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Summary: Faith to face your family when they reject your Christian faith.

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Faith to Face Family

Text: Hebrews 11:4

Introduction

I. Since May 10, 2010 Nurta Mohamed Farah has been imprisoned at her home in southern Somalia because she became a Christian, according to Compass News Direct. According to witnesses, Nurta's family keeps the 17-year-old chained to a tree by day and puts her in a small, dark room at night. "When the woman's family found out that she converted to Christianity she was beaten badly but insisted on her new-found religion," a source told Compass News on the condition of anonymity. "Her parents also took her to a doctor who prescribed medication for a 'mental illness' but it had no effect in swaying her from her faith," he said. "There is little the community can do. I have advised our community leaders to keep monitoring her condition but not to meddle for their own safety. We need prayers and human advocacy for such inhuman acts."

II. A young Christian in Myanmar was forced to choose between faith and family recently when her relatives demanded that she recant her faith. On Sept. 19, 2011, 21-year-old Ying was preparing to leave for classes at an underground Christian school when her relatives locked her in the house. They threatened to disown her, beat her and withdraw support — including food — if she continued to attend school or church. In addition, they threatened to send her to a remote village with no known Christians if she did not recant her faith. Instead of giving in to their demands, Ying ran away from home and left her family behind. Ying’s mother died when Ying was young, and her father left her with an aunt and two stepsisters. Although she grew up and lived in a Buddhist family, Ying became interested in Christianity. When she was 20 years old, she overheard an evangelist telling a neighboring family about Christ. Ying approached the evangelist and asked him questions about Christianity. At 20 years old, she became a Christian. (Taken from http://www.persecution.com).

III. It is amazing what some people go through just to be a Christian! What is even more amazing is that many times persecution comes from the ones we love the most, our families. Such was the case with Abel.

Body

A. Do you remember the story of Able? We read about Abel in Gen. 4:2-10

1. Could you imagine what it was like to be him?

2. Scripture tells us that there were only a few people around, Adam and Eve, Abe’s parents and Cain his brother and some unnamed brother and sisters.

3. Able was a keeper of flocks, meaning he was a shepherd.

4. Because of his devotion to the Lord, he offered up the best of his firstborn of his flocks and the Lord was pleased.

5. Yet his brother Cain became anger because the Lord was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice and not his.

6. Could you imagine what it was like to be Able? The Bible does not give specifics. But could you image the looks that Able got from his brother as they past? We could image silence at the dinner table and the coldness that came from every encounter.


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