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

CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
meditation on Jude 3

The book of Jude is a one chapter exhortation about the truth of the gospel of Christ. It is readily clear from reading this 25-verse letter that the relevance to our day is obvious. In Jude 3, we see the reason for Jude’s writing this short letter. He had planned on writing these Christians about the glory of salvation, perhaps much like the beginning of the book of Ephesians or the first half of the book of Romans. But instead of writing about the wonder and glory of salvation, Jude was constrained to write about the importance of defending the truth of the gospel.

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

This verse gives us the overarching purpose and theme of the book of Jude. This letter is a reminder to us of the importance of the doctrines of the Christian faith and the necessity of being willing and able to defend them. There is a faith, delivered to the saints once for all. The word ‘faith’ here is not being used to describe the response of the heart when it first trusts in Christ, the initial converting act of faith. The phrase is ‘the faith', with the definite article in front of it. The phrase, ‘the faith’ is a reference to the body of doctrine that we have been taught in the Bible. ‘The faith’ refers to the truths we believe about Jesus Christ and His great salvation.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

To be a mother is by no means second class. Men may have the authority in the home, but the women have the influence. The mother, more than the father, is the one who molds and shapes those little lives from day one.

John MacArthur

Waiting on God

Waiting on God is an important component of prayer. It’s hard to understand why God delays when we cry out for help. Why does he allow us to suffer, when he could just say the word and make it all better? Why must we wait?

Consider a child whose parents always give her whatever she asks, as soon as she asks for it. That child has little opportunity to learn patience or gratitude. Because she doesn’t know what it’s like to not have, she cannot appreciate the true value of something.

God may have some of these things in mind when our prayers go unanswered for a time. As the psalmist exhorts, “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” (Psalm 27:14, NRSV).

FORGIVENESS
meditation on Psalm 32

It is not a pleasant task to look at ourselves as we really are. In fact, it is so painful that we try to avoid it whenever possible. From time to time when others point out our faults to us (usually a spouse), we often quickly dismiss their comments as an error in judgment on their part. But admitting our faults is fundamental to our well-being. The alcoholic, for example, must first admit that he has a problem before he can be helped.

But far beyond emotional health, the Bible instructs us that admitting our faults before God is necessary for spiritual life. There is no relationship with God without repentance of sin. Without humble and sincere confession of sin before our God, there is no life in the soul, no abiding peace, no lasting joy.

Sin resides within each one of us here and it is deadly. It manifests itself in a hundred different ways. It shows itself when pride rears its ugly head and in our hatred and greed and selfishness and lust and bitterness and envy. It affects the way we talk, the way we think, what we say about each other and the way we do our jobs and the way we relate to our spouses and children and our neighbor. It affects everything. There is not a single aspect of our living that is not touched by sin and its effect is unspeakably destructive. It has a deadening effect on everything that God has designed for life. It kills joy, it robs people of peace and hope and purity.

Stephen & Ginger Jordan
Philippines

From their blogs dated February 25 and March 6.

As we return to the Philippines, we make the transition back to village life one step at a time.

Upon our arrival back to the Philippines, we spent four days in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. During this brief time, we spent time shopping for items that we can’t usually find on our island. This usually means long rides in taxis through the Manila traffic.

Trip to the village - After a one-hour commercial flight, our family arrived back to Puerto. A few days later, Stephen, Abigail, and Luke made the three-hour road trip to our village. During their four-day visit, they attended church with the believers and painted their rooms. Moving back to the Philippines is hard for the kids as they said good-bye to their friends in the States. However, we promised them that upon our return to the Philippines they could repaint their rooms. This promise gave them something to look forward to.

Abigail chose to go with a light brown with a dark green trim. The boys decided to paint their room with a dark blue with yellow trim (for University of Michigan) and with orange trim (for Detroit Tigers). As promised, Stephen also painted the team logos on the doors.

During our time in Puerto, we have needed to do some maintenance on our vehicle and have needed to shop for everything because our kitchen cabinets in the village are empty. This is a massive order that includes everything from “A to Z”: “AA” Batteries, Baking Powder, Cream of Chicken soup, Dish soap . . . Mayonnaise, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, Pasta . . . Yeast, and Ziplock bags.

“JESUS SAID TO THEM, ‘WHY ARE YOU SO FEARFUL? HOW IS IT THAT YE HAVE NO FAITH?’ AND THEY FEARED EXCEEDINGLY. . . ‘O YE OF LITTLE FAITH. MY PEACE I GIVE TO YOU. LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED, NEITHER LET IT BE AFRAID.’” (Mark 4:40-41, Matthew 8:26, John 14:27)

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11, NIV).

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father’s consent. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:29-31).