A warrior stole through the field and into the woods. Slung across his shoulders was a quiver filled with the finest arrows. The arrows had been made by his own hand and fitted with the best feathers. Great care had been taken to ensure that every arrow was straight. The tips had been carefully set and honed to a razor-sharp edge. He put his hand up to the quiver and felt the fine, feathered tips. He felt good about the quality of arrows that he had. He remembered the many hours and even days he had spent on preparing his arrows. He even felt somewhat secure with so many top-quality arrows in his quiver.
This is a two-part series on understanding Islam and Muslims. This first article introduces their history, beliefs and lifestyle. The second will focus more on reaching Muslims. For the purpose of this article, please allow me to translate the Arabic term Allah into the English term God as it is used in the Arabic translation of the Bible. We will discuss the issue “Is Allah God?” in the next article. —Brother Wes
The second largest and fastest growing religion in the world is Islam. One out of every five people on earth is a Muslim. In a day and age of wide-scale economic trade, travel, and knowledge, the Muslim scene is coming to the forefront. There is much misunderstanding, misinformation, and even political propaganda regarding the subject.
A large part of Moravian history took place in 1727 when the original Moravian Church received a visitation of God’s Spirit. The Moravian Church today is very different than the one I found in the history books. Most of them have lost what they had in their beginning. Oh, the challenge this is to us, lest we also go the same way and lose the testimony of our sanctified name. God encourages us in Psalm 48 to keep looking at Zion, the church. “Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof” (v.12). That word tell means, “get a good long look at them.” “Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces.” Why? “That ye may tell it to the generation following” (v.13). Why? “For this God is our God for ever and ever. He will be our guide even unto death” (v.14). As I understand God’s heart in these verses, God is telling us that we should be looking back to see what Zion was like, to remember what God did in days gone by. As we bring that before our children, we recognize that the God of the Moravians is also our God today. We then can spur the next generation on to grow up dreaming dreams and seeing visions of beautiful things that God can do
"How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied.... and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light." Psalms 36:7-9
Greetings from our home to yours. It is our prayer, to be deeply satisfied in Jesus, drinking until we are fully filled from the river of pleasure, blessing and life that flows from Him! He is THE fountain of life; even life itself draws its meaning and purpose in the fact that He lives! Look at the words the psalmist uses to describe our fulfillment in God—abundantly satisfied. Those words make me think of filling a bucket at the base of Niagara Falls. You bring your bucket, no matter how big or how dry it is, and hold it up to the waterfall for just a minute. Instantly your bucket will be abundantly full and that abundance will be visible to all by the water streaming over the top of your bucket and cascading down the sides! Yes, abundantly satisfied.
And there were certain Greeks among them, that came up to worship at the feast: The same came to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. (John 12:20-22)
Greetings to all of you, dear ones in Christ, from our family here in the village of Bunbonayili. We are grateful for each of you and for the important role you continue to play in the work of God among the Konkomba tribe. It is our desire once again to begin writing more regularly, now that we have settled back into life among our people after our furlough there in the States earlier this year. We are praying that our contact with you in this way can bless and challenge you: bless you by hearing the ways that God is answering your prayers for our tribe, and challenge you through the unique perspective that we have living and ministering among a largely unreached people group. Please forgive the long period of silence from our pen (or computer), and come with us as we share some of the thoughts that God has laid on our hearts recently.
“…they are not just waiting—they are hungry and waiting.”
Greetings, dear brothers and sisters, in the name of Jesus, our Jesus. He is the one, and the only one who WILLINGLY gave up everything he had, because of his UNWILLINGNESS for one thing. He was not willing that any should perish! His position, rights, comforts, and very life were subservient to and were forfeited because of His desire that all would come to repentance. It is true that not every person alive then or now has been eager to accept Christ’s offer to repent and be saved. We must know, though, that when Jesus gave his life, he gave it so that ALL would have the opportunity to repent and believe in Him, thus grasping hold of eternal life! It is true that God’s foreknowledge comes into play here, and we respect the limits of our fallen humanity, but that in no way limits the fact that Christ died for all. It doesn’t take away from the fact that when Jesus hung on the cross He looked down through the ages with a heart that encompassed all of humanity both present and future, and that heart was unwilling that any should perish. Oh, how He loved us! May we love Him more, and as we come closer to His heart may we pick up His heartbeat and make it our own—NOT WILLING, NOT WILLING, NOT WILLING that any should perish! May we join Him in His passion by abandoning everything that would hinder us and by pouring our lives out in the pursuit of what He died to achieve; an open path to God for all of mankind. Oh, God, give me a holy stubbornness and a total unwillingness to see humanity rushing on toward hell when You gave Your life and by that gift totally purchased their redemption! I must do something, for my heart and conscience compel me. Only show me what to do and I will obey!
Years ago when Robert Moffat was in Africa, he traveled far into the interior. One day he came to a tree upon which a board was fixed, saying that a Christian school was to be found in a village not far away.
He was amazed, for he believed himself to be the first white man in that part. Making his way toward the village, he met a little native girl about twelve years of age, to whom he said: “I saw a board fastened to a tree saying that there was a Christian school held in the village; would you be so good to lead me to the teacher?”
The little girl hung her head shyly and made no reply.
Do you know the teacher?” he asked. She replied this time with a nod.
“Well who is the teacher? He persisted. Looking up into his face now, but still shyly, she answered, “I am the teacher.”
Mr. Moffat discovered that the little girl had once been taken to a distant tribe, where she heard a missionary tell the people of the love of Jesus; and she had now become the first missionary to her own people.
Greetings to all of you, dear brothers and sisters in Christ from our little house in Bunbonayili. Trust that all is well with you in heart and soul and that you have entered the new year with a heart full, not of New Year’s resolutions, but of the Holy Spirit! If we would be more resolute about maintaining our walk in grace, I think most of our resolutions would be unnecessary. I do not have any major new determinations for this year, but I am setting myself and yielding my heart afresh to walk with Jesus on a daily basis. Maybe one of the reasons so many are disappointed in their ability to fulfill their New Year’s promises is that they are made too far into the future. God’s commands are almost always given for us to obey in the present time, and as we obey what is set before us now, we are blessed now!
I am reminded of the song/chorus which says: “Moment by moment I’m kept in His love; moment by moment I’ve life from above. Looking to Jesus ‘til glory doth shine; moment by moment, O Lord, I am thine.” Let’s walk with Him totally and truly right now, in this moment of time, and just trust that as we walk with Him, He will do in us all that is necessary to ensure our future walking with Him. A clear and free relationship with Jesus today is all that God asks of us, and truly, nothing we could do would better prepare us for walking with Him in the future than to be 100% yielded and clear before Him now. Do not allow the fear of future failure to limit the heights to which your relationship with Him could soar now in this moment, “for He is faithful that has promised.” In this new year, filled with spiritual and physical uncertainties, let’s set our hearts to walk with Him just for this day, and then give it our best grace-enabled effort! Out of the close relationship that will result will come a tremendous motivation to stay close, and a deep security for our spiritual future.
“Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Genesis 16:11-12
The Land of War
No words can better describe the land of Afghanistan. Since 500 BC, men have fought, bled, and died in the land of Afghanistan. The terrors of war have continued unabated for 2500 years. The results of these prolonged conflicts: a barren, impoverished land filled with disease and heartache. The area has seen numerous international invaders—Persian, Mongolian, and Indian. It has endured the armies of Great Britain and the Soviet Union. Domestic strife and civil war have filled the years between foreign conflicts.