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

Happy New Year!

Resolution One: I will live for God.
Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.
—Jonathan Edwards

A New Year's Plea

Lord, let me stand in the thick of the fight,
Let me bear what I must without whining;
Grant me the wisdom to do what is right,
Though a thousand false beacons are shining.

Let me be true as the steel of a blade,
Make me bigger than skillful or clever;
Teach me to cling to my best, unafraid,
And harken to false gospels, never.

Let me be brave when the burden is great,
Faithful when wounded by sorrow;
Teach me, when troubled, with patience to wait
The better and brighter tomorrow.

Spare me from hatred and envy and shame,
Open my eyes to life's beauty;
Let not the glitter of fortune or fame
Blind me to what is my duty.

Let me be true to myself to the end,
Let me stand to my task without whining;
Let me be right as a man, as a friend,
Though a thousand false beacons are shining.

--- Edgar A. Guest

The Promise of a King
Christmas, 1,000 years before Christ

The background to the story in 2 Chronicles 17 (cf. 2 Sam 7) is very rich. David had become king in Israel, just as God had promised him he would be. There came a time when David began reflecting on the fact that Jerusalem was the center of worship in Israel. David had brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem, but something was missing. There was no temple for the ark. The central place of worship continued to be what it had been for 400 years, ever since the people of Israel left Egypt, a tent made of animal skins. We know it as the Tabernacle. It was 45 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 15 feet high.

David made a statement about this fact in 1 Chronicles 17:1 … "I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent." What David wanted to do was build a house for the Lord, a temple, a glorious temple where the Ark of the Covenant would be housed. But God did not want David to build Him a house, because David’s rule had been characterized by war and great bloodshed (1 Chr 28:3). Instead God would let David make all the preparations and David’s son, Solomon (whose name means ‘peace’) would build the great temple. What God said to David on this occasion is significant for all humanity.

Stephen and Ginger Jordan
New Tribes Mission
P.O. Box 261
5300 Puerto Princesa City
Palawan, Philippines
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thanksgiving Day will mark exactly four months since I, Ginger, fell down the stairs and injured my elbow, so I have many more basic things I am thankful for this year. I am thankful for a family who each joined in to do the work that I was not able to do, from making meals to combing my hair. I am thankful for a husband who helped do the most menial of tasks that I was not able to do, like helping me to get dressed. And now, four months later, I am thankful to be able to do all of these basic things without help and without pain. Things like washing my hair, brushing my teeth with my right hand, opening cans of vegetables, making cookies, and kneading bread are all things I am so much more grateful to be able to do.

IS THE INCARNATION OF IMMANUEL ANOTHER NAME FOR CHRISTMAS?

Christmas joy and meaning are not found in Wal-Mart, Target, or any of the other big box stores. Created in God’s image to walk with Him, our eternal souls cannot be satisfied with plastic and electronic toys, but only with the eternal values, the never-ending abundant life, found only by faith in Christ. Free salvation in Christ is God’s gift to you when you accept Jesus as your personal Savior. Outside of Jesus, is only a world of lies and illusions where the greedy, “Pant after the dust of the earth” (Amos 2:7).

Scripture reveals that the baby born in Bethlehem and the Carpenter from Nazareth are Immanuel, God with us. His name, Jesus, means Jehovah the Savior. Both Christ, and Messiah, mean The Anointed One. Three men who are anointed in the Old Testament are Prophet, Priest and King. Not only do all three men picture Christ, but He is our beloved Prophet, heavenly High Priest and glorious King.

Gift-giving solutions
Trying to find gifts for certain people — or letting others know what you want — can be quite challenging. After all, most of us don’t need anything.

Realizing that the best gifts aren’t material items offers a new perspective on giving and receiving. Consider these insights from author Charles Swindoll: “Some gifts you can give this Christmas are beyond monetary value: Mend a quarrel, dismiss suspicion, tell someone ‘I love you.’ Give something away — anonymously. Forgive someone who has treated you wrong. Turn away wrath with a soft answer. Visit someone in a nursing home. Apologize if you were wrong. Be especially kind to someone with whom you work. Give as God gave to you in Christ, without obligation, or announcement, or reservation, or hypocrisy.”

The Christmas grump
Uncle Bill had the reputation of being a curmudgeon. He always seemed to have something to grumble about. Bill’s friends and family were used to his demeanor and usually took it with a grain of salt. One year, while Bill’s relatives were decorating for Christmas, his young nephew wondered aloud, “Do you think Uncle Bill will put up a negativity scene again this year?”