Tonight, I have to share something that is heavy on my heart. This weekend, 21 Egyptian Christians were beheaded for their faith. Their deaths fill me both with sorrow and joy. Sorrow at the evil in the world, sorrow at the loss of my brothers, sorrow for the pain felt by their families. But joy, too - joy that these men "of whom the world was not worthy" (Heb 11:38) have gone home to our Father. Their lives on earth have been ended, but death has NOT won. Though they died, they have overcome "because of the blood of the Lamb & because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death." (Rev.12:11)
I am heart broken when I think of their sacrifice, because I know I have sacrificed so little in comparison. Their faith cost them literally everything they had, down to the very breath in their lungs. And what has mine cost me? I have suffered so little, sacrificed so little, surrendered so little.
American Christianity looks so often like my own. No suffering, no sacrificing, no surrender. We give what we have left over, and keep the rest for ourselves. I wonder - do we truly know the reality of the world that is beyond our insulated Christian huddles?
86% of of the world's Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus have never personally met a Christian.
2/3 of the world's population has restricted access to hearing about Jesus.
1/3 of the world's population has NEVER had the opportunity to hear the Gospel.
Less than 5% of all money given to churches in the U.S. goes to fund cross-cultural missions. Only 0.1% of that goes towards efforts in the most unevangelized countries of the world.
This breaks my heart. I have to wonder - if we don't care about 2/3 of the world's population, do we really even care at all? If we don't care about 2/3 of the people God has created, do we really care about God, either? Do we really care about anyone beside ourselves?
There is still time for those who haven't heard about Jesus, but they don't have forever. Do you feel the urgency? Do you care?
Lord, help us to move beyond the things of this world that enthrall us so much that we're blinded to those around us. Open our eyes, open our hearts, and help us to see like you see.