Editor’s note: This year, China Partnership is praying for the church in China to hold fast. In the fall of 2022, we spoke with Chinese house church leaders and asked them how the global church can pray for and support them in 2023. They specifically asked that we pray that they would hold fast to Christ and to his promises in the midst of pressure, persecution, and uncertainty.
They also asked for encouragement. In 2023, we will be periodically publishing letters of encouragement to the church in China from the global church. We hope these letters will remind Chinese Christians that they are not alone or forgotten, but that around the world, their brothers and sisters in Christ care and pray for them regularly. We invite you to join us as we labor in love and prayer for the church in China.
Dear pastors, leaders, and members of churches in China,
Greetings from Christ Chapel Bible Church, your sister church and co-laborer for Christ in North America.
Our church has been very encouraged from the stories and reports we have received about your churches in China. We are so thankful for the mercy God has granted you to remain faithful, to continue to meet, and to be outward lights of hope and grace even as the days grow darker. We praise God for your witness and are so thankful to call you our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Would You Pray With Us Today?
In the United States our church is also facing many challenges, though perhaps not as severe as the physical danger you are frequently enduring. Our challenges often revolve around questions of compromise with the current culture to remain relevant, and how to hold to the truth of God’s Word as the only hope for salvation. I want you to know that when we are facing these challenges, we at times turn to the example of your churches. Learning from you what it is like to meet, to teach, to pray, and to show true gospel grace and love while also experiencing treacherous times. We really do praise God for your example!
I want to share a bit of what we as a church are doing in 2023. For the past couple of years our church has focused on three key words – Be. Make. Reach. That is, how can a member of our church Be a disciple of Christ, Make disciples for Christ, and Reach those that don’t know Christ.
In 2023 our church is spending more teaching time around Reach – reaching for Christ those within our spheres of relationships. With that in mind I am excited that we are teaching through the book of Acts for the entire calendar year. As I have studied the book of Acts, it is more and more apparent that this is the story of the Holy Spirit and how he works in the lives of ordinary yet faithful believers.
I have been humbled to better grasp that the Spirit of God now dwells in my hearts, as well as the hearts of all the believers in our church. That is, as believers God has fully given us the Spirit of his power, his strength, his truth, and his love. We already have everything we need because Jesus already accomplished what we couldn’t do ourselves, reconciling us to God and filling us with his Spirit.
And this one simple truth has led me to an obvious yet often misunderstood application. I already have all the Spirit of God in my life that I will ever need! I don’t need more of God’s Spirit; I just need less of me! The more I humbly submit my own will and my own willfulness to the sovereign grace of God, the more room I make for the fullness of God’s Spirit to lead me and guide me in his steps.
And so, along with you whom we consider our Christian family in China, we at Christ Chapel Bible Church are seeking to reach our communities for Christ by humble service and simple sacrifice, all to the glory of God.
Thank you for your friendship, your prayers, and most of all your faith. We love you, pray for you, and we long for the day when we will all worship our Lord and Savior together – giving our eternal praise to him.
Love from Christ Chapel Bible Church,
Dr. Cody McQueen
Christ Chapel Bible Church
Fort Worth, Texas
Dr. Cody McQueen is the lead pastor of Christ Chapel Bible Church in Ft. Worth, Texas.
FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION
Pray for Chinese believers to experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit in their lives and ministries.