Not a Happy Mardi Gras

Untitled designIn my part of the world, it’s Mardi Gras.

For whatever Mardi Gras turns out to be, it’s at least supposed to be happy. Some of my friends call it the feast before the fast.

But based on what is going on in the world, particularly over the weekend, this is not a happy time in world affairs.

In Libya Sunday members of ISIS beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians who were working in Libya. You can see a picture of the executions shortly before they were carried out in this post by Joel Rosenberg, a completed Jew who now lives in Israel. Rosenberg is a novelist and reporter who has written extensively about ISIS. You can view it here:

Rosenberg noted that Tripoli, Libya, is 500 miles from the tip of Italy and that one of the Jihadists said Rome would be next.

Everything about ISIS is chilling. The barbarism (they have crucified Christians and beheaded children as well as other “infidels”), the theology (an article in the Atlantic Magazine says they are intent on fulfilling the prophet Mohammed’s exact words and intents), and the vision (they want to establish a Muslim Caliphate, the goal of Osama bin-Laden) should be enough to make the world, particularly the leaders of our country, take notice.

It now seems that at least three world leaders have taken notice. Both the king of Jordan and the leader of Egypt have initiated air strikes and laid plans to take on ISIS. The Prime Minister of Israel is, of course, concerned with ISIS and all other groups and nations who want to bring genocide to Israel.

ISIS definitely wants genocide. They have said so, and they mean it. Can you imagine an atomic weapon in the hands of this group?

What should you and I do on this day and in the days to come?

First, we must be people of prayer. “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). The leaders of Jordan, Egypt, and Israel need our prayers, as does President Obama and those who lead around the world.

Second, we should pray for peace and the opportunity to share the life-giving message of Christ. Paul told us to pray for kings and leaders that “we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way” (1 Timothy 2:2). Paul wanted peace that he might share the One who gives real and lasting peace–the peace between man and God that leads to peace with others.

Finally, we should pray for the salvation of all people. Shouldn’t we be praying that Muslims around the world, and particularly in our nation, would come to the knowledge of the truth? “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3).

We live in perilous times. Let us pray for God’s grace and mercy. Let us determine to live according to His purpose.

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