Monday, February 27, 2017

Have you had your house taken away? You may some day!



  But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings,  partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated.  For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. (Hebrews 10:32-36, NASB).




Heartfelt Counseling Ministries is committed to helping the persecuted church across the world. How does that fit in with our purpose statement? 
Here is our purpose statement: "The primary purpose of Heartfelt Counseling Ministries is to offer comfort, support and guidance to those who suffer from mental illness, bereavement and other disturbances of mind and mood."  It is obvious that those who are mistreated, tortured and killed are having severe disturbances of mind and mood.  And it is not their fault.  The sufferings of the persecuted church fits well with the purpose statement of Heartfelt Counseling Ministries
The book of Hebrews tells us that the church was growing but the intensity and the chronic nature  of their persecution was wearing down a certain sector.  The Hebrew Christians had their houses taken from them and they had "persevered  under tribulation."
Hebrews 10:32 -34 says, "But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated.  For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one.



 The word remember in the original (Greek) means to continually think of your endurance in suffering.


Our text tells us, in the past that they had endured a "great conflict of sufferings."  The Greek words for a great conflict of sufferings depicted  a great athletic contest or perhaps a picture of the Olympic games or gladiator battles.  They were also were  made a public  spectacle. It may be that the Greek theater had attacked them,   which means some type of a public humiliation.   

The first was through reproaches (insults) and tribulations (afflictions).
The second was they shared (in this case they identified themselves with those who were suffering).  The writer exhorts them in the face of these past persecutions and sufferings to press on. They had  not separated themselves from fellow believers. Many of them had lost their own  houses ,"for you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one."  The writer of Hebrews then says,  Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward and that you may receive what was promised.  This entire book is very helpful to those who are being persecuted at this time. God has not and will not forget you.   Rejoice in hope and persevere in tribulation. We are praying  for you.
Feb. 24, 2017 | Mexico
 Christian families in Chiapas meet to worship even though they face persecution.


A Christian family in Chiapas, Mexico, was forced to flee their home after being threatened by members of their Zapatista community. Mardomio and his family were ordered by Mardomio’s father, the village “religious teacher,” to stop attending church and to return to their traditional beliefs, but they continued to attend church secretly. When they invited their pastor to their home for a special celebration, Mardomio’s father and some other villagers disrupted the celebration and beat the pastor before running him out of town. Mardomio’s children were then banned from the local school, and his family was ordered to leave the village. They have had to move several times but continue to meet with other believers for worship. Please pray for Mardomio and his family.
Dabay's daughter and the entire family are still grieving the pastor's death.
Dabay's daughter and the entire
 family are still grieving the pastor's death.

Dabay Madhi lost her husband, Pastor Gurumurthi Madhi, a year and a half ago when he was abducted and killed by a communist guerrilla group. Members of the Maoist Naxalites abducted Pastor Madhi, who led two churches in India, in August 2015 and held him for 24 hours before shooting him to death. The guerrillas subsequently closed both churches, one of which had 200 members. Dabay, 24, now struggles to raise their three young children alone. Pray for Dabay, their three children and the pastor’s mother, who lives with them.
To learn more about our ministry, please visit heartfeltmin.org