The God that created you has also ordained moments of service and ministry for you.
This past Sunday we had the privilege of hearing from Dr. Ajai Lall about the work of Central India Christian Mission (CICM). We were challenged by the faith and perseverance of our brothers and sisters in India who face persecution on a regular basis and have to daily make decisions about whether or not they will obey in faith.
Ajai shared from Mark 2 and the four types of people in the story of the paralytic. His words were both convicting and encouraging as we consider our attitudes towards others and whether or not we are truly willing to share the hope of Christ with others.
So what do we do now? How do we as Christians in Oronogo continue to support and encourage the church in India? How do we take Ajai’s exhortation and put our faith into action in our own community?
Let me suggest a few ways:
Pray. It gets thrown into the cliché pile too often. It is in fact one of the most impactful and powerful things we can do as believers. When we stop and talk to our heavenly Father and ask for his protection, encouragement and guidance for our brothers and sisters, we are joining them in a profound way. Our prayers might actually be the most effective tool we have to support the Indian church. Consider setting aside a time each day to pray, even for just a few moments, for CICM. You can set a reminder in your phone or even download the app Echo which lets you set times to be reminded to pray. For more ideas on how to pray for India, check out http://www.operationworld.org/country/indi/owtext.html
Another option with prayer is to sign up for our daily prayer email. Each day we send out a brief prayer item from one of our impact partners. It’s a simple way to learn more about who we support and how you can pray for them each day.
November 1st is actually the international day of prayer for the persecuted church. Consider setting aside time during that day to join others around the world in prayer. You can find more information at http://www.persecution.com/idop.
Study. Look at what God’s word has to say. I’d suggest starting with a book like 1 Peter that was written to the persecuted church. Read slowly through this short book from the perspective of what we heard about the church in India. Find ways to better pray for them from this study and see what God has to say to you through this inspired book.
Learn more about what is happening around the world. Take a challenge to learn more from what you can find out from sources other than the nightly news or Facebook. Check out a site like Voice of the Martyrs.
You could also check out Ajai’s book in our Connection Center and read more about what God is doing through CICM and ways that you can pray or be involved with their ministry.
Make it local. How did what we learned about those who are persecuted for their faith change how we live here in the 4 State area? Consider doing an inventory of those in your life and neighborhood—who are those that you can serve or bring to the feet of Jesus? Maybe consider attending the informational meeting on Foster and Adoptive care at Christ’s Church on November 8th and seeing how you can be involved in the support of children in our own community.
There are numerous ways through Right Here Right Now, serving International Students, Foster Care and serving here at Christ’s Church that you can put your own faith in action.
Just as Mark said at the end of each service on Sunday, we could give you ideas on how to respond or give you the exact next steps. However, the very best option is to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to guide your steps. When we submit our lives to God and ask his Spirit to guide us, he opens doors we may have never considered. Remember that the God that created you has also ordained moments of service and ministry for you. If you feel God opening your heart to a specific thing or want to find more ways to respond, we at Christ’s Church would love to serve you as you pray and listen. My prayer for each of us at Christ’s Church is that we would seize the opportunity to put our faith in action, to see that it is in both the receiving and giving of God’s love that His church is made strong and His kingdom is advanced.