Changes Are a Comin’

Hey friends!

But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
(Matthew 6:5-15, NKJV)

“It’s not about the eloquent words– but about the prayer itself.”

This is something Jesus has been teaching me, as of late– especially regarding this blog. A few days ago, as I sat with Him in the quiet, my focus concerning this blog was re-oriented; and with it, Jesus gave me some great ideas to initiate here on ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY.

He led me to focus more on this blog’s purpose, in the beginning, and to really go after it (as taken from the blog’s “About” page):
1) To continue to pray for the girls’ safe release from these Boko Haram camps,
2) To continue to be updated/ update others on the state of this situation, the church of Nigeria, and Nigeria as a whole,
and 3) To, as Isaiah 62:6-7 states, advocate for the Chibok girls, as well as to encourage world-wide prayer for the state of Nigeria, the Church of Nigeria, and all of Nigeria’s kidnappees so that other believers may “have no rest, and give the Lord no rest until He establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the Earth.”

Because of this, I have decided I wanted to start these things:

  1. More prayer-focused resources for you, the reader. Instead of just writing about the Chibok girls, Northern Nigeria, Boko Haram, displaced peoples, those fighting Boko Haram, etc., I want to help you, the reader, have a more precise, straightforward, practical aid in praying for all the topics mentioned above. Part of this includes “Prayer Points” with each post: printable PDFs or Word Documents regarding the different prayer requests brought up in each blog post, so that you can be aided in praying for the things mentioned, as you are led. This could also include different resource pages, as well as updating and improving current resource pages (like The Names & Pictures). These printable “prayer points” could be done weekly, but I am not sure about that yet, as things like that can easily become legalistic for me.
  2. More posts just focused on the Chibok girls and their situation. News about them can be written about more frequently, like the fact that many Chibok girls are now going to school! I would like to write more about them explicitly, and ask prayer for them in a more detailed manner.
  3. I have edited/polished the “Do You Know Jesus?” Page. I wanted to keep this more up to date, reading as excellently as possible (and prayerfully, by the power of the Holy Spirit, bringing people to Jesus!).
  4. I have decided that I want the month of March to be especially dedicated to praying for the Chibok girls. More details about this, soon.
  5. I want to further encourage prayer for the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls specifically, so I will be posting a page/post on a group of Chibok girls readers can pray for, weekly.
  6. To let my local community know more about the Chibok schoolgirls, and to encourage prayer and advocacy for them, I may try to put together an art show for the art I have created that surrounds them. We will see; I would need lots of help, but I want to make good on this! 🙂
    contact final

    A portion of a piece of art I have created, Untitled, concerning the Chibok girls, and stating Bible Verses Christ has given me about their release.

    7. may change the blog’s overall theme! I am not 100% on this yet, but it’s an idea.

 

What do you guys think of these changes? Readers, I need your help!!! Do you have any other ideas for this blog? Any compliments/constructive criticism about it?? I’d love to hear from you!

As always, thank you for your prayers, and for reading what my silly heart and mind have to say! I love and appreciate you all! 🙂

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The Names & Pictures

To Readers, and Fellow Partners in Prayer,

The picture, below, has been the “banner image” of this blog for almost as long as this blog has been in existence.

numbered chibok girls FINISHED

Banner photo. Because #27, Amina Ali, has been freed, these are 59 of the 218 Chibok School girls, still in captivity, as of August 18th, 2016. Their names are listed, below. (Some numbers are bolded for better visibility.)

The picture features names and pictures of 60 of the missing Chibok schoolgirls.

I wanted to take some time to focus on each of the Chibok girls who have been kidnapped– those named and pictured, and those who have not been, yet are remembered in the hearts of their Loved Ones. Below are the names of the 60 Chibok schoolgirls, listed correspondingly to each number seen in the picture shown above. (While I hate “labeling” these young women with numbers, I only do so, so that you, the reader, can read their names.) I have posted their names below, as well as 15 more names of girls not pictured in the banner, but pictured, and named, here.

