Be bold in the Lord
I was recently in a predominantly Muslim country that has a tiny minority of Christians. Everywhere you could see the Koran exposed. 2 weeks there I never saw a woman and all the people working in where I was staying were men. In the night you could hear the muezzin chanting to his Allah. All in all, I found the environment Christian unfriendly and rather oppressing for Christians. I wondered how the Christians managed to live there. Soon I was to find out: I needed to visit a pharmacy. After some search I arrived to one. Walking in I saw a thick black book in main view on the office of the owner. It was thicker than the Korans I had seen in other places. Also the owner was a very friendly man. I was somehow inclined to believe that this was the Bible. But could it be? The Bible exposed in first place while so many Muslims came into the shop? I didn’t dare to ask the owner. But he did ask me: He asked me whether I was Greek, as I sounded like one from my accent. He then told me that he had been to a Greek Orthodox church. He was obviously a Christian. I then asked him about the book lying on his desk for everybody to see, not hidden behind papers, not in a self somewhere, not in a closet, but in first view. Of course it was the Bible! I was so impressed. During the few minutes I was there, 2 Muslims came in to buy medicine. Imagine how many more had seen the Book. Would they come again to buy from the Christian pharmacy? I don’t know. But it impressed me so much the fact that despite being in such an environment, our brother had the courage to do what many others, in places with no major persecution, would not have done: to have the Word of God in public display. Next day I went again but another guy was there. I asked him whether he was a Christian. He immediately showed me his arm with a sign of the cross tattooed in it. Imagine giving your hand for handshake and let everyone see that you are a Christian. We leave in an environment where people deny standing for the truth and spreading it because they are afraid that they may offend somebody! But our brother was not afraid! The first Christians that were preaching the gospel they would not care about being “offending”. They would just do what they knew their Lord had commissioned them to do: to speak the Word. As the Lord said:
“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.”
We have a treasure. We have a light. Will we keep it hidden? Who cares what the people say? If they say that we are freaks, stupid, crazy etc. so what? See what the Lord said:
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Let his words get into your heart. Think about it: do you perhaps live for the praise of the others and you are afraid of what they may say about you? Will they be around when Jesus comes back? I don’t know about them but, if you keep the faith, you will be. We don’t want to say “I was afraid Lord”. Our brothers in that Muslim country will not say this. On a personal level, after seeing this, I took my New Testament and put it also in first place on my desk at work, for everybody to see. All that I’m, all that we are, is 100% connected to this Word and why should we keep it hidden?