Summer ’11 Devo 3: Love Costs Everything

Posted On July 7, 2011

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Love Costs Everything

I recently was a sponsor for our church youth group to a national conference called Move.  It’s put on by a parachurch organization called Christ In Youth (CIY).  As a high school student myself, I went to this conference (although it wasn’t called Move back then) and it was exciting to get to know the student more and see lives changed that week.

CIY puts on a variety of conferences and mission trip opportunities for high school youth throughout the year, but this past year was unique in the fact that CIY also got into the film-making business.  This past year, CIY traveled around the world filming and editing a documentary about persecution of Christians throughout the world titled Love Costs Everything. 

They traveled to Iraq, Columbia, India and even America to document the daily risk that Christians are in around the world even in the U.S. as Christian families are on the run from other family members wanting to kill them for their faith in Christ.

I forced myself to watch every bloody moment of this film.  I always intellectually knew about the persecution of Christians worldwide, but to see it happen (even on a big screen) just does something to you.  Very rarely do you experience a movie in which as the credits begin to roll NO ONE gets up.  That happened after this film.  You sit there in silence broken by the tragedy that you saw and inspired by the faith of the people in the midst of all that.  And you wonder, do I have a faith like that?

After the film was over, the conference began a 20-hour prayer for the persecuted church.  Our group, at one point, went to the chapel to pray.  In that time, I read a Scripture passage that I’ve read countless times but I saw it in a completely different light.

You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance,  persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3: 10 – 17)

I have been guilty of using the latter part of the passage to talk about the importance of reading and studying Scripture and completely missed the context in the light of persecution.  As we were praying, I read this passage and verse 12 and 13 jumped off the page at me (the bold part).

The folks that we saw and prayed for are living a godly life in Christ and they ARE being persecuted for it.  It’s also true of what it says about those doing the persecuting.  In the film, the people and their acts get worse and worse (beatings to killing).  This verse reminded me to pray not only for the Christians who are being persecuted but also those doing the persecuting.

And the question kept ringing in my head…Do I have a faith like that?

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