I've been amazed at the number of comments I've received from people who have been struck by the fact that slavery is still an issue today and how they have been disturbed by its implications. Today, I received an email that said, "When I first began reading it (Blood Ransom) it was so intense it riled up in my sense of indignation against injustices, so I had to pray..."
What I want my readers to see, though, is that despite the horrors that are taking place around the world, there is hope. As we move into Easter weekend, much of the world is focused on what Christ did on the cross. He came to set us free both physically and spiritually.
Revelation 5:9 says, "And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”
What a powerful verse. What a powerful God.
Today, I wanted to share a letter I wrote to my readers. Parts of this I've already shared, but here's the entire letter. I hope you will be encouraged and inspired.
Have you ever noticed how God often uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things? In writing Blood Ransom, I wanted my heroes and heroines to be ordinary people, faced with extraordinary circumstances. Chad and Natalie’s lives were changed not only through the challenges they faced, but also through their reliance on God. And when they set off on their journey to the capital to save Joseph’s family, they never imagined that God would call them to a task that was beyond the scope of their own power.
But while this story is fictional, the issue of a modern day slave trade is very real. It is estimated that there are currently more than 27 million slaves on the world today from Africa, to Eastern Europe … to the United States of America. The fact is, we don’t have to travel around the world to see people hurting and exploited. They’re real people we pass every day, living in our neighborhoods, and attending our churches and schools. They’re empty and broken, searching for freedom and hope in an often hopeless world.
Maybe you feel the same as I often do. God I’m too small and inadequate to do what You’re calling me to do! But Paul says that it is through our weaknesses that we are made strong because of Christ’s power. And how through His sacrifice, at the greatest moment of weakness from the world’s point of view, Christ’s death on the cross brought victory as He ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.
Have you noticed that the Bible is filled with inadequate people? When God called Gideon, Gideon’s response was that not only was his clan the weakest in his tribe, but that he was the least in his family! God proceeded to lead Gideon to victory with only three hundred men, some trumpets, jars, and torches. David was a shepherd who became the king of a nation. Rahab was a prostitute, yet because she feared God, she not only saved Israel’s spies, but she became a part of the linage of Jesus. They were ordinary people, who God used to do extraordinary things with His power!
Do you remember what Esther’s uncle told her when faced with the possible sentence of death for her and her people? “Who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” I truly believe that we’ve all been placed here for such a time as this. The Bible says in Acts 17:26, “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” (NIV) That means you! In the middle of your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, take-out-the-trash and drive-the-kid-to-school routine, you’ve been called by God for this time. For this moment. Wow!
So what does all of this have to do with you and me? One person at a time, we can make a difference in the world through His power. If God has used you in an extra ordinary way, I’d love to hear from you and the impact it made on you and those around you. Or if God has worked through someone to change your life, I want to hear your story. Then stop by my blog or my Be Inspired blog, where you’ll meet other people, just like you, who are being transformed by God. They’re stepping out in faith and allowing Him to use them for extraordinary things. They’re touching lives by sponsoring an orphan in Africa, taking in foster children, going on mission trips, impacting a child’s life, feeding the homeless, visiting the sick in the hospital, praying with those who’ve lost all hope.
It starts with each one of us, wherever we are, letting God take us on that amazing journey He’s prepared for us. Hebrews 10: 24 says, "Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds."
Because of what Christ did for us on the cross. It is there, and only there, that we can find hope.
Be blessed today,
(Thank you to Freefoto.com for the photo of the cross.)