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Sunday Extra | Neal Jones

Sunday Extra – May 5th, 2024

A Friend on The Journey

Today, we remember two significant milestones on Sunday Extra. Four years ago, the world was in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. We were all adjusting to a new reality, including isolation and distancing. During that time, Kevin Ford’s father-in-law suggested “doing church” in Kevin and Caroline’s backyard.  That was the beginning of what we eventually called Sunday Extra.  And four years later, we still send one out weekly to more than 2200 recipients.

Also, today we celebrate Neal on his 98th birthday, which was Friday. A faithful servant of the Lord, and a friend on the journey to many, he pastored several churches. As well as baptizing Chuck Colson and serving on the board of Prison Fellowship, Neal became best known for his habit of writing handwritten notes to express his love and concern for people. Today’s message is the very first one released on Sunday Extra in 2020 – a short devotion by Neal from John 14, followed by his classic message for children called “Creepy Crawler.”  Even 98-year-old children will love that story.

A Prayer for Unity

We live in a world marked by turmoil and distress. Jesus promised, “In this world you will have trouble.” Thankfully, though, he did not end the thought there, but told us to “take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV). Our faith rests not ultimately in the trials of this world but in His divine faithfulness and proven character.

The Lord prayed for the church, that “all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You” (John 17:21 NIV). The Lausanne Movement, of which Leighton Ford serves as the Lifetime Honorary Chair, strives to unite believers worldwide around the task of evangelism. In E. D. Burns’ recent article, A Spirit of Christian Collaboration, he shares that for “Lausanne, it means we are better together. This is what generous Christian unity looks like. . . . Christian unity is that spirit of cooperation and optimism that we can broadly help one another without compromising our local boots-on-the-ground convictions, visions, and strategies.”

Today, as our world faces many challenges, let’s pray together for God to answer His own prayer and give His church around the world unity. And let’s pray that He starts with us, granting us unity with other believers committed to the tasks of the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

Read Burns’ article here at The Lausanne Movement.

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