Please be advised that some of the names may have minor misspellings. I have tried to copy them down as correctly as possible. Here are their names:

  1. Eugena Samuel               21. Maryamu Wayi                                        41. Fzi Manna
  2. Eugena Mutah                22. Margaret Watsai                                     42. Esther Joshu
  3. Eugena Abigi                   23. Malmuna Urean                                      43. Glory Ali
  4. Kauna Lalel                      24. Maryamu Tafuya                                    44. Patience Jacob
  5. Lydia Skemph                 25. Maryamu Lewan                                     45. Ruhila Yahonna
  6. Ruranda Irkiba                26. Majua M. Mina                                        46. Margret Shettima
  7. Ama Nrima                       27. Amina Ali (FREED ON 5/17/2016!)      47. Lydia Emmar
  8. Maryane Abubukar        28. Manatu Stephen                                     48. Ruth Lewan
  9. Rhoda Peter                      29. Na’omi Bitrus                                         49. Rhoda John
  10. Rfutu Galang                    30. Naomi Adamu                                         50. Rebeca Joseph
  11. Esther Ayuba                    31.Gloria Dama                                              51. Rejoice Sanki
  12. Saraya Amora                   32. Haratu Nuhu                                           52. Esther Usman
  13. Grace Paul                         33. Filo Dauda                                                53. Mutha Babu
  14. Kadisa Yolubu                  34. Majera ba                                                  54. Docas Yakubu
  15. Yogara Joshua                  35. Fatima Igbi                                               55. Baraya Musah
  16. Solomi Titus                     36. Nguba Buba                                              56. Comfort Habila
  17. Na’omi Luka                     37. Tabitha Thomas                                      57. Ana Abuja
  18. Comfort Amon                 38. Kayma Battal                                          58. Glory Yaga
  19. Fatimta Lewan                  39. Hauwa Abdu                                          59. Rosa Daniel
  20. Maryamu Yakabu            40. Gloria Mainta                                         60. Naomi Zakaria

I challenge you, to pray individually for these young women, as the Spirit leads. This is not a legalistic charge, but rather, an encouragement to spend more time with Jesus, praying as the Holy Spirit guides.

On April 14th, 2016, footage was released of 15 of the Chibok girls, purportedly filmed in December of 2015 (source). One of them is Naomi Zakaria. This young woman is the last in the banner picture, above. The rest of these girls are pictured, and named, here (originally found in this article):

15 chibok girls!!

The 15 girls. (ALL photo credit of the 15 girls goes to CNN, and originally, Boko Haram: http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/19/africa/nigeria-chibok-girl-escape/)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Finally, CAN (the Christian Association of Nigeria) published 178 names of the Chibok girls– approximately 139 of which are not already listed, here, in this blog post. I listed them in this printable, easy-to-view, online Google Docs document. 129 are said to be Christian. At least 15, in the entire listing of names, are muslim. I tried my best to make sure that none of the names were already mentioned, but many of these precious young women have dual names– so, please keep that in mind, as you view, and use, this document.

While the majority of these young women are Christian, there are still many who are muslim, who need to see, and know Christ. Please be praying, not only for the Chibok girls’ physical freedom, but their spiritual freedom, as well.

In all, please feel free to use both the numbered picture resource, above, this slideshow, and this document to spur on prayer for these 214 young girls.

At the end of the day, there are still many more of these young girls still captive– at least 4, if none of these names are dual names. While these 4 young girls may not be widely pictured, or named, they are still Loved by Christ (Isaiah 49:16).

Please continue to pray for the Chibok schoolgirls– and the countless, but not nameless, young men, women, and children who have been held captive by Boko Haram.

Thank you!

“‘I will say to the north, “Give them up!”
    and to the south, “Do not hold them back.”
Bring my sons from afar
    and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.'”
(Isaiah 43:6-7, NIV)

“Walk Humbly with Their God”: Pursuing Christ in Justice, Mercy, and Humility

In the middle of a dusty, bare land, Nigerian troops of the 7 Division Strike Group Team B have found something unconscionable.

