Dec. 22, 2016

Thursday
Matthew 2:16-19

In contrast to the shepherds who freely told the good news of Jesus’ birth, for believers in North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), celebrating Christmas is very different. Although being a Christian is “officially” allowed, North Korean believers can go to prison or even be killed for being a Christian or even having a Bible. Christians in North Korea have to meet in secret and any celebrations of Christmas will also be held in secret. Just as Joseph, Mary, and Jesus had to flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s plot to kill the Christ Child, so too the believers in North Korea. Today, spend time praying for those across Asia and the globe who are persecuted for their faith in Christ. Pray they would be encouraged today. Pray for their safety and that the spread of the gospel would only increase because of their suffering. Finally, spend time thanking God for the freedom we have to celebrate the coming of the Messiah this season. Pray for boldness to share him today with those around you who need to know the hope of his coming.