Odds & Ends: May 2016
A taste of God's love
In Lost in Wonder, Love and Praise (Abingdon Press), John Killinger describes a mother’s love — and how it offers a tiny foretaste of God’s love:
“It is stronger than steel, softer than down and more resilient than a green sapling on the hillside. It closes wounds, melts disappointments and enables the weakest child to stand tall and straight in the fields of adversity. I believe that this love, even at its best, is only a shadow of the love of God, a dark reflection of all that we can expect of Him, both in this life and the next.”
Close to God
I can take my telescope and look millions and millions of miles into space. But I can lay it aside, go into my room, shut the door, get down on my knees in earnest prayer, and see more of heaven and get closer to God than I can assisted by all the telescopes and material agencies on earth.
Chapter and verse
In its original format, the Bible contained no chapter and verse divisions or numbers. Those are entirely a human convention, intended to make reading easier.
The first modern system of dividing Scripture occurred in the 13th century. Interestingly, the New Testament was first separated into verses in 1551 — by the son of a French printer, as he rode on horseback!
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.”