Episode 528

Church Open Doors For The Cold, 2024 World Watch List & The Word And Prayer Manifesto

Jan 22, 2024

Pastor Chris Simmons and Cornerstone Baptist Church in Dallas have learned that opened doors tend to open hearts. They know this. Open Doors has revealed their Top 50 countries where it’s most dangerous for Christians. And, with less than 18 hours before the crucifixion, Jesus made certain His disciples understood the inseparable relationship between prayer and the Word.

Transcript

Pastor Chris Simmons and Cornerstone Baptist Church in Dallas have learned that opened doors tend to open hearts. They know this.

Simmons and Cornerstone became acutely aware in January 2018 after a homeless man froze to death within eyesight of the church.

They’ve been caring for people this week as severe cold has affected much of the country.

Bitterly cold temperatures across the country have brought at least 37 deaths nationwide, with another frigid wave set to descend in days. At times the wind chill has sunk to -25 degrees in Salinas, Kan., where Greg Savage is pastor of First Southern Baptist Church.

“At the heart of it, we need to keep looking for ways to give feet to the Gospel,” he said. “We know the truths and how Christ died for us. That’s a message we share in a verbal way, but also must give hands and feed to let others see Jesus.”
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Open Doors has revealed their Top 50 countries where it’s most dangerous for Christians.

Attacks on churches and Christian properties in 2023 increased 700 percent over the previous year, including 10,000 church closures in China, Open Doors U.S. said Jan. 18 in its latest World Watch List of the 50 worst countries for Christians. 

Nigeria remains the deadliest place for Christians, with 4,998 Christians killed, a slight drop from the 5,014 the previous year. The national election period saw a slight drop in violence from Islamic extremists, the main culprits there.
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Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.
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With less than 18 hours before the crucifixion, Jesus made certain His disciples understood the inseparable relationship between prayer and the Word. He said, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). The early church wasted no time implementing the advice of Jesus. In fact, after the resurrection, the Apostles laid their entire ministry on the line with a public manifesto: “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). They had already learned where the fusion was found. When prayer and the Word of God combine, power is inevitable.

Every church today that wants to impact the world around them, the way the early church did, must adopt the Word and prayer manifesto. Powerful churches and individual believers unite the Word to prayer as a part of their regular practice of the spiritual disciplines.

If you want to get off the familiar “roller coaster” of the inconsistent Christian life where one day you feel up, and the next you feel down, you must add plenty of Scripture reading and prayer to your daily schedule. If you are tired of living with low-grade doubt and uncertainty, you need to spend time reading the Word and praying daily to enhance your faith.

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