“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” - Matthew 5:16
During the past few weeks - like you, no doubt - I’ve been standing outside my house on a Thursday to clap for carers in the midst of this Covid-19 crisis. But right now, I want to lead the applause for all who support our persecuted family. Your prayers, gifts and advocacy have kept them going through the hardest of times helping them to stand strong, defy persecution and keep sharing Jesus.
This year is set to be even more of a challenge for Christians who are vulnerable due to poverty, discrimination, and isolation. But our God is the God of the impossible and He shows Himself most magnificent when the odds are ridiculously long. And this is an opportunity for the church to step up, and for God to achieve remarkable things as we show what it is to follow Jesus. Walking by faith not by sight. Sharing, not hoarding. Responding, not looking away.
I am like most people in that when my resources are scarce, I want to reserve them. But it is at these moments that God challenges me most. Can I give out of what I have because, like the widow of Zarephath, because I know there is more where that came from?
Once again, the persecuted church is our model for this kind of generosity. I am encouraged and humbled by the example of Akash*, an Open Doors partner who says: “This is the opportunity Christians have to be salt and light. We are so glad that the Christians are helping their communities which once rejected them and that we, Open Doors partners, could contribute to it.” Such faith deserves our applause. Let’s give them a standing ovation – and pray that people ‘will see their good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven’.
With love from all of us at Open Doors,