In Jadda, a town in Northern Nigeria, a “pit” has been found containing countless human bodies, used as if it were a receptacle for common trash, by Boko Haram.

It is not an open grave, so that those who have lost their loved ones to Boko Haram can recover, and lay, their loved ones’ dead bodies to rest; no. Instead, it is a pit with a small opening, big enough only to “dispose of” the precious bodies of people who were known and loved by someone. To the living– to their mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, brothers and sisters– their bodies are lost, never to be recovered.

It is stories like this that make a person sick to their stomach over the injustice of it all. If there is a “Loving God,” where is He, when things like this happen?  Where is the Justice? Looking at such desolate news stories, it is hard to believe that God is moving; and, for some, that He is even real.

Yet, Christ is here. And He wants to move in and through these circumstances, for His Glory, to those whose blood “cries out from the ground” to Him (Genesis 4:10). And while Christ can do this however He so wills, He loves using people– especially His people, Believers– to accomplish His Purposes.

Because of this, it becomes crucial that Bible-Believing Christians seek to “Act justly, love Mercy, and walk humbly with their God” (Micah 6:8).

Act Justly

In Micah 6, Christ (through Micah) is proclaiming very heavy charges against the Israelites, His Chosen People.

“Stand up, plead my case before the mountains; let the hills hear what you have to say. 2 “Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the Lord has a case against his people; he is lodging a charge against Israel. 3 “My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me. 4 I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to lead you, also Aaron and Miriam. …6 With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
(Micah 6:1-4, 6-7, NIV)

Micah 6 goes on to tell of the different injustices the Israelites were doing: from stealing (v. 10), to creating dishonest weight scales (v. 11), and lying (v. 12), the Israelites had succumbed to dealing treacherously with one another in pursuit of ill-gotten gain.

While many today see these things as “little sins,” such as white lies, stealing something of little value from a store, or over-charging for something one knows costs less, they are just as big as murder to Christ (Micah 7:2). These “little,” “justified” sins the Israelites committed seemed harmless enough; but, over time, they led to evil, mass corruption: “The faithful have been swept from the land; not one upright person remains. Everyone lies in wait to shed blood; they hunt each other with nets. 3 Both hands are skilled in doing evil; the ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes, the powerful dictate what they desire—they all conspire together” (Micah 7:2-3, NIV).

It is in this context that Jesus lays out what pleases Him: it is not overly complicated, taxing, or burdensome– and it isn’t “…thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil” (Micah 6:6-7). He wants His Chosen People to act fairly and honestly. By failing to obey God in this, the Israelites idolized greed and pride, and failed to pursue Justice for others.

Love Mercy

 

While the Israelites failed to show Justice in their own dealings, they completely forgot about the needs of others, causing them to become heartless. In refusing to submit to God, who is Love, they rejected any thought of sacrificial Love for others.

It is one thing to “act justly,” and it is another to “love Mercy.” Mercy, by definition, is to show Love, or kindness, to those who can offer nothing back. This is especially true of those who don’t deserve mercy, whatsoever. Christ, who is God, modeled Mercy perfectly, as is described in Romans 5: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, NIV). When we held nothing of value to Christ– even hating Him, and nailing Him to the cross with our sin– He was more than merciful to us. He, who did not deserve any punishment whatsoever, took on our punishment. There is no truer form of Mercy.

In Luke 7, Jesus highlights Mercy well. “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little” (Luke 7:47, NIV). Mercy, just like Justice, is not shown so that one is forgiven; it is shown in light of Christ’s Kindness, and accepting His forgiveness. Believers, in light of being so forgiven, are able to show this same Mercy to others; so that, when walking with Christ, one is not only able to “act justly,” but to also Love those who don’t.

“Walking humbly with your God” seems to be an amazing concept. But, what does walking humbly with our God look like? Paul describes how the walk of a Believer looks, as one who “walks in the Spirit,” in Galatians 5.

