Jesus > ISIS

isisEarly this morning news broke that ISIS had martyred 21 of our Egyptian brothers in Christ in Libya, purely because they were ‘people of the cross’. Today, we stand as one with the Coptic church. We weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). They stood true to their faith in Christ, refusing to reject Him, refusing to renounce Him. And for that they paid the highest price. They were martyred by barbaric savages who are hostile to the Gospel that brings hope, peace and love. But they have overcome. “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.Revelation 12:11. Death cannot hold them, for they knew that to live was Christ and to die was gain. Today we mourn with their families, with the much persecuted  Coptic church. But today we have hope, for death is not the end for believers. There is a crown of life waiting for them, for they finished the race and ran with endurance, though there were huge trials, incredible challenges and unimaginable suffering. They knew that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. Ultimately the victory is Jesus. The enemies of the cross will not have the last word. For Jesus is greater. In that we can have hope in the midst of tragedy. In the midst of suffering. In the midst of persecution.
So today we pray. We give thanks for the faithful testimony of the saints who have conquered by the blood of the Lamb. For the lives of
Milad Makin Zaki
Abanub Ayyad Atiyah
Majid Sulayman Shihatah
Yusuf Shukri Yunan
Carlos Bushra Fawzi
Bishoy Astafnus Kamil
Suma’ili Astafnus Kamil
Malak Ibrahim Sanyut
Tawadaros Yusuf Tawadaros
Jirjis Milad Sanyut
Mina Sayyid Aziz
Hani Abd-al-Masih Salib
Bishoy Adil Khalaf
Samuel Alham Wilson
Izzat Bushra Nasif
Luqa Najati Wanis
Isam Bidar Samir
Malak Farraj Abram
Samih Salah Faruq
Jabir Munir Adli
 
For the familes and churches they leave behind, we pray. We pray they would be strengthened and encouraged to stand firm. For believers around the world under attack we pray for strength and courage to stand fast and trust God always. For believers living in safety and shelter we pray for courage to take risk for the sake of the gospel and not just keep ourselves safe. And for the masked men in black we pray, We pray that their eyes may be opened. That the scales would fall. That they would hear, as Saul did, the cry from Christ “Why are you persecuting me” before it is too late and would come to repent of the sinful atrocity they have committed. Lord, in the midst of shocking tragedy we pray, for that is all we can do, and we know you hear our prayers.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them” Romans 12:14

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