Things are going along as usual here at the mission. O, wait… Always dealing with new situations is “usual” for us. I almost forgot.
I am encouraged from time to time to think of William Carey’s statement when once asked about the secret of his success as a minister. He said, "I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything." Such was true when he learned shoe cobbling, when he studied geography out of Captain Cook’s writings, when he implored the Particular Baptist denomination to endeavor in foreign missionary activity, and when he finally shipped out of England in unsettling states of affairs and settled in Dutch India. Carey plodded from that point on, first as an indigo farmer and then as a college professor alongside his work in studying the Indian languages and translating and teaching the Bible. The “deathless sermon” to the English Particular Baptists in which he first exhorted them to endeavor in the foreign Gospel work had these two points to the sermon, and IN THIS ORDER: “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.” And this Carey did, as a plodder. On his tombstone in Serampore, India, this line of Isaac Watts is the only line present in addition to his name and dates: “A wretched, poor, and helpless worm, On Thy kind arms I fall.” Would to God we each would adopt a plodder’s mindset in the things to which God has appointed us, particularly in the work of the ministry of Christ.
Pastor Bill recently opened one of his chapel services for “question and answer time” for the duration of the entire service. He entertained one question about how a person gets forgiveness with God. One child asked, “Was God the first person on earth?” Another child had an interesting question: “Why does God make me move?” At first, Pastor Bill thought the child may have come from a military family, but then the child further clarified the question, asking why God makes him run, jump, and hop. Pastor Bill asked him, “Do you like to do those things?” The boy answered that he does. Bill replied, “That’s why God makes you do them.” God is ultimately glorified in the functioning of His creatures as He has designed them. It is a shame sin blights the correct functioning and morals of those whom God made in His image. Thank God for His redemption and regeneration! The whole earth shall one day be regenerated just as we are, the firstfruits of his creation.
Pastor Bill has been inviting people lately to come speak with him after the chapel services if they have questions or want prayer. A few people have come forward for personal counseling and prayer recently. I am doing the same thing at the end of the Tuesday chapel service in which I preach regularly.
Who is sufficient for these things? Our sufficiency is not of ourselves but of God. I am all too aware of the Devil’s hatred of the ministry of the Gospel and my own weakness in my human nature. Every time I stand in the pulpit, I implore God, publically in my opening prayer, to hide me behind the cross and to fill me with His Holy Spirit, to make my words clear to the hearers and to give them open hearts.
Last Sunday, Pastor Bill arrived in his sermon series through Matthew at chapter 9 and the account of the healing of the man sick from the palsy. Interestingly, Pastor Bill read the text of verse 6 with a slightly different wording than any of the Bible translations available in English. The word often translated “forgive” can also be translated “dismiss” and even “divorce.” It is a strong word indicating the action of sending away. Verse 9:6 he read in this way: “…But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to DISMISS sins—then He said to the paralytic, ‘Get up, pick up your bed and go home.’” [NASB, with one word changed] One man in the congregation said something like, “THAT’S a relief.”
How good it is to know this lovely Saviour, as Dr. McGee used to call Him. He who dismisses sins is with us and for us. We fall so short of His love and righteousness, but He advocates for us and loves us still. “Therefore, my brethren beloved, steadfast be, unmovable, abounding in the work of the Lord always, having known that your labor [also translated: beating, sorrow, trouble, toil] is not in vain in the Lord.
Posted by: Christopher Love, NYGM Intern
Dr. Bill Jones
Dr. Bill Jones has helped in the establishment of two churches in otherparts of the country and served as Pastor for 14 years. The past few summers, Bill has...