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
(Galatians 5:16-18, NIV)

This whole “walk” is different from religion. Religion is man’s attempt at “reaching” God; but when one comes to know Christ as their Lord and Savior, they are given free salvation, from the only One who can give it. Based simply on believing in what Christ has done, this free gift of salvation, “not by works, so that no one can boast,” frees one up to have a personal, Love-based relationship with God (Ephesians 2:8-9). This is where “walking in the Spirit” comes in.

Upon receiving Christ as one’s Personal Lord and Savior, the Word of God Himself says a supernatural transaction takes place: “…he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything he has promised us” (2 Corinthians 1:22). Receiving the very Spirit of God, the Believer is equipped to walk with Jesus Himself– which transcends what any man-made religion can do. Perhaps one of the most precious things about having the Holy Spirit within is being able to hear, and be guided by, Jesus’ still, small Voice (1 Kings 19:12).

Being prompted, or “nudged,” by the Holy Spirit, is not a crazy phenomenon. Jesus Christ, God the Son in the Holy Trinity, showed humanity what it is to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with [our] God,” as He “walked” with God the Father while on Earth. When we listen to, and act upon, the sound of Jesus’ Voice, He will show us what it looks like to “act justly, love mercy, and walk with [Him]” as well.

More than this, Jesus works in us, and through us, to accomplish this very thing.

In this world, as it only gets colder, darker, and more unjust, we have Hope: “And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world” (1 John 4:17). The people of this world– specifically in such a desolate place as Jadda, Nigeria, needs Justice, Mercy, and, most of all, the Great Love of Jesus Christ.

Let us enter the darkness, radiating His Just, Merciful, Humble Light.



Do you know Jesus?

“…we live like Jesus here in this world.”

(1 John 4:17, NLT)

Religion has, for ages, encouraged morality. This is no more true than the religiousness of the Jewish religious leaders, known as Scribes and Pharisees, who made it the point of their lives to do “right,” even down to tithing (giving the church/synogogue) a tenth of their herbs and spices.

But, Jesus once said “…that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20, NIV). No matter how “good” one is, one cannot “exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees”– meaning that, at its core, no one, not even the most “religious” or “spiritual,” can enter heaven. No; it would take One much more to reconcile mankind and God.

It would take God Himself, Jesus Christ, to become our righteousness. Meet the God who gave it all to prove that God is Love, and God is Just, here.


Praise Jesus for… How He is moving to bring Boko Haram members to Justice, to heal and help victims of Boko Haram, and rescue the countless men, women and children who have been kidnapped by Boko Haram.

 Please pray for…

The Boko Haram Insurgency. That it would be brought to Justice.
Those affected by the Boko Haram Insurgency. That they would receive Justice.
Those Kidnapped by the Boko Haram Insurgency, especially the Chibok girls. That they would be found, and brought to Justice, too.
That every party would come to know Jesus, His Grace, and His Mercy. We are all in need of Him.

As Amos 5:24 says, “…let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream,” in Jesus’ Name! Amen.

A Prayer for the Chibok Girls

“O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me. So many are saying, “God will never rescue him!” Interlude
But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain. Interlude
I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side. Arise, O Lord! Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked! Victory comes from you, O Lord. May you bless your people.”

(Psalm 3, NLT)

Dear Readers,

April 14th, 2016, was a sad, sad day.

 

IMG-20160401-WA0003

Source: bringbackourgirls.ng

Approaching April 14th, 2016, the Chibok girls’ situation has been disappointing, and completely frustrating, at times. But, through it all, Christ has been working. Through it all, He has been present, working in and through the prayers, and the Christ-led actions, of His people.

So many times, in the middle of our heartbreak, we look defeated. From the outside world, it’s easy to say, “God will never rescue them,” just like David’s enemies– but while this may be true in that it might not happen in our way or timing, we can trust that Jesus, just as in times past, sees us and knows us– and hears every prayer, just like He did David’s, in Psalm 3.

