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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sh Br 36: Almost Persuaded

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

Almost Persuaded

And you cannot be my disciple if you do not carry your own cross and follow me. But don't begin until you count the cost....So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me. Luke 14:27-28, 33 NLT

Ali and Hammad are brothers born into a Shiite family. They have experienced civil war and foreign invasion and occupation. They were constantly told about the need to regain honor by getting revenge, but what their hearts longed for was peace.

One day, Ali heard about a foreigner in a nearby village who was telling people about a way to have peace, so he went to see him - and laughed in his face. The story was "ridiculous" that he could have peace with God because Issa ibn Maryam had died and been raised to life to pay for his sins. Everyone knew that wasn't true.

And yet, the story and the love he felt from the foreigner kept drawing him back, and over time, he accepted that Jesus really is the Way, the Truth and the Life! He began telling others about Jesus, and his brother, Hammad, was also drawn to this new Way of Peace.

Even though he is not ready to call himself a follower of Jesus yet, Hammad often goes to the foreigner and says, "Let's go tell my friend about Jesus." He regularly attends Bible studies with his brother and shares what he is learning with many of his friends and associates.

Hammad says he's "about 80% there" - that he is almost ready to commit his life to Jesus. Let's pray he gives up everything to follow Jesus!

Pray that Hammad keeps sharing the Good News with others. Hammad has high status in his community because he is a friend of an influential Shiite sheikh. Pray that Hammad and his Shiite sheikh will follow Jesus, and through both of them, pray that many more in their Shiite community will hear the Good News and begin to follow Jesus, too.

Pray for Ali to continue to be bold and to share the Good News of salvation with his family and his Shiite neighbors. May many Shiite families begin to count the cost and become Jesus' disciples this year!

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