40 DAYS OF REACHING CITIES & COMMUNITIES FOR CHRIST: DAY 2 – INTRODUCTION PART 1
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” 2 Peter 3:9
Ed Silvoso shared the story of how they began to implement the plan to reach the city of Resistencia in Argentina for Christ. Chuck Starnes and his wife, Sandy joined their ministry team in 1987, just in time to direct the logistical aspects of Dr. David Yonggi Cho’s visit to Argentina. Dr. Cho asked them to organize his seminar. Seven thousand pastors and leaders from all over Argentina and neighboring countries attended the four-day seminar. They worked very hard to make it a truly interdenominational event. It was a resounding success with all denominations benefiting from it. Everybody was there and went away blessed. Dr. Cho’s visit catapulted Ed and his team to national prominence. They received immediate visibility all over the nation. Their dreams began to materialize on a national scale. Requests for help came from all over the nation.
Following Dr. Cho’s seminar, Chuck felt led to visit Resistencia which had a population of 400,000, in northern Argentina, to assess the potential for a citywide outreach. Chuck also had a passion for seeing an entire city evangelized. His passion for the lost and his love for the Church were contagious. He was determined to follow God at any cost. He was instrumental in discerning that Resistencia was the place where they should try their ideas and spiritual insights on “city taking.” Chuck is the one who laid down the foundation for “Plan Resistencia.” (Read more about Ed’s story on tomorrow’s devotion.)
The Holy Spirit is challenging the churches to take the cities and communities for the Kingdom of God. We must continue our aggressive efforts to evangelize cities and communities, reaching unsaved people wherever they may be found. Nothing is more important than reaching our cities and communities for Christ. God’s will is that none should perish, but for everyone to come to repentance.
The devil, who is the god of this age, is blinding people’s minds against the gospel. The real battle for our cities and communities is a spiritual battle. As the war in the heavenly realms is won through spiritual encounters with Christ, truth encounters with the word of God, power encounters with the Holy Spirit and allegiance encounters with the church based on death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, much of what is obstructing the communication of the gospel to the unsaved people will be removed.
Spiritual warfare is essential if we desire to see more fruit, and church planting is essential if that fruit is to remain.
During the next 40 days, we will share with you five principles of reaching cities and communities for Christ. These principles are based on the book, “That None Should Perish” by Ed Silvoso. We encourage you to get a copy and read along with us during the next 40 days.
The five principles of reaching cities and communities for Christ are:
1. God cares about cities and communities
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle – I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying – a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 1 Timothy 2:1-10 (NKJV)
2. Prayer opens people heart to the gospel
Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:29-31 (NKJV)
Rev. Obadiah Swen
Pastor, BWOC-City of Glory
APPLICATION AND PRAYER FOR TODAY
1. Why does God want everyone to come to repentance?
2. Why are cities and communities central to God’s redemptive strategy?
3. Pray for a great outpouring of God’s Spirit on America. (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17)
4. Pray for the President and Vice-President, that their hearts would be guided by God, that their decisions would be wise and that their leadership would be principled.
5. “Prayer penetrates doors we will never enter. Prayer breaks hearts that have been hardened by the most ruthless pursuit of position. Prayer bridges the gap between the modest den of the meek and the highest places of government, where laws are made and bills are signed and officials wrestle against impossible odds.” ~ Beth Moore