MORNING DEVOTION: How blessed are the poor in spirit! for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

kidnap 3Many of us have heard by now about the horrible mass kidnapping attacks that have been happening in Nigeria. For those who don’t know, I will provide a brief re-cap of details.The country of Nigeria has recently been recognized as having the largest economy in Africa. Nigeria has about 50% of the population that practices Islam, and somewhere between 40-48% that practices some form of Christianity. Lately, there has been a radical Islamist group called the Boko Haram that has emerged. The name Boko Haram literally means “Western education is forbidden” or “Western education is sinful”. The group’s vision is to take over Nigeria’s current government and turn it into an Islamic state and In 2014 alone the group has been swiftly moving with its “goals”, and have killed about 4000 people.In February 2014 the group visited two rural villages, rounded up 106 Christian men, andeither shot or hacked them to death. On March 14, 2014 they attacked a military post, freed detained comrades, and killed 600 other detainees with them. On April 14, 2014 they killed 75 at a bus station, and that night at 10 p.m. is when they drove to Northern Nigeria and kidnapped around 300 girls from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School (ages 16-20) who had stayed there overnight to complete their final exams. It was suspected that the girl were kidnapped to cook and clean for the rebels, but is has also already been reported that a few have already been given or sold to Boko Haram members and other Muslim men to be wives or sex slaves.In a video released on May 5, Leader Abubakar Shekau admitted to taking the girls and said that Allah instructed him to do so. He also stated, “I will sell them in the market, by Allah. I will sell them off and marry them off…Women are slaves. I want to reassure my Muslim brothers that Allah says slaves are permitted in Islam.” The video showed some 75 girls forcibly dressed in either grey or black robes, squatting on the floor, and with a look despair.  It is now estimated that about 35-50 girls who were abducted have escaped, though their whereabouts are unknown. According to USA Today, most practicing Muslims in Nigeria reject the group.Please keep these girls in your prayers. They are going through the unimaginable, and how torturous it must be to not only be physically harmed for your faith, but also be forced to serve a pagan god. May YHWH give them strength. I pray for HIS presence to surround them and protect them. The only verse that comes to mind is the following:Seeing the crowds, Yahushua walked up the hill. After he sat down, his talmidim [students] came to him, and he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

“How blessed are the poor in spirit! for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
How blessed are those who mourn! for they will be comforted.
How blessed are the meek! for they will inherit the Land!
How blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness! 
for they will be filled
How blessed are those who show mercy! for they will be shown mercy.
How blessed are the pure in heart! for they will see Elohim.
How blessed are those who make peace! for they will be called sons of Elohim.
How blessed are those who are persecuted because they pursue righteousness! 
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
How blessed you are when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of vicious lies about you because you follow me!
Rejoice, be glad, because your reward in heaven is great — 
they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way.” (Matthew 5: 1-12 CJB)
By Kendra Love
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