We often take for granted the religious freedoms we have in the United States. Around the world, many Christians are persecuted in their home countries for believing in Christ or going against the state religion.
It has been about 12 years since New Life Church was founded in Saransk, Russia. Our church partnered with the Russian people to bring the gospel of Christ to a small town in Russia.
Saransk is a short 12-hour train ride from Moscow. I visited the church almost ten years ago and saw it in it’s full operating state, and it was beautiful.
Pictured above, New Life Church sits in the heart of apartment buildings in Saransk as a beacon of hope, love, and joy for a hurting community.
The Christian churches are vastly different than the Russian Orthodox churches in almost every way. Russian Orthodox churches remind us of perfection and unapproachability.
As believers, we often struggle acting on the recognition of the “open door” in a conversation or a God-ordained moment.
John reminds of us of God’s truth,
“What he opens, no one can close; and what he closes, no one can open.”Revelation 3:7b
God opens doors when He is ready, and when the person is ready for the next step. Each moment we share with someone guides them further in their spiritual journey.
Our actions can either hurt their journey or propel them closer to a relationship with Christ.
As the author of Revelation, John speaks God’s words that say,
“I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”Revelation 3:8
Patient endurance joined with love, and the right seasoning creates an opportunity for us to join God in His work. He was already at work in the person’s heart, and the time of the harvest has arrived.
In the movie, Facing the Giants, a man is seen walking and praying over the lockers of the students. He prayed for a revival in the heart of the students and turning to Christ.
As you can imagine, the revival occurred. The underlying story point was that God was not through with the work at the school or the coach. I won’t spoil the movie for you, but that change signaled a shift in the story.
God is at work around the globe. Stories pour in of revival in the Muslim communities in Africa and the Middle East.
The United States is experiencing its own mini-revival of hundreds of thousands of people coming to Christ during the pandemic.
Don’t lose heart; God is at work. He opens the doors that need opening and closes the ones that need closing.
Today, be attentive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, for the opportunity to plant, water or even reap a harvest of souls for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the work you are doing in our nation and around the world. Help me to live an attractive life that invites people to ask why we are different than others. Lord, please open the doors that need opening and shut the ones that need closing. Thank you for what you are doing around the globe. Amen!
- Facing the Giants (movie)