“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16)
“For the word of God is alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword.” (Hebrews 4:12)
I witnessed this powerful truth these past two weeks. My travels first took me to Minsk, Belarus where I taught a convocation of over 1,500 ministers and then traveled to Istanbul, Turkey to teach a small group of 30 pastors and church leaders. Each situation was totally different and yet the Word of God was powerful and life-changing in both countries.
After the break-up of the former Soviet Union, Belarus experienced new religious liberties which helped produce a great revival. Under the old communistic government, the Christians in Belarus paid a tremendous price for their faith. Many pastors spent time in prison for preaching, and Protestant Christians were considered a sect and treated badly.
The meeting I taught was held at Grace Church in Minsk. This great church seats 2,500 people and is the headquarters church for a group of over 500 churches. It is also the host church for a Bible School of hundreds of students. This is part of the fruit of a revival which swept across Belarus after the collapse of communism. I have taught in this church several times before, and each time we have experienced a tremendous moving of the Holy Spirit. It has been wonderful to see the powerful effect of the Word of God upon their lives.
The situation in Turkey, however, is completely different, and yet, the Word of God is just as effective. Christians in Turkey are viewed as infidels because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Because they believe that Jesus is God, they are treated rudely and, at times, harshly. There is no spirit of revival sweeping across Turkey, but I discovered the Word of God was as powerful there as it was in Belarus. It’s my understanding that the average church size in Turkey is only about 40 people. A church of 100 is considered a mega-church. There is a lot of intimidation and pressure upon the Christians in Turkey. They live in a society which believes their religion is false, and they know at almost any time they can be mistreated because of their faith.
As I taught these pastors and church leaders, I was constantly aware of their situation, but I watched with amazement at their response. You could see it in their eyes and upon their countenance that the Word of God was energizing their minds and spirits. The Word of God is alive, and wherever it is proclaimed, it produces life.
What we need today are more people to proclaim the Word of God. There is a famine in the world today for God’s Word. I encourage you to stop talking trivia and start sharing what you have learned about the Word of God. Begin daily devotionals of meditating on the Scriptures and then sharing with a friend what you are learning. Not only will you grow in your faith, but you will discover you are planting the seeds of living truth which will produce spiritual fruit in others.
Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)