:1 is just the opposite of Acts 1:8! Instead of going out voluntarily as the Lord had commanded, the church had to undergo persecution in Jerusalem that forced believers out to Judea and Samaria. Throughout history God has called His people to become missionaries by means of several mechanisms. Much of the expansion of the church has been due to the involuntary mechanism of Christians being captured or expelled against their will and coming into contact with non-believers. Acts 8 was just such a case! But there are other situations where non-believers voluntarily come to a place like London where they can hear the gospel. That is the situation we are reading about this month.
Pray for discernment from the Holy Spirit regarding how to reach the unreached people groups.
“There are too many misunderstandings about our beliefs!” one of the Jain students blurted out. It was 1987, and a small group of young Jain adults sat around a table chatting and drinking coffee in a London café. The group began to design a plan to bring the Jains in London together on a regular basis. That year they did just that; the Young Jains Association was born. Although the group was focused on the young, all ages were welcome. The goal of the group was to gain understanding of other religions and cultures and to promote understanding and respect for Jainism.
In India the Jains are a prominent religious group based in the western state of Gujarat. Jainism is closely linked to Hinduism, but there are differences. Jain religion and philosophy is grounded in logic and experience. Important Jain practices include shedding material wealth, adherence to non-violence, and eating only plant-based foods. The Young Jain group in London lives by the same principles as the Jains of India.
Since the Young Jains Association is interested in learning and understanding other religions and cultures, this opens the door for followers of Christ to enter the conversation.
Ask the Lord to give Christ’s followers wisdom to build relationships with Jains based on love, truth, and respect. Pray for Jain hearts to be open to understanding and embracing the truth about Jesus Christ.
Next day: Chhatyal People in London
Previous day: Bahá'ís in London