May 30, 2017
Good Tuesday morning! I hope you had a great day celebrating Memorial Day. I hope you took some time to say thank you for the sacrifices made by our military personnel. May we not waste the freedom that we have because of their efforts.
This past week was the beginning of Ramadan. This is a Muslim “holiday” that lasts for an entire month. All Muslims are required to “fast” during Ramadan. This fast is all month long but there is one catch and that is the fast only lasts during daylight hours. So in the evenings they can eat. “The focus of this month is not primarily abstinence or fasting but a concentration of a Muslim’s energy and mind on an awareness of God and on the life of pious worship.” This fast is one of the 5 key tenets for all serious Muslims. You may be familiar with their prayers to Mecca five times a day and that is another in their responsibility as a devout Muslim. “Taqwa—awareness of God—is cultivated in several ways during Ramadan. First, by fasting. When the thought of food, drink, or cigarettes comes to mind, people are directed to think on God and to meditate on their responsibility to please him. A second form of taqwa is by taking the finances that would have been used during the day to buy food and giving that money to the poor. Some Muslims provide meals after the sun sets for a larger group than just their own family. Frequently in Muslim communities there will be public tables set, and at sunset passersby are invited to the fitir, which is the breaking of the daily fast. A third way in which Muslims seek to experience heightened God-consciousness is through public readings and recitations of the Qur’an during the late evening hours when families are together.”
In some ways we as Christians can learn from their devotion and commitment to Allah. Obviously this is a misguided faith but we would do well to emulate their desire to please God. Sadly, they are placing their faith in a false god and need to hear about the one true God. As we saw in our recent trip to Athens, many Muslims are open and want to learn more about Jesus Christ when they are allowed to leave their native culture. It is during Ramadan where they are praying and seeking that we have an increased opportunity to share our faith in God. “The month of Ramadan is a time when Muslims are very aware of dreams and visions. They believe dreams are a direct way that God chooses to reveal himself to people. During this time of heightened spiritual focus, Muslims are often seeking a special message or revelation from God. As Christians have prayed earnestly for their Muslim neighbors and friends during this season, they hear reports of dreams and visions in which Jesus appears to these friends and draws them to himself. In fact, you will meet few Muslim-background believers who have come to Christ without an experience of this nature. During this time when Muslims are particularly aware of their spiritual hunger, barriers to the gospel seem to be most effectively breached when Muslims dream of Jesus or dream of a Christian who has a life-giving message to give to them.”
Let us as believers not be frightened by Muslims but let us pray for them as fellow citizens of this world who have been deceived by Satan. They need the light of the gospel in their lives. May we be willing to pray for them and also be willing to go and share that light and love so they may experience eternal life. May this month be a special reminder to us of our obligation to them! Read this article for more!
Come join us this Sunday night at 5:00 p.m. as we kick off our Unity Summer for Families with an Ice Cream Social. June 11th is Harvest America so make plans now as Sunday nights this summer are so important!