As much as it hurts, I pray we would all turn our eyes to Jesus Christ, as our Helper, Provider, and Protector– the One “who lifts our heads high” (Psalm 3:3).

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9, NIV)

Father God,

“I praise You, Father God, and I thank You, that You hear every single prayer that comes from Your people. Even when our prayers are ignorant, angry, or unChristlike, I praise You for hearing us, anyways, and in Your Grace and Mercy, saying “no” or “wait”to requests that could hurt us. Father God, thank You for saying “yes” to all that you have, as well!

Father God, You have heard EVERY PRAYER that has been spoken about the 219 Chibok school girls that have been missing… and yet, 2 years later, the Chibok girls’ freedom seems to be nowhere in sight.
You have seen the tears, Father God. You have seen the struggling, and at times, the frustration and apathy towards this situation.

But, Father God, we thank you for the amazing news that at least 15 of the 219 remaining Chibok girls were video taped in December of 2015, found to be alive and well (!!), though still under Boko Haram’s captivity. Father God, thank You for showing us new details, and encouraging us, in that nothing You have called us to do is done in vain!

Father God, I thank You and I praise You for Your Servant Warriors in Christ, Christians in the Nigerian military. Father God, please continue to give them strength, encouragement, and favor in battle, so that they can be apart of the Hands and Feet that bring these girls back home. Father God, please protect Nigeria’s soldiers and vigilante groups; draw all of them to know You personally, Lord Jesus– not in a religious way AT ALL, but in a saving-relationship way. Please show us all what that means.

Father God, please continue to keep the parents and Loved Ones of the Chibok girls encouraged. Watching the video of those three mothers, looking for their children in the video tape, is horrible, Father God… I pray that You would draw women and men like these close to You. I pray they would receive You into their hearts and lives, Lord Jesus, so that they might have the Comfort of Your continual, near Presence as they await the return of their daughters. Please give their Loved Ones Hope.

We thank You for all this, Father God. In the Mighty, Righteous Name of Jesus, I pray that these young women would be freed, soon. I pray all of this in Your Name, Jesus.

In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”



Do you know Jesus?

Paul, in Galatians 6:9, spoke to the Church of Galatia during a time of confusion and danger: “Jewish-Christian missionaries had arrived and were trying to persuade the Galatians to be circumcised” (source). These people stated that it was not enough to only have faith in Christ; to be saved, one had to do things, or perform “works,” to be accepted by God for Salvation (Galatians 2:3-5).

 Though they claimed to have “a gospel,” or “good news,” they did not, at all (Galatians 1:6-9). In saying one had to “follow the rules” to be accepted by God, they made those who believed them slaves to the law, again (Galatians 5:1-2).

But Christ came, and died, so that we might be free from religious works, and brought into a Saving, Love-relationship with Christ. 

Meet the God who freely accepts you, just as you are– not by works, but by grace, through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)– here.

The One Who Satisfies

In Yola, Nigeria, after a long day of learning about and reading the Koran, 200 young “almajiri” boys, ages 5-18, gather under a tent canopy or under the roof of an old schoolhouse building. Known for begging alms when not studying the Koran, these boys line up instead for their evening meal as apart of the “Feed and Read” Program put on by a Christian professor from the American University of Nigeria (source). Using perhaps the first set of bowls and cutlery they have seen in a while, they are given a meal of spaghetti, beans, and rice, and a sachet of water– maybe the only meal they have had all day. With stomachs full, the children are invited to take part in the Math or English lesson offered that night, which most take happily.

About 250 miles (402 kilometers) away, in the city of Maiduguri, the need for food is just as real, yet sadly unmet. Within Internally Displaced Peoples’ Camps (IDP Camps), over 400 children ages one to five have perished from malnutrition in 2015 alone (source). While Nigeria’s emergency aid  is doing all it can, many young children are still suffering from the effects of hunger, either because of not eating the right foods, or from simply not having enough to eat, at all.

