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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

[ShBride 22] Be One

Shiite Muslims – a people God is pursuing to be Jesus’ Bride


Jesus prayed for his disciples in John 17:17-18, 21 (ESV):

"Set them apart for holy service to God. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world....that they may all BE ONE, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE that you have sent me."

Over the past couple of weeks many across the Islamic world have been watching TV, eagerly following the games of this year's Asian Cup, a huge soccer tournament. One team in particular has captured the emotional support of the whole Middle East. Their success is creating a glimpse of hope for their war ravaged land. That team is from Iraq and they have made it as far as the semi finals.

As each goal is made by the Iraqi team, TV announcers yell "GOOOAAAAAAL! GOOOAAAAAAL!!" and Iraqi nationals of all faiths unite in celebration. With each victory, thousands of Iraqis run into the streets to hug each other and wave their national flag in pride.

The Iraqi national soccer team, with its Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish players, is uniting their country even as bombings and killings are tearing their nation apart. A simple game of soccer is uniting Iraq in a way that dictators, armies, gangs, and religious leaders have not been able to do! Yet it is not the game itself that is uniting the country, but it is the manner in which the Iraqi team is playing and demonstrating unity with a common purpose. They are putting their differences aside for a common purpose: to win the Asian Cup.

We, as followers of Jesus writing to you today, have a common and holy purpose with you to see more Shiites follow Jesus and grow as his disciples. Even though we share a common purpose, we are diverse a bit like that Iraqi national soccer team! Just as Jesus prayed that his disciples would be one, as he and his Father are one, he wants us to be unified with each other and with him so the WORLD will believe Jesus is sent from God!

As you pray for Shiites across the world, give a prayer of thanks for the "Team" that is reaching out to them you and us! Pray that we will be one. Pray that we experience unity like we have never known before, so that many more Shiites will believe Jesus and follow him. Pray that we use our skills to compliment each other to score many "spiritual goals" in obedience to the Lord's instructions among Shiites.

May all heaven rejoice when we hear the Lord Himself shout to all of us, "GOOOOAAAAAAAL! Well done, my good and faithful servants."

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