Greetings, my friend!
In last month’s letter, I asked you to pray for Denise and me as we prepared to minister in the United States this summer. About two weeks ago, we learned that international flights from Russia to the United States have been halted until sometime between mid-August and the first part of September. And that’s if more restrictions don’t follow on the heels of that, delaying outbound flights even further.
As a result of that, Denise and I were forced to make the difficult decision to cancel all our meetings in the U.S. this summer — the first time we’ve ever canceled every single meeting scheduled for one of our regular trips to the States. We wanted you to be among the first to know, and we thank you so much again for praying for God’s wisdom for us as we navigate this interesting season in time.
We’re not able to physically be in the U.S. this summer; however, we are going to continue full-steam with preparations for our special public meeting we’d planned to hold on Friday, July 17, 2020 — and we’re going to do it online!
You won’t want to miss this online service! From our Russian worship team opening the service with praise and worship in English to a word from my sons Paul Renner and Joel Renner and special music by Denise — and ministry in the Word by me — this will be a historical meeting that will bless you from start to finish! Please go to www.renner.org to learn more about how to log on and join us for this special time together in the Lord.
People have been asking how the situation is in Russia. Although the impact of this virus in Russia had become significant, at the time I am writing you this letter, things have leveled off somewhat, and government officials are cautiously optimistic, opening up a few parks and small businesses very slowly, with permits still required in order to travel. But in the midst of it all, God is moving mightily in the lives of so many people.
Our media team was quarantined for one month together at our studio so we could continue working to broadcast online teaching and encouragement in this season. Due to their commitment to do this, we were able to host at least six live events online every day — seven days a week — during that time! As a result, we’ve had more than 1,000,000 connections in the last 30 days from all over the world! There is immense hunger for answers from the Bible, and I am thankful that through Internet technology, we can be right in people’s homes to help them. In America, we started our Home Group again — this time daily, for a season, instead of weekly — to feed people’s faith about the future because so many have been hearing fear-filled messages. The response has been remarkable.
But we are only able to do all of this because our partners are steady and strong in their commitment to help us take the Word of God to people who are crying out for it. Proverbs 10:21 says, “The lips of the righteous feed many….” That is our task — Denise and I, our family, our team, and our partners — together, we are helping people who need it so desperately right now. Please know how thankful I am to you.
Just in the last month, we have done more than 400 live events. Naturally speaking, this would be an exhausting endeavor. But we are not tired at all and are supernaturally energized for this moment. It is a great testimony to the supernatural supply of the Holy Spirit. When that supernatural supply is being released in you, it gives you fortitude to keep going strong even when everyone else can barely take one more step.
Have you ever met someone like this?
Have you wondered, How in the world can that person keep going the way he does?
That person has likely learned how to tap into the supernatural Source of power I am describing. And the good news is that this same inexhaustible supply of power is available to you! In Philippians 1:19, Paul talked about this kind of power: “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”
I especially want you to notice the word “supply” in this verse. It is the Greek word epichoregia. To those who read Greek, this word seems like a strange choice for Paul. However, after reflecting on the original usage of this word, it makes this verse even more exciting! The word epichoregia is an old word that literally means on behalf of the choir. I know this sounds peculiar, so let me explain where this word came from and why Paul used it here.
Thousands of years ago in classical Greece, a huge choral and drama company practiced endlessly for a huge, important theatrical performance. After they put in a great amount of time, effort, energy, and practice, it was finally time for the show to go on the road. But there was one major problem — they ran out of money!
These people had given their lives to this production. They had committed all their resources to making sure the performance succeeded. But because they ran out of financing, it meant the show was over — finished! They were washed up before the show ever officially got started. From all appearances, it was the end of the road for them and their dream.
At that exact moment, a wealthy man heard of their crisis, stepped into the middle of their situation, and made a huge financial contribution on behalf of the choir. This contribution “supplied” all they needed to get back in business again! In fact, the gift the man gave was so enormous that it was more than they needed or knew how to spend! This man’s contribution was excessively large, abundant, overflowing, and overwhelming.
This is where we get the word “supply” in Philippians 1:19 that now describes the enormous contribution of the Spirit that Jesus Christ wants to give to you and me!
In light of this, Philippians 1:19 could be taken to mean: I am certain that this situation will ultimately turn around and result in my deliverance. I’m sure of it — first, because you are praying for me; and second, because of the special contribution of the Spirit that Jesus Christ is donating for my present cause.
This means when you’ve run out of steam, when you’ve given your best effort and don’t feel you have another ounce of energy to give — and when it looks like your resources are drained and you’re unable to take one more step unless someone steps in to help you — that is exactly the moment when Jesus Christ becomes your personal Benefactor! Like the wealthy man in the classical story, Jesus steps into your life at that moment to donate a massive, generous, overwhelming contribution of the Spirit’s grace and power for your cause!
Jesus is your wealthy Benefactor. He has more strength and power to give you than you’ll ever be able to use! If you are weak, He has precisely what you need to get up, get recharged, and get going again! If you’ll open your heart to Him right now, Jesus will give you a brand-new contribution of the Spirit’s power — and it will be more than enough to get you on your feet and back on the road again!
So when you’ve exhausted all your resources and, in your natural human will, you’re too tired to keep going, let Jesus reinforce you with a new “supply of the Spirit” that will give you all the strength you will ever need. Just open your heart to the Holy Spirit’s help today. Allow Him to fill you with a supply of power so large, you can’t even use it all!
Jesus is waiting RIGHT NOW to give you a new dose of the Holy Spirit to energize you and put you back in a forward-moving position! If you’ll open your heart, Jesus will step in to refill you now. I’m always leaning into the Lord for a fresh infilling of His grace and power, so let’s lean into Him together — and together, we will be refreshed and revitalized by the supply He has for each of us! Amen!
If you’re a little weary from watching the news or feeling trapped because you’re not able to get around as you usually do, you are a candidate for a fresh, supernatural supply of the Holy Spirit! It’s yours for the asking right now!
As soon as we know about our summer schedule, we’ll let you know. Until you hear from me again, please keep praying for us to stay divinely energized for this season of opportunity to reach people by every means available. And pray the same thing for your pastor, staff, and church. Everyone is in the same situation and trying to figure out how to reopen things again. Every spiritual leader needs wisdom from Heaven and a fresh supply of the Spirit right now.
And, please, if you have a specific prayer need, let us know so we can really get specific when we pray for you.
Denise and I love you and thank God for you. Your willingness to help us take the Bible to others just amazes me. Together we are making a difference in many people’s lives!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus,
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families