I take a break from working on the discipleship course to bring to our readers the blog post for this week.
Wednesdays tend to be days of relaxing and working on backlogged work here at the mission. We have our chapel services on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and, of course, our church services Sunday afternoons. As any who know our mission can attest though, the food donation pickups for our food pantry are an everyday task.
Pastor Bill preached a good sermon this past Sunday on the needs and offices of disciples and ministers. Drawing from what Scripture relates concerning Christ’s interaction with the twelve with the addition of the coming of the Holy Spirit, Pastor Bill was seeking to edify believers here in this church to the help of this church. The mission church recently elected a second deacon to help in the work here. I now briefly admonish, after some of my chapel messages, people who have come to repentance and faith in Christ in the past year or two to be baptized in order to identify with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection publically and to be received into the visible church. I still smile when I think of a certain attendee to our chapel services who happened in on a baptism at another conservative church here in the city and was baptized there recently, having heard Pastor Bill speak about the subject. I’m sure this was a pleasant surprise for the people of that church.
Intern Galen Balinski has decided to stay with the mission this autumn instead of going on to graduate school at the present time. God always has a way of providing for this mission, and it is impressive to see His hand of providence. The operation here requires two interns, plus Brad Jones, plus our many volunteers (for whom we are very thankful) simply to keep the food pantry operating smoothly. This is not to speak of the preaching, counseling, helping in building projects, moving vehicles according to city code, taking out the garbage and tying up cardboard, etc. which we do here. Galen’s decision to stay will bring the number of interns here this autumn up to two. If Galen’s experience over this next year proves to be anything like mine though, he probably won’t be leaving until next summer or next fall. Let all be done as God wills though. I wouldn’t be leaving the mission except that I believe God is pushing me to go back to school while an unsought opportunity for me to do so is open.
So, God willing, I have six weeks here in Manhattan before returning to North Carolina this fall. Yesterday in chapel I finally finished my exposition of the book of Hebrews. During this 18 week series (plus a week each in Habakkuk and Haggai), I have come to pray with an open, unexpected, but quite believing faith that God would visit us with His salvation and enter every trembling heart. Yesterday from the pulpit in the opening prayer I asked him these words, as well as those which say, from the perspective of the believer: “Take away our bent to sinning, Alpha and Omega be; End of faith as its beginning, set our hearts at liberty.” I told the Lord how we long for His return. I do believe that He is or has been, or will be, saving people here or somewhere as a result of these prayers. Hence, I am asking the people here to be baptized when they have come to repentance and faith in Christ.
The people of Israel need God’s help at this time. I would invite any of our readers to pray for Israel’s welfare and salvation as well as for the welfare and salvation of the people in Gaza who, in many cases, are hostages of their own corrupt opinion and elected government. The name “Hamas” is actually the Hebrew word meaning “Violence.” They called themselves “Violence” in the language of the people whom they hate! With all this going on, the images of the rockets going off and the exploding infrastructure, I had to be reminded by the Lord last night that, “the end is not yet” “…ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass.” “But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let the reader understand)… in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,… then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” (Matthew, Mark) I am looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. I am not looking for the appearing of the Man of Sin.
We are quickly coming to the days though when the word of the LORD will be fulfilled: “Behold, I myself shall set Jerusalem a cup of reeling to all the peoples surrounding—and also to Judah it shall be—in the siege against Jerusalem. And it shall be in that day I will set Jerusalem as a stone of burden to all the peoples. All that burden themselves with her shall surely be cut—and the ones scraped together against her—all the nations of the earth. (Zechariah 12:2-3, my own translation)
My mind was playing a lovely Yiddish folk song in my dream this morning when Pastor Bill called into my room and woke me up. My sleep had been sweet though, by God’s grace.
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...