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Saturday, April 22, 2017

THE BLOOD OF MARTYRS

Dearly Beloved, THE BLOOD OF MARTYRS “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12:24 NKJV). As I was about to sleep recently, I checked my WhatsApp Messenger to see if there was any urgent message to be attended to (that has become my daily practice). I came across a video clip in a WhatsApp group with a subtitle “Pray for Syria”. I could not bear watching the video clip to the end as it turned out to be one of those incidents where some Christians were being beheaded one after the other by their persecutors. The horror of seeing blood gushing out of the necks of the beheaded people at the one slash of the sword/cutlass could not make me continue to watch the video clip. In fact, I blamed myself for watching such a horrendous thing when I was about to sleep that night. It was as if I never heard or even watched such awful video of Christians being slaughtered like animals before. I kept on wondering why a human being would gruesomely kill a fellow human being in the name of fighting for one god who cannot defend himself. Then I remembered the paraphrase of a statement made by an early church leader called Tertullian in 197 AD: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” How true is this statement? Jesus Christ proverbially stated that a grain of wheat has to fall into the ground and dies before it can produce more grain (see John 12:24). He demonstrated this by dying on the cross so that mankind might have eternal life. Right from the death of first known Christian martyr, Stephen in Acts 7, to the modern-day Christian martyrs, the blood of these martyrs, in most occasions, has really become the seed of the growth of Christianity. This has been proved from history. However, I still keep wondering: must people be killed before there is growth in Christian faith? Persecution of all forms is inevitable in Christian life (see 2 Timothy 3:12). The more the Christian is persecuted or tested, the stronger he becomes in his Christian faith (see 1 Peter 1:7-9). The more Christians are killed for their faith, the more other Christians are united in prayer, and the more the spread of Christianity. Indeed, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” Nevertheless, are you ready to lay your life down for your faith? You may not be literally killed as a martyr, but are you ready to really be a witness with your action and words for Christian faith? (Interestingly, the English word, martyr, comes from the word for witness in the original Greek!) In His service, Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Prayer Points: 1. Pray that your life will truly be a “martyr” (witness) for your Christian faith and that it will contribute to the growth of Christianity in your area. 2. Pray for Christians in persecuted areas of the world that they will continue to have grace to withstand the persecutions.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Spiritual Digest for the Day 22Apr2017

BIBLE VERSE FOR THE DAY “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9-10 NKJV). ****************** QUOTE FOR THE DAY Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can! - John Wesley ******************** PRAYER/ACTION FOR THE DAY Help me, Lord, to be able to do good as much I can wherever I find myself.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spiritual Digest for the Day 21Apr2017

BIBLE VERSE FOR THE DAY “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not even see Him now, you believe and trust in Him and you greatly rejoice and delight with inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8 AMP). ****************** QUOTE FOR THE DAY God wants to deposit a resilient hope in your heart. He has no interest in giving you a shallow happiness that fades when the wind is not at your back. He offers you joy, a sincere, deep-seated, heartfelt sense of joy, guaranteed to weather the storms. - Mike McGraw ******************** PRAYER/ACTION FOR THE DAY O God, help me experience true joy, a joy that can only come from you through Your Son, Jesus.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Spiritual Digest for the Day 20Apr2017

BIBLE VERSE FOR THE DAY “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24 NKJV). ****************** QUOTE FOR THE DAY With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. - Eleanor Roosevelt ******************** PRAYER/ACTION FOR THE DAY Pray that you will be able to fully utilize each day as God enables you to have it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Spiritual Digest for the Day 19Apr2017

BIBLE VERSE FOR THE DAY “The heavens tell about the glory of God. The skies announce what his hands have made. Each new day tells more of the story, and each night reveals more and more about God’s power” (Psalm 19:1-2 ERV). ****************** QUOTE FOR THE DAY The beauty that comes to us through nature speaks to our souls like few things do. It not only has the capacity to stop us in our tracks and captivate our attention, it also has the power to turn our focus to the Maker of beauty itself. - Jeff Olson ******************** PRAYER/ACTION FOR THE DAY Pray that you will at times stop to appreciate God through the beauty of nature around you.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Spiritual Digest for the Day 18Apr2017

BIBLE VERSE FOR THE DAY “Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1 CEV). ****************** QUOTE FOR THE DAY He who has faith has an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well - even though to the world it may appear to come out most badly. - Bertie Charles Forbes ******************** PRAYER/ACTION FOR THE DAY Pray that you will be able to have faith to bring out the good things that the world cannot see in you.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Spiritual Digest for the Day 17Apr2017

BIBLE VERSE FOR THE DAY “…because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12 NKJV). ****************** QUOTE FOR THE DAY Because of love, Jesus Christ suffered and died to be the perfect sacrifice, standing in our place before the Father. We live because of love. - Amy Boucher Pye ******************** PRAYER/ACTION FOR THE DAY Pray that you also will be able to demonstrate sacrificial love to others around you.