Wednesday, November 07, 2007

There is Hope

This week I am, if the Lord grants it, going to be preaching from the book of the prophet Zephaniah. Another in the series of Minor Prophets who declare the message of God's wrath upon the nations. At first read all seems bleak, without hope. but sprinkled within the words of condemnation and coming wrath are reminders of hope for those who will repent and trust in the LORD.

The prophets words are a reminder to me that even though all may seem lost there is hope. It is an important reminder for all of us who have responded to God's gracious call. It is a reminder of hope especially to those who are persecuted for their faith. These brothers and sisters may feel that they are in the midst of the "great and awesome day of the LORD," of which Zephaniah writes. These family members of ours, need to hear again the good news of God's love for them. A news which the prophet proclaims.

Sunday November 11th as been set aside as the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. (There are numerous organizations and websites dealing with this special day.) It is a day that we not only remember them in prayer and giving, but that we ask the Holy Spirit to burn these brothers and sisters upon our hearts so that we will not forget to uphold them throughout the year.

There are many issues for prayer, but I encourage you to take the words of the prophet Zephaniah, and pray that their truth would be known in the hearts of our family as they are persecuted because of their love for our Lord. Join me in praying from Zephaniah 3:14-17, and may the Word of God bring hope to your heart as well.

14 Sing, O Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O Daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The LORD has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The LORD, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm.
16 On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands hang limp.
17 The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Amen and Amen!

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