Where there is lack of food, there naturally begins to be a lack of healthy life. This is also true, spiritually; without Truth continually nourishing the souls of those who have found it, one’s spiritual life becomes more and more like a famished and malnourished child.

The Bible says, in the first half of Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” This says something profound about the spiritual implications of feeding on lies. Sadly, there are many people, dare it be said the vast majority, who truly believe that what they are feeding on is Truth. Deceived by the “sweetness” of what they’re ingesting, many believe that they are doing well, when in fact, they are like a small child after eating too much candy: experiencing obvious trouble because of it, yet always wanting more. In this world where “relative truth” reigns supreme, countless souls lie in spiritual death, separated from Christ.

This is the heartbreaking reality for many who claim to be “religious” or “spiritual”; but this could be no less true than in Northeastern Nigeria, where millions upon millions of muslims live. islam, a religion that is almost 1500 years old, is a religion which, though rooted in the patriarch Abraham like Christianity and judaism, is incredibly different from Christianity in many different ways; the main way being their view of who Jesus Christ is. Though islam acknowledges Christ, calling Him one of the prophets who came before the prophet Muhammad, they completely deny the Deity of Christ, and even deny that Christ was crucified, much less resurrected  (Q’uran 5:116-117; Surah 4:157-158). Rejecting Christ for who He is, muslims, like billions of other people all over the world, feed on religion– their own “good works”– to save them; yet remain hungry and thirsty for something, for someone, more. 

Jesus: the Living Water

Jesus speaks to this deep problem of spiritual hunger and thirst in the book of John, chapter 7.

 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”
(John 7:37-39, NIV)

The “feast” mentioned in this passage of scripture refers to the “Feast of Booths” (also known as the “Feast of Tabernacles”), an important jewish festival that celebrated the Israelites’ 40 years in the wilderness. During this time, there was an eight-day celebration that included the imagery of water and light (source). It “on the last and greatest day” of this eight-day period that Christ declared this life-changing proclamation: that anyone who came to Him in a spiritually thirsty state would never grow thirsty, in this way, again– but rather, would overflow with His Living Water, the Holy Spirit.

The Bread of Life

As if it wasn’t amazing enough that Jesus claimed to fulfill mankind’s incredible spiritual thirst, He also claimed to fulfill the hunger of every person who came to Him. In the book of John, Jesus is quoted as saying seven “I am” statements. While each of these statements proclaims that Jesus is God (such as Jesus’ “I Am” statement, “I am the Good Shepherd” [John 10], which can be tied to Psalm 23), there is one “I Am” statement that Jesus proclaimed, regarding mankind’s spiritual hunger, found in John 6:32-35:

Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’
‘Sir,’ they said, ‘always give us this bread.’
Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.‘” 
(John 6, NIV)

Speaking to another large crowd of people, the ones whom He had fed in John 6:1-14, Jesus tells the people plainly that He not only has the resources of spiritual bread to give them, but, in fact, is the spiritual bread that these crowds are desperately looking for. Though the crowds had originally come to Him to hear His teachings, they received much more: the miraculous, physical food He gives them, and the much more needed spiritual sustenance that they have been so hungry for their entire lives.

Only One Savior

One will notice that Jesus does not claim to be only “one type” of the bread of life, but is “the bread of life.” He also does not claim that a religion is this bread of life. Rather, He declares that He and He alone is the bread of life, and that all who come only to Him will “never go hungry… [and] never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

Though many, many people have complicated Jesus’ message, or thrown it out altogether, the message still remains the same, because Jesus’ Word does not change (Luke 21:33). The message is this: that Jesus is God Himself, and came to earth to fulfill humanity’s deepest need: the need for a Savior, and to be reconciled to God.

In this world where “truth is relative,” and religion reigns supreme, may the world– like those boys studying the Koran, and those children in IDP Camps– be given what they truly need: a personal, saving relationship with Jesus Christ, the Living Water and Bread of Life. Let them “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).


