Odds & Ends: March 2017
Wonder of wonders
The world is filled with wonders, writes Nathaniel Olson. Consider chemistry: Salt is formed by two poisonous substances (sodium and chlorine). The alnico magnet, the world’s strongest, contains three nonmagnetic substances (aluminum, nickel and cobalt). And water consists of oxygen (which is flammable) and hydrogen (which burns easily); yet water puts out fires!
That pales in comparison to the wonder of salvation through Jesus. Every day, Olson writes, Jesus transforms filthy, hopeless sinners into new, forgiven creations. “On the skid rows of our cities, in wealthy and poor homes, in jungles … whenever any soul wants Christ, the wonder of the new birth is taking place.”
Our God is the true Wonder of wonders. “None can compare” (Psalm 40:5).
The key of the day
Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night. — George Herbert
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who served as pastor of London’s Westminster Chapel for almost 30 years, couldn’t speak at the end of his life. Days before dying, he wrote, “Do not pray for my healing. Do not hold me back from the glory.”
The Apostle Paul was torn between staying on earth and going to heaven: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. … I am hard pressed between the two” (Philippians 1:21, 23).
Neither of these men feared death; nor should any Christian. As Haddon Robinson said, “For those who trust Jesus Christ, death is not a sheriff dragging us off to court but a servant ushering us into the presence of a loving Lord.”
THE COURAGE OF JOHN G. PATON
a study in communion with God
Our annual North American Baptist Missions Conference will take place in several NAB area churches February 24-26. It is a special time every year to hear of the work of the Spirit of God in distant places. The life of John Paton is particularly stirring in fanning the flame of our love for the spread of the gospel. In our church library there are two books giving the account of the life of John Paton, missionary to the New Hebrides Islands in the late 1800's. One book is Paton's autobiography entitled John G. Paton: Missionary to the New Hebrides. A second book contains short biographies of Paton, William Tyndale, and Adoniram Judson entitled Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ: The Cost of Bringing the Gospel to the Nations, by John Piper.
John G. Paton (1824-1907) was a missionary to the New Hebrides Islands in the South Pacific. The New Hebrides, a chain of some 80 islands, gained independence from Britain and France in 1980 and today is known as Vanuatu, with a population of about 190,000. The life of John Paton is a study in courage.
Joe Teisan: February 2017
GOD IS TEACHING US HOW TO BE SAVED, HOW TO WORSHIP, LIVE, DO, AND THINK, IN BIBLE DOCTRINE
God created all things in 6 days as affirmed in Genesis. We reject the absurd Religion of Evolution with its billion-million years of dating, and we believe in a young God-planned Creation. We are created in the image of God, animals are not.
When we believe in Jesus, we are saved, forgiven of all sins, and given eternal life. We also give Christ all worries, fears, griefs, and troubles. Trusting in Jesus is very good for our health. Doctors know that stress, worry, hate, and fear, trigger serious medical problems. I still sin, but I hate sin and love righteousness (John 20:30-31). Knowing our need for a lofty and exacting authority for faith and practice, God has given us a perfect, life-directing Bible. Verbal inerrancy means every word is God-breathed. The Bible is without mistakes in the autographs (original manuscripts), and makes no false statements of any kind. No one has ever proven even one error, and no charge against Scripture has ever been upheld (2 Tim. 3:15-17, 2 Pet. 1:21, Mk. 12:24).
Missionary Update: February 2017
Norm and Gwen Bowman
Global Outreach International
Avenida Manuel Girona, 70 Izda 2,1
- I will be helping to lead a prayer summit for a major evangelistic organization in Europe on Feb 3- 4. Please hold us up in prayer for this.
- Pray for our four children and their children. They are feeling a lot of stress in their jobs, and also in the challenges of raising children, some of whom have autism or related syndromes.
Odds & Ends: February 2017
The engine of marriage
Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. Love is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask and receive from God. On this love the engine of marriage is run; being in love was the explosion that started it.
By the time you’re 70 years old, you will have spent nearly a quarter of a century sleeping. The average person spends about 23 years of his or her life in bed. Here are estimates of how most Americans spend their waking hours during those 70 years:
• 11 years working
• 8 years in leisure pursuits
• 6 years eating
• 5 years grooming
• 4 years being educated
• 3 years talking
• 2 years reading
• 6 months worshiping God