Bethel Baptist Church

"For from Him and to Him and through Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen." Romans 11:36

The Beacon

Stephen & Ginger Jordan
On Home Assignment from the Philippines

With the fall season come and almost gone, we want to take this opportunity to share some of the highlights of the last couple of months:

  • Rebekah has moved and begun her studies at college.
  • Luke joined a football team and then broke his wrist just prior to the first game. Even with a broken wrist, he continued to practice with the team with the goal of playing in the final game of the season, which he was able to do.
  • Abigail began voice lessons and has been able to participate with the youth choir at our home church.
  • With Abigail’s desire to pursue Interior Designing, Abigail and Stephen had a couple of dates looking at some homes that were part of the Parade of Homes in our area.
  • The whole family spent a day at a local farm: picking apples, going through a corn maze, eating pumpkin donuts, and more.
  • Ginger was able to plan and purchase supplies she needs for the next two years of cards.
  • Abigail was able to complete her Segment 2 classes for driver’s training, and is continuing to log in driving hours with the goal of obtaining her license before we return to the Philippines.
  • Luke and Abigail have enjoyed many activities with the youth group of our home church, often doing something twice a week.
  • We enjoyed having Rebekah home for her fall break.

NOT “HAPPY HOLIDAY”, RATHER
“HAVE A BLESSED MERRY CHRISTMAS!”
MAY THE JOYS OF JESUS CHRIST BE YOURS THIS CHRISTMAS!

Moved by the eternal, sovereign God, the Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, ruler of the known world, issued his royal and earth-shaking decree. Augustus ordered all Roman subjects to return to their ancestral home-town to be enrolled for census and taxation (Luke 2). Thus God, working through Augustus, set in motion the most thrilling, joyful, miraculous, and greatest event in all history. Unknown to Augustus, he opened the curtain to the sublime and historical drama of human redemption. Joseph and Mary who are in the royal family of David the King, journey to Bethlehem, fulfilling the prophecy of Micah 5:2. Mary is pregnant, “for that which is conceived in her is of (from out of) the Holy Spirit” (Mt. 1:20, Amp.).

On the first Christmas the unseen Jehovah God stepped out of the Old and into the New Testament wrapped in the small body of a Man. To avoid the wicked depravity of Adam’s fallen nature, Christ is virgin born and sinless. How are the glorious names of our Savior, Lord and King, explaining His character and identity? Jesus means Jehovah the Savior, and Christ is The Anointed One. “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Is. 9:6). “His name Emmanuel … is God with us” (Mt. 1:23). “I am (Myself) the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on) Me, although he may die, yet he shall live” (Jn. 11:25, Amp.). “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no one comes to the Father but by Me” (Jn. 14:6).

Thoughts on true humility
“The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but (before that) a baby, and before that a fetus inside a woman’s body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab.”
—C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Ultimate comfort
“For each of us the time is surely coming when we shall have nothing but God. Health and wealth and friends and hiding places will all be swept away… To the man of pseudo faith that is a terrifying thought, but to real faith it is one of the most comforting thoughts the heart can entertain.”
—A.W. Tozer

Normally when we think of our Lord’s commands, we think of the 10 commandments . . . You shall not steal . . . Honor your father and your mother. Or we think of commands like . . . Love the LORD your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength . . . Love your neighbor as yourself. But there is a command, repeated in the Scriptures, which we don’t normally think of when we think of God’s commands. By way of command God says, “Delight yourself in the LORD” (Psa 37:4) . . . “Be glad in the LORD” (Psa 32:11) . . . “Rejoice in the Lord” (Phil 3:1; 4:6). These verbs are all imperatives.

WHY IS THERE SO MUCH PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING IN THE BIRTH-STORY OF JESUS?

Luke 1:1-80

1-4: Luke the beloved Greek physician, companion of Paul and writer of Acts, carefully investigated the life of Jesus in 60 A.D., so that we may know for certain that the claims of Christ, in whom we believe, are absolutely true. Luke’s elegant and formal introduction, unique in Scripture, is a literary gem in polished Greek. Luke interviewed eyewitnesses, and Mary could have given him this most complete account of Christ’s birth in chapters 1-2, because “Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (2:9). Under Holy Spirit inspiration, Luke, with the diagnostic eye of a physician, writes the world’s most beautiful book, the longest and most accurate life of Christ ever written by a Gentile.