Pastor Cosand: September 2018
"I WILL NOT OFFER TO THE LORD THAT WHICH COSTS ME NOTHING"
a call to systematic Bible reading
Each September the people of our fellowship are encouraged to begin, again, reading through the Bible in one year. Bible reading schedules are available in our foyer. We start in Genesis every September and end in Revelation every August. To read with any regularity takes no small amount of discipline, but the benefits to soul and life far outweigh the sacrifice. The Christian life, if it is anything, is a life of discipline. The call of the gospel of Jesus Christ has radical, far-reaching implications. We know the verses that tell us that Christ demands our all, but we often do not take them to heart. “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it” (Lk 9:23,24). “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Lk 14:26,27). “And if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out, and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into the fiery hell” (Mt 18:8,9).
We sing "Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee." We know that Jesus requires of us commitment, but all too often the idea is just a word and we don’t stop to think about the day-to-day implications of our allegiance to Christ and the totality of what He calls us to do, in our living, if we want to follow Him.
Missions Update: September 2018
Shan Reed – North American Baptist Conference
Ibukino 3, Chome 14-9-903
Izumi Shi, Osaka Fu 594-0041 Japan
Greetings from Japan! As we are experiencing record-breaking heat this summer in Japan, we are excited about how the Holy Spirit is setting hearts on fire as people experience Him for the first time, as believers are inspired to know Him better, and as His children desire to share His love with others.
On July 17, Komyo Christian Church hosted a ladies seminar. We were stretched as we talked about renewing our minds and encouraged as we were reminded of the Holy Spirit’s power to renew and empower us.
Following the seminar, we plunged into final preparations for the arrival of the Gateway Team. On July 27, we welcomed an excited and travel-weary team to hot, humid Osaka. The team spent two nights with host families connected with our church. They experienced Japanese home cooking and fellowship. Not all of the family members involved in the homestay are Christians so this gave the team an opportunity to shine the light of Jesus in tangible ways.
Odds & Ends: September 2018
A morning prayer
At the start of a day, who can tell what a day may bring forth? Cause me therefore, gracious God, to live every day as if it were to be my last, for I know not but that it may be such. Cause me to live now as I shall wish I had done when I come to die. O grant that I may not die with any guilt on my conscience, or any known sin unrepented of, but that I may be found in Christ, who is my only Savior and Redeemer.
—Thomas à Kempis
In earthen vessels
The dear Lord’s best interpreters
Are humble human souls;
The gospel of a life like His
Is more than books or scrolls.
From scheme and creed the light goes out,
The saintly fact survives;
The blessed Master none can doubt,
Revealed in holy lives.
— John Greenleaf Whittier, from “The Friend’s Burial”
Pastor Cosand: August 2018
HEARTFELT THANKSGIVING IS A RARE THING
meditation on the story of the healing of the ten lepers
The stories of the Bible are not isolated events that stand unrelated to our lives. They are reflections of the human experience of every age. Technology has changed, but the human condition has not. We have improved upon the sickle of Ruth, but we have not improved upon her heart. And so the stories of the Bible are really our story. We see in Moses' temperamental outburst our struggle with anger. We see in David's leering at Bathsheba our struggle with lust. We see in Jonah's unconcern for the people of Nineveh our struggle with coldness toward the lost.
With this in mind, the story of the healing of the ten lepers, found only in Luke 17:11-19, is a vivid reminder to us of the self-centered tendencies of the human heart. These ten men, no doubt part of an ostracized leper colony (they stood at a distance from Jesus - Lk 17:12), had heard of the healing ministry of the Lord. With theological accuracy they called out to Him with urgent pleading, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" They were painfully aware of their need of Jesus' mercy, they were confident that He had the power to help them, and they saw Him as being their Master. Further, they demonstrated obedience because when Jesus commanded them to go show themselves to the priest they did it (Lk 17:14).
Missions Update: August 2018
Stephen & Ginger Jordan
P.O. Box 261
5300 Puerto Princesa City
Dear Friends and Prayer Partners,
The weekend of 7/21, Stephen will be leaving Ginger and the kids to return to the village. As you may remember, upon our return to the Philippines in February we found damage to our house in the village due to termites along with trusses that have rot damage. This overdue work has been thrusted to priority as we recently found an army of termites in our library. Lord willing, during the next two weeks, Stephen along with five village men hope to: