Monthly Archives: April 2014

God revealed in Libya

I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me;
I was found by those who did not seek me.
To a nation that did not call on my name,
I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’
—Isaiah 65:1

How can we pray for Libya?

Lord, we ask that You reveal Yourself to the nation of Libya. Lord they are not seeking You, they are not asking for You, but Lord we are asking on their behalf that You may be found by them. Lord, You are there, You are there, You can be found by them and we are asking that in ever increasing numbers You would be found by the people of Libya. May the work of what Your Son did on the cross be found by them. Lord bring repentance that draws them into Your very presence and Kingdom. Have mercy, Lord. May many find you and step into Your Kingdom. For the sake of your glory and fame! Amen!

Jesus, we ask you to strengthen the workers and believers in Mauritania today. We specially ask for expat workers that are new to Mauritania that you would help them in their time of transition and settling into this country. Help them with language learning. Encourage them today.

Father, we lift up the house church pastors in Morocco today. We ask that you would speak into their lives and direct their paths. May they know what is on Your heart for Morocco. Give them a passion for bringing Moroccan believers together for worship, prayer, teaching and fellowship. Give them a vision for reaching Morocco with your Gospel.

sheep and shepherd

The Good Shepherd – Part 2

“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them. 
—John 10:1-6

According to the requirements of a good shepherd in Ezekiel 34 a shepherd needs to:

  • care for the sheep
  • strengthen the weak ones
  • heal the sick sheep
  • bind up the injured ones
  • bring back the stray sheep and
  • search for the lost ones.

See The Good Shepherd – Part 1

None of these requirements can be met if the shepherd, spiritual leader or pastor does not have compassion. The word means to have mercy or pity or to have a feeling of suffering with another from your inward parts. In Matthew 9:36 Jesus felt compassion towards the crowds as they appeared helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He consistently throughout his life displayed that compassion.

I while ago, you might have read how Jesus, the Shepherd of all shepherds, cares for the sheep by being with them and guiding them to the greenest pastures. Let us now also look into the how he strengthens the weak sheep.

He Strengthens the Weak Sheep

In various scriptures, we as His sheep are invited to come to Him when we are weary and not try to battle on by ourselves. (Mat.11:28) He promises to give strength to the weak so they can run and not grow tired. (Is 40:29-31) The Lord never stops to amaze me how He just arrives at the perfect time with the perfect assistance and strengthening! Even when you run away from Him, he comes to you!!

Jacob runs away from his angry brother after he betrayed him by receiving the blessing form his father, Isaac. He arrived in Bethel, put some stones under his head and fell asleep. I cannot imagine how uncomfortable this must have been!! After an emotional and fearful time, he sleeps in the field with his head on a stone! And the Lord gave him an amazing dream and promised to be with him, watch over him and that he will bring him back to his homeland. What a major moral boost!! (Gen. 28:10-20)

After the Israelites left Egypt and trekked through the desert, a hostile, harsh environment, and bitter water, the Lord brought them to the oasis of Elim where there ‘were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.’(Ex 15:27) How wonderful it must have been to camp at an oasis after being thirsty, tired and weakened!
Then there was Elijah, tired and depressed of being persecuted by Ahab and Jezebel and actually cried out: ‘I have had enough, Lord. Take my life.’ (1 Kings 19:1-9) While he was asleep, the Lord sent an angel to wake him up and give him food to eat. He actually regained enough strength to travel for 40 days to Mount Horeb!

In the New Testament we read how Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. Rejected by the village woman for her perverse lifestyle, she arrives alone in the heat of day to draw water. Jesus addressed her deepest needs by giving her ëliving waterí and instantaneously she changed from being a loner to an evangelist!

The Lord time and again strengthened the apostle Paul when he was vulnerable and physically weak, sometimes through a dream, sometimes by sending an angel or sometimes by sending somebody to assist or comfort him. Blinded, just after his conversion, the Lord sent Ananias to assist him and meet the other disciples. (Acts 9) In Philippi, the jailer washed his and Silas’ wounds (Acts 16: 31) On his way to stand trial in Rome, a severe storm occurred and those on board the ship feared for their lives, an angel came to comfort and strengthen him. After the ship ran aground on the island, Malta, meaning, ‘refuge’, the islanders showed unusual kindness. (Acts 28:2)

The list goes on and on! He promised:
“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” (Jeremiah 31:25) With this promise, all the weak sheep will be able to say like Paul: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:13)

Next time: Jesus heals the sick sheep..

 

Libya Jihadists Hold Tunisian Diplomat

BY ESSAM MOHAMED ON 21 APRIL 2014:

“There are no signs of any arrests. I feel that the government fears them, which is also a dangerous indicator and the fingerprints are clearly those of Islamist militants as they demand the release of their colleagues,” he added.

Tripoli University student Alaa Fathi said: “We want security and stability to prevail. Abduction of both foreigners and Libyans is a crime no matter the motives. We must strike with an iron fist those who commit these acts.”

I’ve been trying to find some followup on the situation (regrettably I’m posting this a little late), and I can’t find anything. Pray for Libya, pray for the release of the current hostages (searching the net suggests that there’s a lot of them in Libya right now), pray for strength for the families affected.

Christ has Risen

image

Carved on the wall of the Cave Church on the garbage dump in Cairo Egypt, is a huge tomb-stone, rolled away, and written on top are the words from Matthew 28:

He is not here, He has risen, just as He said.

Profound words that have echoed through the centuries proclaiming He has Risen! Just as He said!

As we have just celebrated Easter across the world, remember to pray for Egypt and the rest of North Africa, that the truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection will penetrate people’s hearts. Ask God for softened hearts, ready to hear and receive the Truth. Ask God for divine appointments between workers and genuine seekers. Praise God for His great love for all the people of North Africa. Praise Him that He died and came back to life in order to bring eternal life to North Africa.

Christ has risen! He has risen indeed!

It is our desire that the nation of Libya will be able to feast on the abundance of your house. With you is the fountain free fountain of life! (Ps 36:8-9; Is 55:1)

To the Church in Egypt:

since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
—Colossians 1:9-14

Father, we ask that you direct the hearts of the political leaders like a watercourse, where you please. May your Kingdom come and your will be done in Tunisia. (Prov. 21:1)

Lord, we pray for the safety of the Algerian Church leaders. We pray that you would protect them from harm. We pray Holy Spirit that you would guide them in the words they speak and the actions they take. We pray that they would have boldness for your name!