Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Last night in the third night of the missions conference at Tri-state Baptist Temple of South Point, Ohio, Dr. Clayton Shumpert preached the greatest missions message I have ever heard. His text was Isaiah 53. He preached a simple yet powerful message on everything that Christ did for us and everything that Christ is to us. The premise of the message was this: "If you know Him, you will love Him; and if you love Him, you will serve Him." There was no arm-twisting or guilt-tripping in the message. He preached on Christ being the Sent One, the Suffering One, the Sin-bearing One, the Silent One (he opened not his mouth), and the Satisfying One (He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied...). He made a statement that was profound. "Any missionary who has surrendered to go to a mission field had to first come to a point where he truly appreciated all that Christ had done for him." Why are there so few surrendering to go? Perhaps it is because so many Christians today feel like they deserve what Christ did for them. And if we feel that way, there will be no true gratitude to the Lord for all that He did for us on the Cross. When we truly come to the point where we realize that without Christ we have no hope, I believe we will begin to serve Him in sincerity.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
It's interesting to me that in Genesis 1, the moon is called a light. Skeptics have tried to use this to discredit the Bible by saying ridiculous things like, "Ha! See, the writer didn't even know that the moon is merely a reflector of the sun, not a light in and of itself!" Obviously, God was referring to the function of the moon as the means of giving off light at night; He was not going into scientific detail about how the light is produced. God was referring to the fact that He made the moon to be a light in the darkness. The moon was made to reflect the light of the sun.
"Ye are the light of the world..." In the same way that the moon has absolutely no power to give off light apart from the sun, we cannot give off the light of the Gospel apart from the Son. 2 Corinthians 4:6 reads, "But God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts..." We are not the source of the light; we are merely reflectors of the light that has shined in our hearts. Isn't it interesting that in both instances, something that is not a light in and of itself is called a light by God? The moon was made to give off the sun's light to penetrate physical darkness; we as Christians were made to give off the Son's light to penetrate spiritual darkness.
Monday, September 13, 2010
Stephen Benefield, the missionary with whom we will be working when we get to Cambodia, emailed me the top three questions that Cambodians ask him when he is soul winning. These three questions give us a glimpse of the formidable spiritual challenges that await us in Cambodia.