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When the message of Jesus spreads rapidly, it threatens those in power. This was true in the book of Acts, and many Christ-followers lost their lives because of it. But this is also true today. Right now, around the world, Christ-followers are persecuted because of their faith. From the Middle East, South America, and Thailand, some government leaders want to kill the church and silence anyone who declares their trust in Jesus. Why? Well, the issue is complicated, but it can always be traced back to one fact: The gospel of Jesus undermines their power.

In the face of extreme physical and social pressure, these persecuted Christ-followers respond today much like the apostles did thousands of years ago.

“Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than human beings!” Acts 5:29

You might never have to make a similar stance. Perhaps you’ll face some ridicule or rejection, but you’ll probably never be persecuted. But you will have to decide to whom you pledge your allegiance. 

People demand your loyalty every day. These people may not be evil, but that’s not the point. The bottom line is: Who will you obey above all else? God wants to be in first place and at the center of your life.

So I want to invite you to talk with God. Pray for Christ-followers who are currently being persecuted around the world. Ask God to give them strength to endure. Also pray that God will give you boldness to follow him in all situations.