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The Prize

July 13, 2014

Brazil and Mexico Match, FIFA World Cup 6/17/2014, Photo by (CC Attrib 3.0 Unported)

The World Cup has been the focus of much attention, with the courage and perseverance of individual players on display. But these qualities are not just found on the playing field.

Five thousand miles from here Sixcel (not his real name), a Turkish Christian, has been arrested seven times for his faith. A former Muslim, Sixcel more than once attempted suicide before his conversion to Christianity.

In an interview with Voice of the Martyrs, Sixcel cheerfully commented on his arrests:

“If you ask me, ‘Where is a good place to share the Gospel?’ I can say to you, at the police station. Because the police’s job, his work, is to ask. And I’m a Christian: My job is to talk about Jesus Christ! It is a good meeting place to talk. At the time [of one arrest], I shared the Gospel with 48 policemen.”

Do we ask enough of ourselves? Or do we throw in the towel when things grow difficult? Sixcel got it right. Our “job” is to talk about Jesus Christ, and live what He taught – most especially in the face of adversity. That should be our joy, as well. The Lord is after all our prize, greater than any title or award to be won in an earthly competition.

“…[F]orgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3: 13-14).

Lord Jesus, You are our strength and our goal. Your grace saves and sustains us.

Help us focus not on our past failures, but on You. However daunting the obstacles, however long the struggle, revive us when we grow weary that we, too, may press on toward the prize.

We pray at this time for Sixcel, and all Christians like him, who are being persecuted around the world.  Protect them, Lord. Give them courage for their ordeal.  Let them know they are not forgotten.

We ask this in Your holy Name.



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