Daily Devotional for Friday January 31, 2020

A true hero for Christ!!!

(Acts 7:54-6; 8:1)

***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Dear Lord, please watch over me and my family today. There is much evil in this world, and I ask that You protect us throughout this day. You are our strength and our protector oh Lord. We walk each step by Your grace and mercy. In Your precious name I pray...AMEN!

***THE DAILY LIVEPRAYER TV NUGGET: Please be in prayer for the “coronavirus” that is now considered an international emergency. More deaths are being reported each day. The active cases in China and around the world are growing exponentially. We are on the verge of seeing a potential worldwide epidemic that could take hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of live around the world. At the same time, there is a plague of locusts in Africa that is growing and said to be of “Biblical proportions.” I do my best to keep people from panicking and these types of events in the proper perspective. Trust me, when any of these visitations are upon us, I remind people that when events occur as we read in the Book of Revelations you won’t need to be told it is of “Biblical proportions.” I view these current tragedies as warnings, as signs from God to turn back to Him and His Truth. If in the midst of such tragedies man’s heart is so hard that he refuses to bend his knee to God, than he deserves the full wrath and punishment of God. May we ignore God’s warnings at our own peril with only ourselves to blame for what befalls us!

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A true hero for Christ! Lawan Andimi was a Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) pastor in the troubled northeastern state of Adamawa. It is an area under siege by the Muslim terror group Boko Haram. As Muslims have during their 1400 year existence, they are persecuting Christians in Nigeria. In addition to simply killing Believers, they have been targeting them for kidnapping as a way to generate money.

Pastor Andimi was a kidnap victim, and as was the practice he was forced to make a video to plead for his life in exchange for money. However, Pastor Andimi used those precious moments to plead for his life to instead state, “By the grace of God, I will be together with my wife, my children, and my colleagues. [But] if the opportunity has not been granted, maybe it is the will of God. Be patient, don’t cry, don’t worry. But thank God for everything.”

This was completely different from most hostage videos since it was a testimony to his Islamist captors as much as a message to his family. Pastor Andimi appeared at total peace and as one who had already conquered death, saying to his abductors, his family, and all who would see that video that he was ready to die for his faith in Christ!

It was very soon after the video was released that Pastor Andimi’s Muslim captors demanded he renounce his faith in Jesus or be beheaded. The pastor refused and he was martyred for his faith in Christ. As is their custom, Boko Haram released a video of the execution of Pastor Andimi as a warning to other Christians that they too will be persecuted, even unto death for simply being a follower of Jesus Christ!

Right before he died, the Word tells us that Stephen cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Now, most people would have been cursing those who were unjustly killing them, or pleading for their life, or even cursing God for allowing such injustice. But with Stephen’s last breath he was asking God to forgive those who were killing him. I don’t have any evidence, but based on what is known about the faith of this obscure pastor in Nigeria, I have ZERO DOUBT he also asked the Lord to forgive his captors and those who carried out his execution!

Who else did that? Of course, it was Jesus, on the cross just moments before He died asking God to forgive those who were crucifying Him. Jesus was proud of Stephen because he acted like the Master! I know Jesus was proud of Pastor Andimi. My challenge to you today is to make it your goal for Jesus to be proud of you! It is very unlikely you will be martyred for your faith as Steven and Pastor Andimi were, but you make Jesus proud of you by acting like our Lord!!!

I love you and care about you so much. I don’t know about you, but the account of Pastor Andimi’s martyrdom challenges me. You see, my goal each day is to try to be more like Jesus. I never forget for a minute what Jesus did for me and what He has brought me through. I serve Him because I love Him. I serve Him because I want to please Him. I serve Him because I want Him to be proud of me. I serve Him because all of those years I served myself He never left me. I serve Him because all of those times I rejected Him He never rejected me. I serve Him because when I had nowhere else to turn He was there for me.

I serve Him because I was once blind but now I see. I serve Him because I was once bound by sin but now I am free. I serve Him because it is not me that lives, yea it is Christ that lives in me. I don’t live for earthly rewards but for Heavenly crowns. I don’t live to please man but to please the Master. I don’t care about the applause of people only the cheers of the angels in Heaven. My greatest desire when my life is over is to see Jesus STANDING and hear Him say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant” just like Jesus stood to welcome into Glory his servant’s Steven and Pastor Andimi.

I will be praying for you today. Praying that you will take this challenge to make Jesus proud of you by acting like Him. Praying that your ultimate goal in life is to please our Lord and that like He did for Pastor Andimi, have Jesus STAND and welcome you into Glory!!

In His love and service,

Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller