What did Jesus say about persecution?

The Taliban has taken over Pakistan and many Christians are fearing for their lives. With all the violence and threats, many have to decide if they will hide or flee.

A question which you may have asked is, “What did Jesus tell his followers to do when they were persecuted?”

In The Book, Jesus told His disciples, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”

Christians are told to love the people who persecute them and to even pray for them. Why does God want them to do this? It is because they must imitate Jesus. When Jesus was being crucified, He prayed to God asking Him to forgive the people who crucified Him. In the same way, Christians today are praying for the Taliban and other people who are persecuting them that God would forgive them and that they would come to know Jesus and be saved.

God also loves His enemies. Many times He is kind to those who do evil in this world. It would be right for Him to kill them immediately because of their sins, but He is giving them time to repent. He wants all people everywhere to believe in Jesus and be saved. Will you listen to His call?

Read more in The Book…

 

Has God forgotten me?

Have you ever wondered how people can believe in someone or something they can’t see? Or maybe you once believed in God, but not anymore.

I want to tell the story of someone who also struggled to believe in God.

Naomi was an Israelite woman married to Elimelech. At that time there was a great famine in the land of Israel and she and her family moved to the land of Moab. Her sons married there, but soon afterwards Elimelech died. Then both of her sons died too, leaving their mother alone and a widow.

Naomi felt that God had forgotten her.

She decided to go back to the land of Israel. Ruth, one of her daughters-in-law, went with her. Ruth was from Moab, so she was a foreigner in Israel. Life was tough for the two widows because there was no one to take care of them. Naomi was also old, so she couldn’t work. But Ruth was loyal to her mother-in-law and she worked hard to gather enough grain for the two of them to survive.

God brought Ruth to the field of a man named Boaz. He was very kind to her and let her gather food alongside his harvesters. When Ruth came home, she told Naomi how kind Boaz had been to her. When Naomi heard that Ruth had been working in Boaz’s field, she rejoiced because Boaz was a close relative of theirs!

In Hebrew culture, if a man died without children, it was custom for one of his close relatives to marry his widow in order that his family line could continue and so that those he left behind could be cared for. Naomi sent Ruth one night to ask Boaz to help her and her family, since he was a relative of her husband who had died.

Boaz was an upright man and he was prepared to marry Ruth and redeem her family, but there was a closer relative who had first right to marry Ruth. The next day Boaz spoke to this relative. At first the relative wanted to redeem Naomi’s family because he would inherit Elimelech’s land, but when Boaz told him that he would have to marry Ruth, he was afraid and changed his mind.

God arranged for Boaz to marry Ruth! Soon Ruth had a child. Naomi was so overjoyed with this child, that she nursed him as her own son. This son was very special, because he became the grandfather of King David. In fact, from his family line Jesus Christ was born!

After Naomi had suffered so much, God remembered her and blessed her with a joyful family and a special child.

If God remembered an old suffering widow in a foreign land, do you think He has forgotten you?

Read more in The Book…

 

The story of Ruth

Ruth 1:16-17

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”

Masks Off!

 

Have you ever worn a mask? I’m sure you have. But have you ever put a mask over your heart?

Perhaps you were hurt by somebody, and now you protect yourself by never letting others get close to you – you social distance your heart from others. Perhaps you were alone or afraid or tired and burnt out, but when people asked you how you were doing, you said, “I’m fine.” Or maybe you felt sad or angry or rejected, but you never showed it – you put a smiley face mask over your hurting heart, and everyone thought you were happy.

I also wore a mask over my heart.

It isn’t nice to wear a mask. You struggle to breathe and you can’t see if other people are smiling or sad. You also have to social distance, so you can’t even give someone you love a hug! When I wore a mask on my heart, this is how I felt. I thought I could protect myself from being hurt by others when I wore my mask. But I only ended up isolating myself from my friends and family and making it hard for myself to breathe.

Then I realised that there was someone who saw right through my mask.

His Name is Jesus!

There is nothing I can hide from Jesus, but for a long time I tried to hide my feelings from Him. Then one day I read this in God’s Book:

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. And so we are!”

When I believed in Jesus, I was born into His family. I became a child of God, and God became my Father! Our fathers here on earth sometimes hurt us because they aren’t perfect, but God is a perfect Father, and He loves us very much. He sees everything in our hearts and He wants us to come to Him so that He can comfort us and heal us from our hurts.

When I realised God’s love and accepted it, it was as if He picked me up and put me on His lap and hugged me. When I told God all my sins and asked Him to help me live a better life and not hurt others, He forgave me! Suddenly I was clean, and with my Father standing next to me every day, I wasn’t afraid to love other people and let them get close.

God helped me take my mask off.

Recently our country has started allowing us to take our masks off. I had some friends over at my house for the first time in months and we talked for two hours without our masks: it was wonderful! I felt happy and safe and free. That is also how I felt when I took the mask off of my heart.

Are you ready to take your mask off?

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