This blog is from Open Doors Australia CEO, Mike Gore. Check out his blog here.
As I walked through the streets of Old Islamic Cairo everywhere I looked I saw passion, devotion and a spiritual discipline that I can’t help but acknowledge… sometimes it’s in the wrong things even the wrong God!
But every now and then as though a light piercing through the darkest of nights I saw it explode into life pointed in the right direction and at the right God and it was one of the most inspirational and contagious things I’ve ever seen.
True Passion causes people to risk everything… life, family, wealth and status all in a radical pursuit of God.
I recently spent time with 2 beautiful girls from Iran Miriam and Marzieyh. They were so desperate to share Christ with their nation they secretly distributed almost 20,000 Bibles in Tehran. Sadly, they were caught distributing these Bibles and placed into the notorious Evin Prison and sentenced to death by hanging.
I remember them saying to me they’d see women around them beaten, tortured, raped and even killed. However, despite witnessing these atrocities and suffering great mental and physical persecution themselves the girls began evangelising and sharing the gospel, they saw people come to Christ and realised they had more freedom inside the prison to preach the gospel than they did on the streets of Tehran. In fact they told me,
‘Prison became our church’.
As their case reached global media and international pressure mounted to release them they were regularly dragged before the judge who would say “Just write one sentence that you’ll stop delivering bibles and we’ll let you go.” They refused, and he pleaded with them saying “You don’t understand! If you don’t do this you will die here.” They simply said,
‘No, you don’t understand. We are not scared of death we’re scared of living a life without faith’
Passion… one of the most used words in our Christian vocabulary and probably one of the most misused words too, what most people don’t realize is that the word passion actually finds its origin in the Latin word for “suffering” which means passion is not just about your love for something but also your willingness to suffer for that which you love!
So what does it look like to be genuinely passionate for God?
It dawned on me recently that I live as though Jesus Christ is not coming back in my lifetime and the impact of that statement, on my passion… and daily walk with God has been profound… because if I’m honest, I’ve been living as though He weren’t for over 30yrs…
You see the people I’ve met right across the Middle-East live with a passion as though Jesus Christ IS coming back tomorrow, a bold faith that drives countless people all over the world like Miriam & Marzieyh to endure intense suffering for the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the one true God
…who before you were passionate for Him “suffered” because of His “passion” for you.
If you knew Jesus were coming back in 10-days, what would change in your life? Because whether He is or isn’t coming back in our lifetime shouldn’t change a thing…
P.S. I’ve included a link to a video we filmed on ‘Passion’, please feel free to use this in your church, organisation, school or event. You can find all our videos on our YouTube channel by clicking here.
Mike Gore is the CEO for Open Doors Australia. Mike is passionate about people and building teams. To contact Mike or book him to speak to your team, church or organisation please email email@example.com or call 02 9451 2999.
All speaker fees and honorariums need to be made directly to Open Doors Australia.
Open Doors has been serving the persecuted church for 60 years and works in countries where faith costs the most. To find out more or sign up to support people who share our faith but not our freedom please click here.
Captive in Iran
This blog is originally from Mike’s blog on LinkedIn.