Signs, Wonders, and Souls!March 2, 2020
This month I’m writing to you about signs and wonders. Do you want to see more of them? If that’s your heart’s cry, the major key I share in this letter will enable you to see more of God’s power and signs and wonders in your life and in your church! What I am about to share with you will add fuel to your spiritual fire!
But first, if you’re a partner with RENNER Ministries, from the bottom of my heart, I want to say THANK YOU for your faithful support of this ministry! If you’re not a partner with this ministry, I want to ask you a deeply important question. If you’re growing and developing because of what you’re learning from my teaching, would you consider partnering with us financially so that others can experience trusted teaching that will change their lives for the better too? Through the letters, books and other teaching materials, TV and the Internet, and our many outreaches of compassion, we are teaching people of all ages, cultures, and walks of life to know Christ and to yield their lives to Him so they can experience transformation and fulfill their divine destinies.
In fact, the vision of RENNER Ministries is “to take the Gospel both to our nearby world and to the ends of the earth, proclaiming Christ — warning and teaching people with all wisdom, that we may present them fully mature in Christ Jesus” (see Colossians 1:28). If you’re not already a partner, I invite you to join us as we fulfill this great assignment and vision together! Simply call us at 800-742-5593 or go to renner.org/become a partner, and we’ll be sure to take your donation, pray with you, and get a new-partner package in the mail to you that includes two of our books Life in the Combat Zone and The Gift of Forgiveness absolutely free! Your gifts of any size really help us fulfill our divine assignment across the globe.
We know partnership works two ways, and we are committed in prayer to every single person who partners with us in this thriving work around the world. You and your own divine destiny matter to us, and we are committed to feeding you spiritually and to helping you realize your dreams in God.
In this letter, I want to share with you something from Scripture — and something I’ve learned firsthand — along this very line of powerfully fulfilling your God-given dreams. I learned many years ago that one key ingredient that really fuels the heart and keeps it blazing is a sustained pursuit of soul-winning. Nothing ignites the heart like being instrumental in seeing someone rescued from darkness, delivered from the power of sin, washed in the blood of Jesus, and saved from an eternity in hell.
The Early Church was like a burning inferno that was alight with the fire of the Holy Spirit. That fire was continually rekindled as believers surrendered to the power of God and carried the Gospel to the ends of their known world. And if we are going to burn brightly with the fire of the Spirit, we must be active carriers of the truth and power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who need to hear it in our own worlds.
When we do our part to take the Gospel to those who are lost, a blazing flame of the Spirit is ignited that continually releases the power of God. With that fire burning inside us, the Gospel will detonate its divine power and spread like a spiritual flame across our neighborhoods and to the ends of the earth — and we will be doing our part to fulfill the Great Commission that Jesus gave to the Church more than 2,000 years ago (see Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-18).
A study of history reveals a pattern regarding this eruptive manifestation of God’s power. And you can be sure that this power goes hand in hand with the Spirit-led efforts of any person, any church, or any organization committed to proclaiming the Gospel to the lost. This supernatural presence is God’s witness that the message is Heaven-sent.
When a believer or a church is committed to the Great Commission and follows the Holy Spirit’s strategy to reach the lost, God’s power gloriously shows up in that believer’s life or in the life of that congregation. On the other hand, when God’s people withdraw from Christ’s command to reach the lost, the manifestation of His power begins to slowly wane.
God’s power is always present, but the manifestation of that power begins to diminish more and more as believers begin to neglect their responsibility to carry the Gospel to those who need to be saved. This verifiable pattern is proven throughout the course of Church history. Yet God’s heart remains the same for people to be reached through the sharing of the Gospel. And when the Gospel is preached by His people, His power shows up in a myriad of miraculous ways!
Matthew 28:18-20 records that before Jesus ascended into Heaven, He gathered the disciples one last time and told them:
…All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
This passage is what is called the Great Commission. In this command, we find important truths about God’s call to every believer and every local church to “go” with the Gospel to the ends of the earth. In Greek, the tense for the word “go” in Matthew 28:19 literally denotes to go and to keep on going. In other words, this was not a command given only to the believers at the beginning of the Church Age, nor was it a special command for those who would occasionally go on a special missions trip. The command “to go” is God’s call to the Church. It is His directive to every Christian and to every local church for all time.
God expects His children to be committed to taking the saving message of the Gospel to the lost as a lifestyle. And He promises that those who obey this command will experience amazing supernatural power to fulfill the appointed task. This is why miracles are more consistently manifested where the Gospel is being preached beyond the four walls of a local church — because the Gospel is the very power of God (see Romans 1:16).
A church — or an individual — that ignores this command to reach the lost will experience fewer manifestations of God’s power in their midst. They may have started out with a strong focus on reaching the lost, and they may have experienced great power as a result. But if they then begin to draw back from this divine directive to share the Gospel with the unsaved, they will inevitably notice God’s manifested power begin to recede in their midst.
