TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, May 28, 2018:
To be subject to harassing or cruel treatment because of religion, race or belief; oppress.
When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion (Jerusalem), we were like those who dream (it seemed so unreal). Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with joyful shouting; then they said among the nations, the Lord has done great things for us; We are glad!
Psalm 126:1-3 Amplified version.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
It was 18 days ago about 2 A.M. in Washington D.C. that several airlines arrived. One airplane carried America’s secretary of State and his staff and the second one was equipped with medical equipment and carried a medical staff and three United States citizens who had just been released from their prison time of hard labor in North Korea.
One of these gentlemen was an ordained evangelical minister and another one stated he was a Christian missionary. In North Korea they had secular jobs. This included teaching accounting and business and one gentleman was an agricultural expert. Two of them taught at a university in Pyongyang that was founded with donations from Christian groups. They were there to help the poor and to share through their actions the good news of their Lord and Savior.
Like it happens in today’s world in so many places they were arrested and imprisoned for what North Korea called hostile acts but no doubt they became suspect because of their faith in the Lord. Christians are persecuted today under most communist regimes.
We cannot begin to imagine what they went through in prison but we can imagine how long and hard their families were praying for them.
That night when they arrived in Washington D.C and had landed they were met by President Trump and Vice President Pence and their wives. They showed great gratitude to them for their role in obtaining their release from captivity
One of the gentlemen who evidently knew of the faith of Vice president Pence, handed him a note on a torn piece of paper with the three scripture verses that are given above from Psalms 126:1-3.
The theme of this Psalm is that God does great things. Government officials can be credited with the three captives release but they were just instruments used by God to perform God’s will in answer to prayer.
These three verses speak for themselves as to how these three ex-prisoners felt about their return from captivity but also about their Lord.
We are living in a cruel and evil world. So many wonderful Christians are standing firm and strong in their faith in spite of the risk of being punished, imprisoned or even martyred. Today we ask you to join us and pray for Christians around the world who are at this moment in captivity and suffering persecution for their faith. God does great things and we give Him the glory.
Our memory verse for this week is found in I Thessalonians 5:21-22.
Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
Our prayer today is for everyone that reads these devotionals to be led by You, dear Lord to pray daily for Christians around the world to be protected from persecution. May the faith shown by these three released prisoners inspire us as believers to be faithful witnesses for our Lord no matter what our circumstances.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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