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Prepare for our inheritance (8)

June 30th, 2011
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Scripture of the Day: 2Peter 3:11-14

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. (NIV)

There is no question that what we will be in the future has nothing to do with how strong, clever,  wealthy we are or how successful in our achievements but has everything to do with how we are seeking to live our lives in harmony with God’s will. We want to please the Spirit, sow to the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, be responsive to the lead of the Spirit.

If our lives are a continually grieving of the Spirit,  a quenching of the Spirit, a hardening against the voice of God speaking to us through his word by the Spirit, then we need to realize we are sowing to a flesh that will perish.

But that is not the attitude of Christians:

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this,

We are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

make every effort

Remember what we said before:

Does Christ does everything, and we do nothing?Or if Christ doesn’t do everything, then Christ does 50% and we do 50%.

But actually it’s neither way. It’s not that Christ does 100% and we do nothing, it’s not Christ does 50-50 or 70/30 or however… depending on how optimistic we are about our humanity – the real gospel is that Christ does a 100 percent and we do a 100 percent. But we only do it in Christ.

to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

That is not a careless life but one that is awake and alert to how this world can falsely mislead how we live. We are not making decisions for the short term but to be at peace with God and to live with him forever.

Message for the Day

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | RLPB 114 | Wed 29 Jun 2011

June 29th, 2011
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By Elizabeth Kendal

JUNE 2011 UPDATE -- During June we prayed for . . . 

ZIMBABWE (RLPBs 110 & 111), where churches (particularly Anglican
  churches) are facing escalating political violence ahead of elections.
  See Religious Liberty Monitoring http://elizabethkendal.blogspot.com/
  for more information. 

UPDATE: according to The Tablet, a Catholic weekly newsletter, President
  Mugabe has branded the Catholic Church an enemy of the State. With
  secret police masquerading as Mass-goers, Catholic priests are
  increasingly at risk of arrest and torture. One priest laments: '[we]
  don't have any freedom to preach the Word as we would want to even
  within the Church because you never know what kind of visit you may get
  after Mass. You know that the secret police are attending and the
  moment you finish, things happen.' Even just acknowledging the
  existence of hunger in the country is enough to get a priest into
  trouble. Phones are tapped and Internet lines are monitored. Priests
  wearing clerical garb are routinely arrested, interrogated and
  humiliated. 'If you are lucky,' the priest said, 'you are interviewed
  and let go; if you are not so lucky you are tortured a little bit.'
  Pray for the Church in Zimbabwe. 


REFUGEES (RLPB 112), as increasing numbers of Christians are being forced
  to flee war, Islamic jihad and violent religious persecution. 


NUBA MOUNTAINS, SUDAN (RLPB 113): where as many as half-a-million mostly
  Christian Nuba -- some 50 African tribes indigenous to North Sudan's
  Nuba Mountains -- have been displaced by aerial bombardment and a
  violent ethnic cleansing campaign. Once again, as in the early 1990s,
  the Arab-Islamist regime in Khartoum has closed the Nuba Mountains off
  to all humanitarian aid as it seeks the genocide of the 'blacks'
  through the use of starvation as a weapon of mass destruction.  See
  Religious Liberty Monitoring http: //elizabethkendal.blogspot.com/ for
  more information. Please pray for God's intervention. 


JUNE 2011 ROUND-UP -- also this month . . . 

* BURMA (Myanmar): CONFLICT ERUPTS IN KACHIN STATE

As was noted in RLPB 080 (3 Nov 2010), the sole purpose of Burma's 
fraudulent November 2010 elections was to legitimise the regime and give 
it a mandate to impose its will. Because the ethnic-religious minorities 
do not have enough confidence in the junta to disarm, the regime has 
branded them 'separatist' and tensions have escalated. Conflict has 
erupted in devoutly Christian Kachin State which borders China to the 
north. The trigger has been China's building of two hydropower mega-dams 
in Kachin, against the will of the Kachin people who protest that social 
and environmental damage will be catastrophic. With China wanting to build 
at least seven more such mega-dams in Kachin State, the Burmese junta's 
interest in controlling Kachin lands will intensify. Thousands of 
Christian Kachin are on the run and at least 50 have been killed. Pray for 
the Christian Kachin.  


* EGYPT: VIOLENCE CONTINUES AGAINST COPTIC CHURCH

On 23 June hundreds of fundamentalist Salafi Muslims attacked the Coptic 
Church of St George in the village of Bani Ahmed in Minya Province, Upper 
Egypt, during Mass. The Salafis demanded that the priest, Fr George 
Thabet, either leave the village or be handed over to be killed. For 
months now, the Salafis have been protesting development work done on the 
church. After a five-hour siege the Army intervened, quelling the rioting 
and escorting Fr Thabet out of the village.  

On 25 June a rumour spread through the village of Awlad Khalaf in Suhaj 
Province, Upper Egypt, that the home being built by a Coptic Christian, 
Wahib Halim Attia, was actually a church. Consequently, a mob of some 200 
Muslims responded by attacking Mr Attia. After looting and bulldozing his 
home, they moved on to loot and torch another six Coptic-owned homes. 
Attia was subsequently arrested. Reportedly, local Muslims intervened to 
return many of the looted possessions. Pray for the Church in Egypt and 
that Egyptian Muslims will awaken to the fact that Islam is not the 
solution.


* NORTH KOREA: MILITARY GOING HUNGRY

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has obtained some very 
revealing film smuggled out of North Korea. The footage confirms: there is 
mass poverty, starvation and fear; there are scores of scavenging, 
homeless orphans whose parents have died either of starvation or in 
concentration camps; and work is being done by malnourished slave 
labourers. But the report also reveals something quite new: many uniformed 
soldiers are weak from hunger and malnutrition. See 
http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2011/s3253989.htm . This is significant 
because if the regime cannot sustain its 'military first' policy -- 
feeding its military to secure its loyalty -- then the regime's grip on 
power could be tenuous. Under the Kim regime, hundreds of thousands of 
Korean Christians suffer some of the most severe expressions of religious 
persecution known. See Religious Liberty Monitoring 
http://elizabethkendal.blogspot.com/ for more on North Korea. And please 
pray.  


* TAJIKISTAN: SEVERE RELIGIOUS RESTRICTIONS THREATENED

On 15 June Tajikistan's Lower House of Parliament approved a controversial 
Parental Responsibility Law. An initiative of President Emomali Rahmon, 
the law obliges parents 'not to let children-teenagers participate in the 
activity of religious organisations [other than funerals], with the 
exception of those officially enrolled in [State-sanctioned] religious 
education'. Penalties will apply. Also on 15 June the Lower House approved 
amendments to the Criminal Code that will extend punishments for 
'unapproved meetings' to unapproved religious meetings, and prescribe 
lengthy prison terms for those found participating in 'religious 
extremist' teaching. With the courts left to define 'extremist', observers 
fear that all unsanctioned religious education will be penalised. Before 
they can be enacted as law, the draft law and amendments need to be 
approved by the Upper House (Majlisi Milli) and signed by the President. 
Chair of the Lower House's Science, Education, Culture and Youth Policy 
Committee, Marhabo Jabborova, told Forum 18 she felt 'sure' the Parental 
Responsibility Law and the Criminal Code amendments would be adopted by 
the Upper House in July. Whilst Islamic sects considered to be dangerous 
are the target, Protestant Christians will be caught in the net, a detail 
the authorities will keenly exploit. Please pray for God's intervention.

Prayers

Prepare for our inheritance (7)

June 29th, 2011
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Scripture of the Day: 2Peter 3:10

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. (NIV)

One senses that this fiery imagery is exposing all that has been going on.

It reminds one of

1 Corinthians 3:10-15

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

In its context this is primarily about those involved in the work of God. But it shows that how we participate in what God is doing is going to be revealed and Paul himself uses the imagery of fire.

Message for the Day