Fundamentalist Muslim groups plague the earth. Even so, Jesus loves them.
“And Saul approved of his [Stephen’s] execution” (Acts 8:1 ESV).
Saul/Paul was a notorious persecutor of Christians. So much so that Ananias, when he was asked by the Lord to go to Saul answered, “Lord I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem” (Acts 9:13 ESV). Ananias was frightened of this fundamentalist.
And yet, the Lord met Saul where he was and changed him into the person who would write more of the New Testament than any other person, the passionate follower of Christ who planted churches and gave us deep theology of redemption. This assassin turned into a martyr.
Today, fundamentalist Muslim groups plague the earth. They kidnap little girls, they hunt down believers, they burn down churches. They murder, torment, and cause terror around the world. They are called our enemies.
And yet, Jesus loves them deeply. He longs for a relationship with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, and with Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram. Yes, these men, and those they lead, have committed horrible acts. And Jesus can still redeem them.
What better way is there to fight terrorism than with the redeeming love of Christ? Terrorists are not beyond the saving grace of Jesus Christ. A friend of a middle east worker had a life goal of becoming a suicide bomber. He was full of anger and hatred. Over the course of time, he discovered the Bible and read the words of Jesus. Those words brought healing and life to his broken heart, changing the course of his life forever. Can we believe the same for all fundamentalist Muslims around the world?
- Pray that Jesus would reveal himself to members of fundamentalist Muslim groups.
- Pray for followers of Jesus to be like Ananias: brave in the face of potential harm knowing that Jesus has called them to the difficult places.
- Pray for the Word of God to flood fundamentalist group camps and for those who read and hear the words of God to have open eyes and ears to the truth of Jesus.
- Pray for Jesus to be glorified among those who have committed themselves to fundamentalist Muslim groups.