[While written several years ago, the power of its message is just as real and needed.]
"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." (1 John 1:7-9)
My family and I live in Kuwait — a Muslim country. What is it like to worship as a Christian in a Muslim country — this Muslim country? Let me tell you of our Easter Sunday worship experience and some things it made me question in my own heart.
First, the work week is Saturday thru Wednesday. Since Easter is on Sunday, most people must work. This didn't stop over 2,000 people from attending a Sunrise Service that started at 4:30 a.m. (the sun rises early and sets late as summer approaches).
What do you allow to prevent you from assembling with other Christians to worship Jesus?
Is it something that truly "prevents" you or do you merely "allow" it to interfere with your assembling with your brothers and sisters?
What does coming together to worship Jesus "cost" you? What price would you be willing to pay?
Second, Kuwait is a nation that is Muslim, but does allow you to practice your religious freedom. And we did.
We prayed for Kuwait and the rest of the Middle East. We prayed for Iraq. "Praying for your enemies" takes on a whole new meaning when the enemy is practically within sight, armed to the teeth and just a few years ago tried to kill you!
Do you truly pray for your enemies?
Who really are your "enemies?"
Third, we all need fellowship. The service really inspired everyone and in large degree it was because of the fellowship we sensed. Why, just the singing alone is so loud you can't hear yourself sing — all because people are raising their voices to praise God. There was no sense of people coming together to get something out of their being there, but a sense that "We have come together to give to God and each other." It is awesome to be part of such an assembly!
Are you uninhibited in praising Him among other believers?
How would God have you praise Him?
Will you praise Him that way?
We need to fellowship more — not only with each other in individual congregations, but with our "sister congregations" — so that we can experience the benefit of each others encouragement, fellowship, and singing. To know we as humans are all striving to reach the same goal and that we love the same Lord and each other.
Heavenly Father, I praise you for who you are and what you do. You alone are good and glorious. Let me live that I might glorify you! And I pray that unity may exist in the Church that we might be able to have fellowship with each other and not tear each other down. Thank you for your Son's great sacrifice and the institution of the Church that you established. Thank you for the freedom from sin Jesus made possible on the cross for us. You are so good to us; may we live for you! In His name I pray. Amen.