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Monday: Christians Providentially Preserved — 7 Comments

  1. The escape of Christians to Pella in Peria between the Jewish revolt in 66AD and the siege and destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD is based largely on the work of Eusebius and Epiphanius in the 4th century. They documented a widely held church tradition that Christians escaped in that interval. The other issue that needs to be addressed is that Christianity was not a homogeneous group of believers. Even in New Testament times, several variations of belief had been remarked on and some condemned. I mention this because the Christians of Pella were fragmented into several sects and ultimately had little to do with the advance of Christianity.

    I think that the Fall of Jerusalem was an important event and accelerated Christianity into a distributed rather than a centralized religion. Several centres of Christianity did develop after this period, Alexandra in Egypt, Constantinople in what became the Byzantine Kingdom, Antioch in Syria, and Rome in Italy. The providence was in the survival of Christianity beyond the fall of Jerusalem.

    I am reminded that in the computing world, we value distributed computing where the workload and data are distributed redundantly over several computers that are often geographically separated. This provides a resilience that cannot be achieved by a single monolithic computer. Likewise the distribution of Christianity insured its continued effectiveness, even after the loss of a major centre.

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  2. The Bible writers’ testimony reminds us that God’s love is real, enduring, and available to us even in our pain. By seeking Him, studying His Word, and embracing community of believers, we can experience that same transformative love for ourselves.

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  3. "Fear not, stand still, be strong and of good courage, don't hesitate (don't have two ways), seek the Lord, do his will, believe him, wait for him and you will see the salvation which the Lord will show to you" (Exodus 14:13).

    Just like how he saved those christians who lived during the time of destruction of Jerusalem, Just like how He made a way of escape for them, He will made one for you in your difficult time!!!

    Just like how He gave the disciples the strength to conquer death, He will give you also.

    Be blessed...

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  4. To love someone to death requires an extraordinary bond. To die for Jesus is to experience His love throughout life. How can I value my love for Jesus more than for myself?

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  5. God works in mysterious ways! I was not aware of God providing a window through a lull in military activity for the Christians to flee to Pella beyond the Jordan River. All who noticed this opportunity could take advantage of its timing. Evidence of God's perfect timing always refreshes my faith.

    I wonder about the struggle one goes through when prompted by the Holy Spirit to let go of all that which we have received in material goods during our lifetime. Not wanting to let go of the familiar could, in the extreme, result in loss of life as well.
    My mother's side of the family lost a lot. Both parents were born in 1911 and experienced both world wars. The events of the second war caused my mother and her family the loss of all their possessions, including her father and their homeland Silecia.

    As a newly married bride, God's Providence had my mom accompany my dad to Dresden; a garrison where he had been given a new assignment after his injury on the Russian front. All she had brought along was a small suitcase. She planned to stay only a few days at her aunt’s home when suddenly the city of Dresden was destroyed by bombs.

    My parents survived the horror, but she was unable to go back to her family’s home as the border was closed. The Russian front had advanced and taken possession of her homeland Silesia, deporting her father and not allowing anyone to leave. The population became prisoners in their own homeland.

    With peace eventually declared, help provided to the survivors, my parents were able to start their family in my dad's hometown - Heidelberg. Mom’s loss of all her worldly possessions did not mean anything to her compared to the grief she felt about loosing her parents and her homeland; but she kept her faith in God.

    Christian Jews had the opportunity to be safe in Pella or stay with their possessions. I pray that we hear the Clarion call to remain steadfast in our faith when the time comes to let go, and am convinced that God’s Love for us through His Providence will safe that which can be saved.

    (22)
  6. In Monday's lesson the writer says that GOD alters his plan based on human choices. I don't think that he changes but he does show mercy when he wants to because he is a sovereign GOD and "Mercy" is part of His character. Malachi 3:6

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  7. The legendary lives of the saints of old makes a compelling narrative. Many of us can testify that when we got our first glimpse of the Risen Saviour, our lives, like theirs, changed forever and for better. However, fewer of us have experienced persecution or the threat of annihilation hanging over us daily. Their faithfulness in the face of such trauma is not natural- it resulted from the promised power of the Holy Spirit becoming a reality in their lives. The Church of Jesus Christ is under renewed attack...unfortunately from within as well as from external forces. We would do well to remember that the source of our troubles is the same as theirs-- and so is the source of our strength. No matter what it costs, let's remain faithful, friends! In Jesus' Name. 🙏🏾

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