Hi there, Crafty Peeps! We are having another Inspirational/Anything Goes Challenge happening at Word Art Wednesday (WAW). Our Scripture Word Art (you can download for free at the WAW site) comes from Habakkuk 2:14 which says, "For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."
First of all, HAPPY RESURRECTION SUNDAY, EVERYONE! This Holy Week, I spent several hours watching videos of Christians all over the world and I came across a couple of old videos about China that details the history of Christianity in that country and the horrible persecutions many of the faithful have endured and died for the sake of their love for Christ. Thousands of missionaries and their converts gave their lives to deliver the precious message of the Gospel (death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ) to a country stricken with darkness; where people are chained to the ungodly leadership/policies of their government even to this day. They met up in caves, in farms, in house basements so as not to be arrested and sentenced to prison and labor camps. They packed these small/limited places---standing for hours with no room for chairs to sit on while under extreme heat---with no air/fans to cool them down. With hands lifted high and both smile and tears on their faces, they sing wonderful hymns and praises to the Lord and are eager to study/hear God's Word as many days the preacher was willing to teach. The sad thing for me is that THEY DON'T EVEN OWN A BIBLE! We all know that Bibles are banned in China to this day. One Pastor in the video said that he was gifted a Bible by his sister from Hongkong. When he preached, that Bible was passed along for everyone to see and feel for themselves. Because they were so deprived from acquiring one, many hugged and kissed it that at the end of the day, the red cover of that Bible faded away because of people's tears. Often, the preachers/teachers would only have a Bible that was torn and with several missing pages. One elderly man said that they found a Bible from an abandoned home but it was damaged that it only contained Romans 8 to Revelation 16. Nevertheless, they used it to teach in one of the house churches. In order to share it to other churches, three or more of them would go back three times a week to make a handwritten copy of that Bible. How amazing is that? Another person tried to trade a very expensive, state of the art motorcycle for a worn-out Bible that his neighbor had but the owner refused stating that God's Word is a treasure that no amount of money could buy. This reminded me of Matthew 13:44-46 which says, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it."
Folks, as I continued watching, I began to cry miserably. I felt so ashamed for all the little things we complain about daily. The never ending excuses for not going to Church, for not studying and prioritizing God's Word and for not going out of our way to share what God has done in our lives. We complain about our Church building, music, lights, sounds, facilities, amenities, ambiance, preachers and preaching, and the list goes on. Each of us have several Bibles at home and we have access to the Bible (borrowed or online) but we simply take it for granted. We profess to be Christians but many of us support and elect people that go against the Word of God and have championed Satanic agenda to lead and govern us. Do we have to wait till everything is taken away from us before we wake up to the Truth that knowing Christ as our Savior and Lord and having a personal relationship with Him is the only "treasure" that matters both now and forever? God forbid. If there's anything I learned and took from the videos of the persecuted Church in China, it is to always be grateful, to count every blessing, to value God's Word and my relationship with God and to never tire in sharing the Gospel no matter what it takes. God has been so gracious to America and none of us today have truly experienced what many Christians are going through especially in the Communists and Islamic countries. According to the Word of God, judgment will fall on the wicked in the hands of the anti-Christ (Tribulation Period) for a period of seven years and will culminate at the Second Coming of Christ when the whole world will see Him. But prior to that, those who surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior have already been taken out of this world by God (Rapture of the Church) where they will live forever in His presence---where Sin, Death, Time and Distance no longer have power over them. I know in my heart that these heavily persecuted believers, the martyrs for Christ in the past, present and future will have a great position of responsibility when we rule with Christ on earth for a thousand years (Millennial Reign of Christ) happening after Christ's Second Coming and before The Great White Throne Judgment meant for the wicked and the unbelieving. This is when Satan and his followers (everyone that rejected Jesus Christ) are cast down into the Lake of Fire where they will be tormented day and night for all eternity.
Friends, no matter what happens in this world, nobody can stop the move of God! The Body of Christ (Ekklasia, called-out, assembly) is commissioned by God to go into all the world to preach the Finished Work of Jesus Christ on the Cross for the forgiveness of sins and to set the captives free. Jesus our Messiah (Savior), the Son of the Living God is that solid ROCK---the very foundation the true Church is built upon that the gates of hell (power of the enemy) shall not prevail against (Matthew 16:15-18). History shows us that no matter how Satan tried to prevent Christ from accomplishing His purpose from the time of His birth, His death and resurrection, the persecution of the early Church in the Book of Acts, the Nazis killing the Jews. the persecution of believers all over the world today and the future plans to eliminate followers of Jesus Christ in the face of this earth, IT WILL NEVER SUCCEED! Why? Because IT IS WRITTEN. What Jesus Christ accomplished at the Cross shall be proclaimed through all the earth as the waters cover the sea and everyone will know that He alone is God and apart from Him, there is no other Savior!
For this Card, I used an old Magnolia Tilda Stamps called "Tilda in the Sea" and "Bridge Deck" that I colored using my Prismacolor markers. I added a grass stamp from "Seaside Chair" of Stampendous. The base is white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches square card. The DP is from Pebbles and I used an MS Punch for the top border, layered some Prima flowers and secured with a brad from Recollections. I die-cut some leaves using EK Success Punch. added some white nail head gems from Imaginisce and stitch all all over this project. I truly love the result.
This Card is entered into the following Challenges:
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