Digging Deeper – April 12, 2019
FRIDAY, APRIL 12
“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.”
Luke 10:2-3 (NIV)
FAITH THAT SAVES IS RISKY
Joy and Lydia were studying at a boarding school in the Chibok region of Nigeria. On the night of April 14, 2014, their school was attacked by the Boko Haram—a rogue Islamic extremist group in Nigeria whose goal is to stop Christian and western education in the country. The insurgents kidnapped Joy and Lydia, along with several hundred other girls from the boarding school, loading them onto trucks at gunpoint. While the truck was driving off, Joy, Lydia, and several other girls jumped off the back of the truck and ran through the bush. They were picked up by a kind stranger and were driven back to their families in Chibok. With the help of a human rights group in Virginia, the Jubilee Campaign, Joy and Lydia and several other girls were able to come to the United States to finish high school and are now studying at different universities across America, including Southeastern University.
The truth is, persecution is more prevalent and geographically dispersed than any other time in history. Approximately 215 million Christians worldwide experience very high to extreme persecution. Newsweek reported in January 2018 that “the persecution and genocide of Christians across the world is worse today than at any time in history.” (Kent Ingle, Faith and Values)
When Jesus said, “I am sending you like lambs among wolves”, he was acknowledging the ferocity of the opposition that true followers of Christ would encounter. Even though most of us in the U.S. don’t face the threat of death because we claim to be followers of Christ there are still those here who harass, attack and persecute us at work, in our schools, in entertainment and even our own families.
The word “lambs” implies that a faith commitment can’t be compelled by force. This sets Christianity apart from other religions the are forced upon people. The word “lamb” also implies that we follow Jesus example. What does it look like for you to be a “lamb” in sharing your faith in your world?