Read His Words Before Ours!
“When we meet someone from a different culture, race, or social class
who has received the same grace (of Christ), we see someone who has been through
the same life-and-death experience.
In Christ, we have both spiritually died and been raised to new life. And because of this common experience of rescue, we now share an identity marker even more indelible than the ties that bind us to our family, our race, or our culture.”
Tim Keller, Center Church: Doing Balanced Gospel Centered Ministry In Your City
I grew up in the church.
But my eyes focused on myself and how “good” I was because I was associated with the church.
Then I hated the church.
Finding hypocrisy everywhere, I spurned God and loathed the “false cover” of “church”.
Then, I became passionate about my local church.
In discovering the heart of God, I loved church, for it was His Body. Still, my eyes saw only the inside of a building.
Gradually, the Lord brought friends into my life who challenged me about my ethnocentric way of viewing life and church. I didn’t even see the peoples and nations around the globe, let alone how they were represented in my own community.
Graciously, the Lord shattered my view of church and began replacing it with His own.
The Black family down the street whose son loves to play monster trucks with my boys. The Muslim couple who walks my neighborhood streets. The Buddhist shop owner who schedules my daughter’s nail appointments. The Indian man and his family who makes the most delicious chicken pulao. They each have names, families, stories and a hole that only Christ can fill.
Sisters, the Nations are at my front door and yours.
For far too long, my response has been to focus on the work being done inside the four walls of the building I call “church”, when really, I, with you, with my Nigerian sister, with my Indian brother, with my Malay friend, are the Church.
So I urge you, please, beg the Lord to expand your view of His beautiful Church, then step up and in and love the Nations as you courageously hold out the unshakeable Hope of Jesus Christ to all people.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.” (Titus 2:11)
For three weeks, we have read the stories of women just like you who are passionate about sharing Jesus in their cultures. I plead with you now to not let these stories simply pass you by. Instead, let’s ask the Lord God to stir our hearts to pray for the Nations.
Pray for Sarah and the local churches in Nigeria.
Turn the tide of darkness back on itself, Lord God. Bring revival among the wives, daughters, and young women of Jos. Silence those who place their hope in witchcraft, using Enemy tools as an excuse to remain in darkness. (Pray 1 Peter 2:9-10 for Nigeria)
Pray for Marietta and the Black community.
Give our Black brothers and sisters endurance and boldness to keep fighting for righteousness. Lord Jesus, stir us all to deep, radical, transformative love. Remind us that none who follow You can innocently stand by as injustice continues unmitigated. (Pray Isaiah 30:18 for the oppressed)
Pray for the persecuted believers in Malaysia.
Lord Jesus, embolden the believers in Malaysia to hold fast to truth and invest deeply in relationship with their Muslim friends and neighbors. Encourage them and feed them from Your truth. Remind them they are not alone and the cost of following You is worth it! (Pray Deuteronomy 10:18-21 for Malaysia)
Pray for Lesley and the people of Scotland.
Lord God, bring boldness where fear threatens. Shine the light of Truth on these believers as they face the reality of living within a nearly “unreached people group” for the gospel. Raise up ordinary men, women, and children to speak truth in love. (Pray 2 Thessalonians 1:3-8 for Scotland)
Pray for Christine and the churches in Australia.
Being submerged in a culture that runs so counter to You, we pray Your Spirit would make every believer’s life to blaze with the brilliance of Your glory. We ask for the believers to be bound together as they urge one another to seek out the sick and lost with love and Hope. (Pray Matthew 25:35 for Australia)
Pray for Anna and the believers in Switzerland and Sweden.
Lord Jesus, You love all people of all nations and races. Press this truth upon those who love and follow You in Sweden and Switzerland. May they view their unique place in the world as a means of sharing how You bring all of us together in Yourself. Anchor them in truth. (Pray Isaiah 42:5-7 for Switzerland and Sweden)
Pray for Laurie and the orphaned in Zambia.
Jesus, give Your wisdom to those who love You and who love the people of Zambia. Give them clarity in knowing how to communicate the full satisfaction that comes from trusting You alone. Stir hearts to embrace You as the One True God above all others. (Pray Isaiah 45:5-7 for Zambia)
Pray for Janna and church planters across North America.
Father, the work of planting your gospel seed and shepherding Your flock is long and difficult. Encourage those You have called to lead Your church in North America. Embolden them to study Your Word and train others to tenaciously hold to truth as they seek Your face. (Pray Titus 2:11-15 for North America)
Lord, may each one of us seek to know You more deeply and love Your Church more tenderly as we bring Your hope to the nations!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!