25 07 2014

Meriam Ibrahim is a 27 year-old young woman from the Sudan. She made headlines around the world in May when she was sentenced to 100 lashes and death for refusing to recant her belief in Christianity in open court in the strict Muslim country. After intense international pressure, her death sentence was overturned in June. Western officials spearheaded negotiations to allow Meriam to leave the Sudan. She and her family will be arriving in the United States within the next few days.

Her story is both humbling and inspiring. Here is a young woman who clung so tenaciously to Jesus that the people around her viewed her as a threat to their way of life. Knowing that her actions were going to result in her being sentenced to death, she lived out the essence of the words of Paul who said, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) Her refusal to give in to society’s pressure reminds me of the courage of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego as they faced the fiery furnace for refusing to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s idol.

Meriam’s willingness to stand with Jesus challenges me to look at my own life. While here in this country we rarely face such extremes, the pressure to compromise our faith is very real. Our society doesn’t ask us to choose between Jesus and death. It invites us to give up just a little bit of Jesus in exchange for some pleasure, power, fame, money, or personal satisfaction. Our challenge isn’t that we face beheading, but slow suffocation of our faith.

My Jesus Resolution today is to imitate Meriam’s resolve. I want my commitment to Christ to be so strong, so vibrant, so true, and so real that others can see it clearly. I want to have the courage to stand up to my culture and choose Jesus without compromise. I want to teach my children to live their faith with resolve and steadfastness. Meriam wasn’t looking for the spotlight. She just looked at the darkness and chose to be the light God called her to be. What might happen if each of us would choose the same?



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