The Independence Day holiday is fast approaching in America. Millions will celebrate with fun times at the lake, big cookouts, and evening fireworks. It is a time to remember our gratitude toward those who have served in order to maintain the freedom we celebrate.
In America, we have enjoyed freedom for so long it can be hard to imagine life without it. However, there are many of our fellow Christians who know that misery too well. This year I want to celebrate my freedom by using it to pray for those who do not enjoy the same privileges. The following is a quote from the Christmas letter of one such person. Pastor Saeed has been imprisoned in Iran since mid-2012.
Dear sisters and brothers, the fact of the Gospel is that it is not only the story of Jesus, but it is the key of how we are to live and serve like Jesus. Today we like Him should come out of our safe comfort zone in order to proclaim the Word of Life and Salvation though faith in Jesus Christ and the penalty of sin that He paid on the cross and to proclaim His resurrection. We should be able to tolerate the cold, the difficulties and the shame in order to serve God. We should be able to enter into the pain of the cold dark world. Then we are able to give the fiery love of Christ to the cold wintery manger of those who are spiritually dead. – From Pastor Saeed Abedini’s Christmas letter 2014, as posted on ACLJ.com.
Pastor Saeed’s focus on those who are spiritually bound in the midst of his great physical suffering is inspiring. I am deeply thankful to be an American, to be free, and that I belong to Jesus. I want to lift in prayer those without political freedom and especially those who are without salvation in Jesus – the only true freedom.
Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also. – Hebrews 13:3 (NKJV)
Posted on Mon, June 29, 2015
by Shawnna Casazza