What To Pray For
Meditation on Ephesians 1:15-19
On April 22, the Friday before our annual congregational meeting, we will have Day of Prayer, in which we ask the people of Bethel to spend an hour beseeching God's favor for our church and other things. We are chided by the statement in James 4:2,3 - "You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions." I wonder how many of God's blessings we have forfeited in our lives because we did not seek His grace.
This article has a very limited and particular focus. There are many things to be said about prayer. What should be the state of our hearts when we pray? Daniel's prayer in Daniel 9 or the Israelite leaders' prayer in Nehemiah 9 will be helpful to answer that question. What did Jesus teach His disciples about prayer? To study the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6 or two parables in Luke 11 and 18 is very helpful. Does prayer actually make any difference? To study the answers to prayer granted by God is very encouraging to teach us that God does answer the prayers of His people.
Missions Update: April 2016
North American Baptist Conference
Ibukino 3 Chrome 14-9-903
Izumi Shi, Osaka Fu
Shan Reed was raised in South Dakota in a family rooted deeply in God. Growing up going to church almost every time the doors were open, Shan had many opportunities to observe God’s family as the body of Christ working to share Jesus’ love in their church, in their families, and in their community. These experiences led her to acknowledge Jesus as her Savior and to be baptized when she was ten years old at her home church, West Center Baptist Church in Madison, South Dakota.
Years of Sunday School, youth group, VBS, and youth camps along with modeling from her parents gave Shan a solid foundation in her faith. During this time of faith development, her family invited students from Japan to stay in their home during a summer English study program. Learning about Japan from these students opened her eyes to an amazing world (Can you think of anything more opposite of South Dakota than Tokyo, Japan!?!). It was during her junior high and high school years when God began to develop in Shan the desire to go to Japan someday.
Joe Teisan: April 2016
ARE YOU SEARCHING THE GOD-BREATHED ANSWER BOOK TO SOLVE YOUR SPIRITUAL PROBLEMS AND ANSWER YOUR PUZZLING QUESTIONS?
If you desire life-shaped truth from God, shining in this world’s darkness, telling us how to be saved and go to heaven by accepting Christ as personal Savior, read the Bible. Without the God-breathed Book, we would be miserable. Satan and his followers try to destroy God’s inspired truth because it condemns evil. God and born again souls authenticate Scripture! God declares the only freeway to eternal bliss is by faith in Jesus. We treasure Holy Scripture and love the glad tidings as we joyfully radiate the beautiful likeness of the perfect God-Man.
Inspired words show us how to join Christ’s kingdom, how to think, pray, love, live, speak, and publish the Good News. Jesus is the world’s greatest philosopher and we walk in His wisdom. We cling to the God-inspired Book as we swim in this ocean of fallen man’s lies, deceptions and depravity. How can we escape this gross ignorance? “In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).
Odds & Ends: April 2016
“If we are not planted in Christ, we’ll be uprooted in crisis.”
In his hands
John G. Paton (1824-1907) was a pioneer missionary to the South Pacific islands now known as Vanuatu. Previous evangelists to the area had been consumed by cannibals, but Paton was undeterred — even after his wife and newborn son soon died of tropical fever.
Paton clung closely to Jesus amid deprivation, animosity and many attempts on his life. “I knew not, for one brief hour, when or how attack might be made,” he wrote. “And yet, with my trembling hand clasped in the hand once nailed on Calvary, and now swaying the scepter of the universe, calmness and peace and resignation abode in my soul.”
Today about 85 percent of Vanuatu’s population is Christian.
“The strength of a country is the strength of its religious convictions.”
Can I Know That I Belong To Christ?
A meditation on the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints.
Without any other question even coming close, the most important issue of life is the eternal destiny of the soul. There is nothing more significant than what will happen to us after we die. It is for that reason, that one of the perennial questions raised is this: "Can a Christian lose salvation?" In our theological circles we have a pithy answer which is correct, but which needs to be presented with Biblical warnings. We say, "Once saved - always saved." The implication of the security in that statement, indeed, finds its roots in the Bible, but we must also temper it with verses calling Christians to persevere.
First, let us consider the wonderful Biblical statements about the security of believers, due to the work and power of God. (I have added italics to emphasize portions of these verses that are relevant to the question of security.)