B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER #249
B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER #249
I Cor.. 16:9 ‘For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
SEPTEMBER 25, 2013
Pastor David Koenig is being replaced in India as a CLC missionary by Pastor Ed Starkey. Ed and Janice Starkey are due to arrive in India Oct. 8th
WORDS OF THE WISE – GOD RULES part 3
God Rules Everywhere
15:3 …”in every place…”
How foolish were the soldiers of Benhadad the Syrian king, “…their gods are gods of the hills, and so they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.”
1 Kings 20:23 Our God rules in every place. The disastrous defeat of the Syrians was testimony to that. When God’s own people in Judah thought they could sin and He would not see and act, they were sorely mistaken. “Am I a God at hand, says the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? Says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? Says the Lord.”
Jer. 23:23-24 No crevice in the hills or cave, no nook or cranny, no pit or underbrush can conceal from the Lord.
God Rules in the Interest of His Will and His People
16:3-4 “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” It is so important to hear that cry down through the years, Who is on the Lord’s side? And to respond with faith is the answer. Even the lowliest God rules over with His love, “The Lord tears down the house of the proud, but maintains the widow’s boundaries.”
15:25 Even though it may seem as if times without number we are put down, persecuted, facing dangers and tribulations in untold number, He rules. “For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.”
24:16 Remember the personal testimony of David, “The steps of a man are from the Lord, and He establishes him in whose way He delights; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord is the stay of his hand.”
Ps. 37:23-24 And we can never forget Paul’s personal testimony that reminds us it may seem as if he is not ruling, but in the end we see He is. He has His purposes for everything. His will will be done. “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…”
2 Cor 4:8-10 We carry in our body the death of Jesus. His suffering we take part in and our faith is strengthened.
Is there such a thing as ‘luck’ for us? What do you think? In what areas?
God’s people are the focus of the story of salvation in the Old Testament time as the time came ever nearer for the Messiah to be born from woman from that specific line of men. And so He preserved this particular race from Adam, Noah, Abraham, Judah, and those in between and until the fullness of the time had come for Him to be born.
The nations round about who had to do with God’s people then are mentioned in the Scriptures. We have nothing on China, India and the North American Indians because these were not integrally involved with God’s people. Yet of course the Word is clear that God ruled over all. Now we know that all have sinned and fallen short of the grace of God. Further we know that salvation is for all, for God would have all men to be saved. In the last book of the Bible, Revelation, we see repeatedly that God is the ruler over all mankind and would have all to be saved, though so many reject Him. But the words are there about every “nation, tribe, people, tongue” in Rev. 5:9, 7:9, 11:9, 13:7, 14:6. As God rules all the world, so He desires repentance from all and that none should be lost.
God Rules, Trumps, Overrules, Redirects Man
21:2 “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.” God’s purpose, intent, will, design; all of this will be done. The Lord searches the mind and tries the heart to give to every man accordingly. And He does not make mistakes. He knows what he is doing, contrary to man who so often fools himself into thinking what is not true. The Lord is true and His Word guides us into all truth.
21:31 “A horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.” What is the most intense and confused action of man? War. Yet even in all of this chaos God carries out His purposes.
16:1,9 “The plans of the mind belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.””A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Man can plan all he wants but God rules and brings forth what He wants. Each of us can speak of those times when we had planned and planned, but things went differently and thankfully so. And think of those times when you know you were not in control and were really carried along to a far better conclusion than we could have arrived at.
19:21 “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established.” This is great comfort to us when we consider that our God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. We would not want anyone else to rule over us, least of all our own self or any grouping of the wisest men of this world, for still they would be tainted by sin and not do right by us. Far, far better it is, the Lord who rules:
• The Lord who sanctifies – Ex. 31:12-13, Heb. 13:12,
• The Lord who heals – Ex. 15:25-27, 1 Pet. 2:24,
• The Lord who is my Shepherd – Ps. 23:1, Jn. 10:11,
• The Lord of hosts – 1 Sam. 1:3, Rev. 19:13-16,
• The Lord our peace – Num. 6:26, Jn. 14:27,
• The Lord who is there and here – Ez. 48:35, Mt. 28:20,
• The Lord who is our righteousness – Jer. 23:6, 2 Cor. 5:21. To Him alone belongs the glory
Evangelism in the Early Church
Michael Green wrote an excellent book “Evangelism in the Early Church” (1970, Eerdman’s). After the apostles the Word continued it’s speedy course and this book traces that and why. Here are some excerpts from pp.236-244.
“There can be little doubt that the main motive for evangelism was a theological one. These men did not spread their message because it was advisable for them to do so, nor because it was the socially responsible thing to do. They did not do it primarily for humanitarian…reasons. They did it because of the overwhelming experience of the love of God which they had received through Jesus Christ. The discovery that the ultimate force in the universe was Love, and that this Love had stooped to the very nadir of self-abasement for human good, had an effect on those who believed it which nothing could remove. ‘The Son of God loved me and gave Himself for me.’…In a word, Christian evangelism has its motivation rooted in what God is and what He has done for man through the coming and the death and the resurrection of Jesus. ‘We love because He first loved us.’…
It was not only a sense of privilege and responsibility in representing Christ and inviting men in Christ’s stead to be reconciled to God which thrilled these evangelists; they were moved by the very example of Jesus Himself…
This gratitude, devotion, dedication to the Lord who had rescued them and given them a new life, this sense of being commissioned by Him and empowered by His Spirit to do the work of heralds, messengers and ambassadors, was the main motive in evangelism in the early Church. These men had been gripped by the love of God which had taken concrete form in the person of Jesus and had stooped to unbelievable depths in the agonies of Calvary. Magnitized by this love, their lives could not but show it, their lips could not help telling it: ‘We cannot but speak of the things which we have seen and heard’…How could they keep quiet? In such a day of good tidings they could not hold their peace…A second factor which weighed heavily with the Christians was their responsibility before God to live lives consistent with their profession. They lived their lives under the eye of God, and they were determined to please Him in all they did…”
May we in these days learn from them. Oh for a faith that will not shrink though pressed by many a foe, that will not tremble on the brink of poverty or woe…
Pastor David Koenig