For many Texas Baptists yesterday began a week of prayer for our state and a time of giving through the Mary Hill Davis Offering for Texas Missions.
As I focus my praying on 11 million in Texas who do not know Jesus I’ve been confronted with the reality of what it costs many to name the name of Christ. Two weeks ago a new believer was beaten with a baseball bat by 5 men who broke into his apartment. They tore the cross off the apartment door and ripped the chain from his neck that held a cross. The motive? Following Jesus.
Our brother is recovering from his wounds but has been warned to be careful. He has placed the cross back on his door and says that he is not afraid because he has Jesus. He says that even if he loses his life, he will be with Jesus and he finds peace in that knowledge. His testimony is this, “I am not afraid.”
We hear about this kind of thing happening in other places around the world but this incident happened in West Texas. This kind of thing happens in our state? Yes! Other stories have come of Christ followers who live in Texas whose lives have been theatened because they follow Christ and declare their belief in Him.
This has put a different persective in place for me as I pray for our state. God is at work and as we become serious about sharing Jesus with “folks within their own language and context” (words of Randel Everett) may we be aware of what it will cost.
Yes, the economy is not great but God still commands us to give. Yes, our world is not a safe place but God still calls us to go. Yes, we will encounter opposition to the message but God says “greater is the one is in you than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4, NIV).
If our gifts, our prayers, our lives are the message delivered to Texans, what will they know about our God? I pray they will know that He is loving, generous, and compassionate toward all He has made. May we count the cost and know it is worth it to follow Jesus.