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

BREADTH AND LENGTH AND HEIGHT AND DEPTH
meditation on Ephesians 3:18,19M

There are some realities that are so mind boggling that if we had to describe them to someone, we would be at a total loss. For example, how do you describe the Grand Canyon, or Mt. Rainier, or the night time sky on a clear, moonless night when it almost appears that you can touch the Milky Way? You can’t describe these things … you just experience them and stand in awed silence before them.

Likewise, there are some Biblical passages and truths we are totally inadequate to comprehend and to describe. In Ephesians 3 there are references to the riches of God’s glory (Eph 3:16), the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge (Eph 3:19), and all the fullness of God (Eph 3:19). How can we totally comprehend the riches of God’s glory or His fullness or the love of Christ? These things are infinite and you can’t comprehend the infinite by means of the finite. It won’t work, no matter how hard you try. It is like trying to pour the Pacific Ocean into an 8 ounce glass, except the contrast between God’s infinite perfections and our small, sinful minds is even greater than the Pacific Ocean and a glass.

Shan Reed
North American Baptist Conference
Ibukino 3 Chome 14-9-903
Izumi Shi, Osaka Fu
594-0041 Japan
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Komyo Christian Church

For the past two years we have been hosting seminars three times a year at Komyo Church for the ladies of our regional Japan Baptist Conference (JBC) churches, as well as for ladies from other area churches. The theme for July’s seminar was thirst. We talked about the thirsts of our heart and how we try to quench them on our own rather than with God’s love and grace. As the ladies get to know each other and their desires for knowing God deepen, the discussion around the tables also deepen. It is such a joy to see these women delving into God’s Word and sharing their hearts with each other.

A CHRIST-CENTERED CHRISTIAN EDUCATION PHILOSOPHY OF HOW TO FULLY EQUIP GOD’S PEOPLE TO SERVE HIM IN LOCAL CHURCHES

The Master Teacher is our example and we want to follow His model in our teaching. In the Great and Glorious Commission He handed out teaching certificates to all who love Him. “All power is given to Me … Go … and teach, make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Mt. 28:18-20).

Our encouraging example, Christ, spent most of His time instructing twelve apostles. Having no other plan, Jesus is commanding us to carry out His commission. Our views on education, on making disciples, on Bible doctrine, and on eternal life come directly from Christ, the greatest of all philosophers. “In Him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). His inherent genius as Master Educator is seen in Jesus at age 12 in God’s temple, “sitting among the teachers, both hearing them, and asking them questions” (Lk. 2:46). This concise verse on the Lord’s interactive teaching is the scriptural method for us to follow. Jesus often sat among His disciples knowing that a relaxed and informal outdoor classroom encourages active student involvement. He listened to their questions and problems, and asked probing questions. Read the four Gospels, counting the number of questions Jesus asked, and the students asked.

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.
—Nathaniel Hawthorne

Back-to-school humor

  • Summer is over. Time to officially remember what day of the week it is!
  • “Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken.” (Bill Dodds)
  • Receiving new textbooks, one student to another: “Psst. How do you turn this thing on?”
  • Parent: “What did you learn today?” Kindergartner: “Not enough. I have to go back tomorrow.”

THE IMMUTABILITY OF GOD
meditation on God's unchanging nature

I am the LORD, I change not.
Malachi 3:6

Our life is a life of change and our world is a world of change. Everything around us is in the process of changing all the time and at times it is quite unsettling to us. People who study stress and the causes of stress, tell us that any change causes stress, from the death of a loved one to starting school in the fall. Because of the way God made us, with a desire for eternity, the changes of life, ending as it does in death, are very difficult for us to endure. We find ourselves constantly making mental and emotional adjustments in order to cope with the relentless fluctuations of living on this earth.

With this in mind, the unchangeableness of our God speaks to the heartfelt need of our soul for stability and permanence. When everything around us is not only in a state of unsettling fluidity, but is fading away, the God who does not change answers to the yearning of our soul for something that is lasting. The Bible reveals to us a God who is immutable. The Scriptures teach us that He is always the same. He does not grow in form or in knowledge like we do. His power does not get stronger as the years go on. He does not learn anything new. He is not moody or irritable. He does not change His mind.