Do you know Jesus?

Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.'”
(John 6:53-54, NIV)

Jesus spoke this controversial passage of scripture right after telling the crowds around Him that He was “the Bread of Life.” Though it sounds scary, gruesome, even, it makes sense when one realizes what Jesus was about to endure.

Some time after proclaiming this to the crowds, Jesus, though innocent, would be crucified for the sins of mankind (Romans 4:25). Accused of blasphemy for declaring that He was God, Jesus was put to death because of the jewish religious leaders of the time, and sadly, all who followed them (John 19:7; 15). His body, beaten and bloodied beyond recognition, took on the sins of all humanity– and “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV).

Jesus, in dying for the sins of all mankind, reconciled mankind with God, so that all who might believe on Him would have Eternal Life with Christ (John 3:16). Learn about this precious gift of reconciliation– and the One who gave it– here.



Praise Report!!! Praise Jesus for the “Feed and Read” Program! 

Please pray for…

  • The teachers and children of the “Feed and Read” Program. This program was created by a Christian woman; and, though it respects the study of the Koran for the study of these young boys, there is still definite opportunity to share Jesus Christ with these students. Please pray that Christ would raise up teachers who love and know Him, and who will love these children with the Gospel.
  • The people of Nigeria, the Nigerian government, and President Buhari.  President Buhari, and countless others, are muslim. Please pray that those who miss their kidnapped loved ones, and those trying to get them back, would come to know Christ as the True Fulfillment that they are seeking, as well.
  • Those in IDP Camps. Pray Jesus would put His people in these IDP camps, and would send Christian missionaries into these IDP camps, to share the Gospel with  the hurting, hungry people among them.
  • Boko Haram members, and the Nigerian military. Pray that all people in this war on terror– from the instigators, to the soldiers– would come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior, that they might be freed from their bondage, and fulfilled with His Love.
  • The Chibok girls. At the time of this posting, it has been 695 days since the 219 girls still in captivity have seen their families, friends, Loved ones, and the free world. Please pray for their release! Christ hears us, and is working in the lives of these young women. Thank you!

 

The petition, “Tell Buhari: Locate the Chibok Girls by April 14th, 2016!“, was closed on February 22nd, 2016. This petition is now in the process of being sent to President Buhari (though with a fair bit of difficulty). Please pray for an open door of opportunity, and for favor on the petition during this process.

Thank you for your prayers; please pray for the petition as it is sent! Jesus bless you 🙂

“Hephzibah”: Women in the Eyes of Christ

The Nigerian military’s gunshots sounded like salvation. Like the sunrise after a stormy night, The gunshots and news of a quickly advancing group of soldiers filled captives in the Boko Haram camp with a mixture of confusion and fear, but most of all, joy– as Boko Haram terrorists were quickly sapped of their power and, in turn, their captives were filled with the strength to move. These captives, mainly women with children (both born and “adopted” alike, as many are orphans), had what only could’ve been divine strength as they boarded packed rescue vehicles or carried their malnourished children, walking in the military’s tire tracks. Continue reading

In Captivity, in Freedom: The Unfailing Love of God

Countless towns in Northeastern Nigeria are full of men, women and children with empty hands, bruised bodies, and busted, broken hearts. In recent months, approximately 130 towns in Northern Nigeria have been under Boko Haram’s seige, with nearly 1.5 million men and women having been forced to flee (source). While millions have fled Boko Haram, inumberable amounts of people have been forced to stay in these seized towns, due to illness, age, or mere lack of opportunity. Trapped by the intense violence found in their towns, these men and women, paralyzed by fear, undergo the traumatic experiences of being kidnapped, “converted” to Islam and forced into marriage or warfare, with execution as their alternative. Suffering the heartbreak of knowing they will most likely never see their loved ones again, they live, scared and oppressed, learning the ways of an evil worldview– both men and women being trained to kill and be killed in the name of allah. Continue reading