You Can't Stop the Church

From its birth at Pentecost, the church has faced opposition when living faithfully for Jesus Christ. Opposition and even persecution has not stopped God’s mission in and through the faithful witness of the church. Pray that we as a church are faithful witnesses today. Material appearing in quotations is from This Day with the Master, by Dr. Dennis Kinlaw.

Monday – Isaiah 42.6-9; Matthew 28.19. “A pure heart is an essential ingredient for accomplishing the mission that Jesus has given Christians, which is the redemption of the world. We are to surrender totally and completely to the One who gave Himself for all people, and when we do He uses us to accomplish His purpose: that all people might know Him.” Today, you’re invited to surrender total control of your life on this very day to Christ and His purposes in your world.

Tuesday – Luke 19.7-10. “I have found that the new birth, or being converted, does not accomplish all that needs to be done if we are going to be used by the Lord Jesus to save a world for Him. One indication that American Christians need a deeper work of grace is evident in the number of believers living lukewarm lives, without any passion for the lost, without any burning desire to spend and be spent for the salvation of the world. That depth of passion and commitment to others only comes when our hearts and lives are totally surrendered to Christ.”

Wednesday – 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12. “The best gift God can give to any person is a hunger for Himself. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves hungry for God. All salvation is from God, but if we will give Him the chance, He will instill a hunger within. If that hunger is fed, He will intensify it until it is the burning passion of our life. If we are hungry for Him, for His goodness to transform us, He will fill our need, and the greater our appetite for Him is the more of Himself He will give to us. The hunger for God is a promise of His presence.”

Thursday – Acts 5.29-33; 40-42. Soon after Pentecost, this new creation called “the church” began to experience a reality that persists to this day: persecution. In this Scripture passage, Peter and other apostles were imprisoned, and then flogged. Today, it is estimated that over 215 million followers of Jesus live under “very high” or “extreme” persecution, including violent treatment because of their allegiance to Jesus. As we pray throughout this day, remember our brothers and sisters in the Lord who are faithful to their witness for Jesus.

Friday – Hebrews 13.1-3. David Curry, President of Open Doors, a ministry to and among followers of Jesus in countries where there is high or extreme persecution, notes: “How should we respond? We start by responding as God’s word instructs us to, we remember them. We remember them in our prayers, on our social media feeds, in our sermons, in our Bible studies, and in the ways we use our resources, because we are united with these Christians as fellow members of the Body of Christ. This reality should spur us on to live lives that are deeply rooted in Christ and His mission.” Learn more at OpenDoorsUSA.org/WWL, and let God direct your prayers.

Saturday – Acts 7.57-8.7. Those opposed to the message that the risen Christ is Israel’s long-awaited Messiah unleashed a terrible persecution, intending to crush this upstart movement. Instead, the persecution spurred a greater degree of witness for Jesus through those who were scattered. The Holy Spirit was working great good out of what those opposed to Jesus were intending as great harm. The same is true today. Pray to be so surrendered to Christ that the Holy Spirit can empower our joyful witness for Him, no matter the conditions we encounter. God is doing redemptive work, even in the most trying of circumstances.