The demonstration of divine power is promised to those who go and keep on going, continually taking the Gospel to the lost. This includes sharing the message with family, friends, and neighbors, as well as to strangers whom believers meet in daily life, on mission trips, and in every arena of life, to the ends of the earth.
It’s also important to understand that part of “going” is for believers to do their part in funding the missions efforts of churches and organizations, special evangelization projects, and missionaries themselves who are going to other parts of the world to take the message of Christ to the unsaved. Many churches today are focused on reaching their cities with various outreaches, and this is a correct thing to do. But too often churches curtail their financial support for those engaged in missions work in order to focus solely on reaching their local communities.
We have a responsibility to do both. We must share the Gospel with the lost in our neighborhoods while at the same time retaining a firm commitment to financially support those who are reaching the unsaved in foreign countries. Our hearts must burn with the fire of God to see the unsaved brought into the Kingdom of God both near and far. It is our glorious task to rescue the spiritually perishing as God enables us.
But in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, the Lord made an astonishing promise to any person or church that will go and keep on going with the Gospel to reach those nearby and those who are abroad. Jesus said, “…And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (v. 20). Those who take this promise to heart and obey it will be ignited and will remain ignited with the blazing power of the Holy Spirit!
The word “lo” in this verse is actually an exclamatory promise that Jesus makes to anyone who will “go” with the Gospel to the lost. In Greek, the word “lo” would better be translated, “And, WOW, will I ever be with you — even to the ends of the earth!”
In essence, Jesus was saying, “If you will go and keep on going — doing all you can, in every way possible, to preach and teach the Gospel — WOW, I promise that you will experience My amazing presence in the doing of it!” In other words, the “lo” belongs to those who “go”!
Christ promises that His powerful presence will be experienced by all believers who are going to the lost with the message of salvation. That means if we want to experience the power of God, we must act on what triggers its release. Jesus’ promise is that His powerful, supernatural presence will accompany all who will do their part to take the Good News of salvation to others!
We must have the power of the Holy Spirit to reach the lost. Then as we go with the Gospel, our obedience ignites the Spirit’s power to be released mightily upon us and through us!
Sometimes Christians hear of amazing signs and wonders that occur on the foreign mission field and wonder why they don’t see more of those supernatural happenings in their own churches at home. That’s a legitimate question. Why does it seem mighty deeds that astonish believers often occur where missionaries or frontline preachers are taking the Gospel to territory where the Gospel has never or rarely been preached?
Manifestations of God’s power aren’t supposed to happen only on the foreign mission field. The Holy Spirit wants to move right in your own family and neighborhood! If you’ll obey His leading to go and share the Gospel whenever He prompts you, God’s power will show up wherever you are!
Just as Jesus promised, His powerful presence will manifest when you share the Gospel with those who need to hear it. The miraculous is guaranteed to occur anywhere the Gospel is being shared or preached. This is God’s promise — that His power will show up when you do your part by His leading and direction to reach the unreached. In Matthew 28:20 Jesus promised His powerful presence would be demonstrated in the life of any believer or any church that would “go” to the lost as a matter of priority!
When a church (or an individual) shrinks back from making souls a priority, it is a decision that will result in the power of God waning in their midst. Although God’s power is available to all believers, that divine power is consistently manifested in the lives of those who are actively “on the go” in obedience to Christ’s Great Commission.
The “lo” in Matthew 28:20 — that is, Christ’s promise of His powerful presence — is promised to those who “go” with the Gospel message to others. So if you are experiencing powerlessness, it’s time to assess whether or not you are doing what you must do to qualify for the “lo” that Christ promises to those who would “go.”
Never forget that God’s power works like metal attracted to a magnet. When you reach out to the lost in obedience to Jesus’ Great Commission, God’s power works like a magnet that is attracted to what you are doing. God’s power always shows up and all kinds of miraculous events begin to take place where the Gospel is being regularly communicated to the lost!
If you (or your church) have unintentionally drifted from reaching out to the lost, you can make an adjustment and get back on track again. When that happens, what was turned off can be turned on again! The power of God will once again erupt in your midst. The act of sharing Christ will put spiritual fuel back on your fire, and God’s power will be reignited to produce signs following the preaching of the Word.
So if you are hungry to see God’s power and signs and wonders, do what triggers the release of those things! Share the Gospel with the lost or do your part to give financially to individuals or ministries that are doing it. God’s power simply shows up where people are reaching beyond themselves to reach others!
Wow — I’m encouraged by what I just wrote to you! As I come to the end of this letter, I want to encourage you to obey the Lord in 2020 and do whatever He puts in your heart to do. If you’ll obey, His power will show up! And if you need prayer for anything in any situation, let us know how we can pray with you. As soon as we hear from you, Denise and I and our team will go right to prayer. As a partner with you in the ministry, we take praying for you very seriously. In fact, it is one of our greatest honors!
I can hardly wait to sit down and share with you again next month. But until then, remember that we love you and appreciate you very much. And please keep us in your prayers as we press ahead to push back darkness in people’s lives around the world!
Denise and I love you and thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus,
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families