Persecution

Day of the Christian Martyr

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June 29th is the anniversary of the Apostle Paul’s martyrdom according to church tradition. To remember the many who have lost their lives for the cause of Christ, Voice of the Martyrs honors a martyr each year by telling their incredible story.

Most of these martyrs will never get talked about on any news media. They aren’t Christian celebrities. Many are missionaries who have laid down their lives because of their love of Jesus.

This year Voice of the Martyrs is honoring Rocio Pino. In 2011 Rocio was gunned down by Marxist Guerrillas on the doorstep of her house. She left behind a husband and two daughters. Rocio’s family lived in Columbia’s Guerrilla controlled Red Zone. Rocio faithfully shared the love of Christ with the Guerrillas.

“All who come here will hear about Christ.” Rocio Pino

Learn more about Rocio’s story and many other honored martyrs at Voice of the Martyrs. Click on the link to register and Voice of the Martyrs will send you all kinds of resources including prayer slides, discussion guides, and short videos all related to Day of the Christian Martyr. https://www.persecution.com/martyr/?_source_code=EM21F8

Around the world, more than 340 million Christians live in places where they experience high levels of persecution, just for following Jesus. That’s 1 in 8 believers, worldwide. (Open Doors USA)

An average of 13 Christians killed every day. That’s nearly 400 Christians dying every month. Just because they follow Jesus. (Open Doors USA)

May we always remember the persecuted church, our brothers and sisters in Christ, in our daily prayers.

Today we honor the martyrs. We are grateful and inspired by their faith, dedication, and love for Jesus and others. God bless their legacy and the families they left behind. God will keep blessing the advancement of the Kingdom until the return of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Love you all,

Meghan

Link to Open Doors USA. They support persecuted believers in more than 60 countries.

Link to Voice of the Martyrs. They serve persecuted Christians around the world.

https://www.persecution.com

Faith, Jesus

The Widow’s Offering

I had a moment the other day. A moment of feeling less than. I usually try to keep my eyes on God, and just focus on what is in front of me. In my weakness, I looked around and saw everything that I wasn’t. Lord, how am I going to do what you’ve called me to do? I don’t have some huge sphere of influence. I don’t have thousands or millions of followers. I will never be that. My gifts are small.

Immediately the Holy Spirit said, “The Widow’s Offering”. I knew exactly what that meant. Right away I pictured a woman with two coins in her hand giving her small offering. This is not a Bible story I have read recently. I’ve never even given it much thought until now.

The Widow’s Offering

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Mark 12:41-44, NIV

When Jesus was watching all the people leave their temple offerings, He knew each person’s heart. Jesus knew how much money each one gave and why. Jesus noticed what no one else did. While everyone was probably looking at the wealthy throw their money into the temple treasury, Jesus noticed the widow. 

The wealthy were impressive with their large amounts of money being deposited. It made a lot of noise as it went into the box, and made them look great. But Jesus paid close attention to the widow, not to the wealthy. That does not mean the wealthy do not matter. In that instance the widow stood out. Her offering was everything she had. When the widow dropped those two coins in, only Jesus noticed.

Why?

Because Jesus knew what she gave and He knew her heart. She was poor and a widow. That’s a double whammy in that world. Yet, with everything against her, the widow gave her two small coins. The widow had great faith, so much so that Jesus said, “she put more in the treasury than all the others.”

God always sees what we do not. The widow’s tiny offering was counted as more than all the others. She gave sacrificially, out of love. The wealthy were giving out of ease and obligation. It was no real sacrifice to throw in large amounts of money. 

The widow had big faith. She could have easily held on to her last two coins, but she didn’t. She gave her best. The widow gave it all to God. She trusted God to take her insignificant offering and do something great with it. 

I want the faith of the widow. So many times I take my two small coins, shine them up, and hand them to Jesus. He never turns them away. Then there are days and moments, like I had the other day, where I doubt myself. I doubt that God can use my tiny offerings of my writing, my prayers, my time. I drop my coins in thinking they are unnoticed. 

What I consider a meager gift is seen as a treasure in God’s eyes. He knows our motives. He knows our hearts. He also knows what abilities, and resources we’ve got. He gives to each of us differently. My best for God may look completely different than yours. 

The widow was a woman in need, yet she gave God everything. I want to give God my best. No matter how small that may look. No matter if all I’ve got to give Him is two small coins. I want to give God my best when it’s all I have left.  

God will take what looks like not enough and make something beautiful. 

Love you all,

Meghan 

 

Father God,

Thank you that you see things we cannot. Help us all to give you the best of our time, our money, our gifts and talents. May we glorify you in all that we do. Take our best, even if it’s two small coins and make it something great in your Kingdom.

Amen

 

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