Into the darkness

Our world is insane. The people in it really need Jesus. And, that is not an exaggeration.

It is tempting to get angry at our corner of the world and those who seem to hold sway over her culture. But, anger does little good. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have righteous indignation, but to be angry at a culture that is as it is because of a disconnect with its God is like cursing the night for being dark.

If you agree (and you may not) that culture has turned a sad corner, remember, it is only lostness acting like lostness. But lostness is spiritual darkness. Darkness is transformed by the Light.

We grieve the lostness in our own nation, and for the nations, but we don’t grieve enough for the lostness that may be next door. We should not remember one and forget the other, but we should pray for both. We may be moved to speak to our neighbor, but we can’t go to many of the dark places of the world and speak. What we can do for those far and near is pray.

Those groups around the world that have no one trying to reach them with the Gospel are termed, Unengaged People Groups. I heard today that the number of unengaged people groups combine for a population of 350,000,000. That is close to the population of the US. That is entire groups who have little clue of the story of Jesus, if any clue at all and no one trying to tell them.

As our world population approaches 7.5 billion people, we know that a vast majority of them are without Christ. General statistics say that around 32% of the world is Christian (and that does NOT mean they have a relationship with Jesus, but they identify either spiritually or culturally as Christian) so the most generous numbers would still leave over 5 billion people lost. And, I believe it is much higher than that. Fortunately, there are many people groups who have recently been engaged with the claims of Christ and we are thankful for those who are going and telling.

There is, in addition, someone close to you who, though living in a city with a multitude of churches, still doesn’t understand the real story of Jesus.

And, so today, I want to ask you to pray for two situations. First, here is a recent prayer request posted on our International Mission Board’s site. Read it and as you do pray for this group. After you read this, I have one more request for you.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN UNENGAGED PEOPLES – The Glio is a small group of people located near the border of Liberia. Just across the border in Cote d’Ivoire, people of the same group are called the Oubi. The Glio reside in six small towns in an area dense with trees, vines, and thick brush, where travel is usually done only on foot. It is difficult to see a road when traveling into the Glio area. Even where a road can be seen, often the way must first be cleared of fallen trees and brush before a vehicle can pass through. African traditional beliefs are strong among the people, and many Glio have taboos against eating certain plants or animals. It is believed that these plants or animals have protected them in some way in the past (for example, by impeding the progress of an enemy that was coming to attack them). Therefore, the plant or animal is seen as a member or ancestor of the family. Witchcraft is also practiced. The people know that God exists, but they do not understand basic biblical principles and do not know Jesus. The Glio have asked for prayer for community development in their area–good roads, bridges, schools, clinics–so they will not be so isolated. While such development is needed, the development of their hearts toward Jesus is the most important need they have. Please pray for the Glio to hear about, understand, and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
http://prayerthreads.imb.org

You have read about and prayed for the Glio. Now, who is the closest person to you who is far from Jesus? A next door neighbor? A work associate? A classmate? An acquaintance? A family member or a friend? Think of that person and pray for them that they might hear clearly in a way they can understand, the message of Jesus.

Read this (daily Bible reading):
Luke 20
27   Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came up and questioned Him: 28 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother has a wife, and dies childless, his brother should take the wife and produce offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife and died without children. 30 Also the second 31 and the third took her. In the same way, all seven died and left no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For all seven had married her.”

34   Jesus told them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are counted worthy to take part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 For they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are sons of God, since they are sons of the resurrection. 37 Moses even indicated in the passage about the burning bush that the dead are raised, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. 38 He is not God of the dead but of the living, because all are living to Him.”

39   Some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, You have spoken well.” 40 And they no longer dared to ask Him anything.

41   Then He said to them, “How can they say that the Messiah is the Son of David? 42 For David himself says in the Book of Psalms:

The Lord declared to my Lord,
‘Sit at My right hand
43      until I make Your enemies Your footstool.’

44   David calls Him ‘Lord’; how then can the Messiah be his Son?”

45   While all the people were listening, He said to His disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes and who love greetings in the marketplaces, the front seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ houses and say long prayers just for show. These will receive greater punishment.”

One prayer to pray with the rest of us. 
(included in today’s email above)

Today’s assignment, should you choose to accept it.
Consider how you can do more than pray for the spiritual darkness on the other side of the globe and on the other side of your street.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Used by Permission HCSB ©1999,2000,2002,2003,2009 Holman Bible Publishers. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.