I thought I would share something with you today that struck my heart and mind. Today, I had to read through a whole chapter on political anthropology for my anthropology class.
At the end of the chapter, it spoke at length about how ISIS is (has) become a state. In it, it said this about the way people live in ISIS-controlled areas:
“Cockburn provides a laundry list of constraints associated with strict Salafist Islam, including prohibitions against wearing jeans and makeup, smoking cigarettes or hubble-bubbles (hookahs), and keeping stores open during times of prayer. Women are required to wear the abaya (black robe) and veil and are not permitted to gather in public places, including stores. Men must wear beards, and barbers who agree to shave their beards off are punished. The punishments for violating these rules are whipping, amputation of limbs, and beheading.”
(Paul McDowell, “Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology”)
Now, it is no surprise that life under ISIS rule is so hard. But it made me wonder… don’t all man-made religions do the same of sort? Their behavior is regulated (even if it is only regulated by themselves), their lists of do’s and don’ts is long. Is this what saves and connects us to God?
Reading the passage that I did in my textbook made me take a take a breath of relief, as I realized that the One I worship truly sets me free.
There is no laundry list to get to heaven.
No religious restrictions to make sure you’re good with God.
Jesus truly paid it all.
But then I want to take another sigh, one of sadness, knowing this: So many people do not know this God I know.
They see Christianity as merely another religion that they want no part of; or, they live their lives as Christians, held in bondage to the law (which can save no one- Galatians 3:10-11). Either way, the person is bound to either their sin or to the law. Friends, this is NOT what Jesus wants from us!
He wants us to walk freely in His Grace. To know that all the work that had to be done to get us to heaven is finished, and that those who believe this will be in eternity with God forever.
When you think about this good news, this SAVING news, and about all of the people who desperately need it, how can we not share it with others? It would be the most loving thing to do.
So that is my encouragement for you, today, friend: Take another look at the Gospel. Let it soak in to your heart. And share it, in all it’s loveliness, with the world.
Annalee, ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY
Do you know Jesus?
This Jesus died for you and for me. Learn about how much we all need Him—and how much you personally need Him—here.
Please be praying for (find the prayer sheet here):
- The Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu.
- All those who are apart of ISIS, that they would be humbled and would come to know Christ.
- For all those stuck in legalism and bondage to their sin (which is all of us, at some point or another).
- That I, and other Believers around me, would share the Gospel in word and deed, loving those Jesus as placed in our lives.
Thank you for your prayers!!!