Early In Life

Early In Life

By Jeffrey Bush from They Turned the World Upside Down

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Luke 18:16

R.A. Torrey, the great evangelist, was preaching and challenging people to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ.  Near the front a young 7-year old boy stood up, in total sincerity and genuineness, wanting to give his life to the Lord. People smirked as they watched his action. They had never heard nor seen a 7-year old boy surrender his life to serve God. That boy’s name was William Whiting Borden.

William never forgot his decision. He served God tirelessly, and eighteen short years later the Lord took this faithful young servant home to be with Him. God does not limit who He wants to use! He was a child when he gave his life to Christ, and followed God with his whole heart. How many children might there be today who would give their lives to Christ?

God has given each Christian the opportunity to decide what he is going to do for the Lord. The Lord wants as many people in His army as he can get. He cannot use the lost people of the world to get His message out. Who then will He use?

Challenge:  In Luke 18:16 Jesus calls for the LITTLE children to come unto Him. If he wants them to be saved, how much more would He want them to follow and serve Him at a young age? If a child starts learning to tithe, obey God and serve Him, he won’t find it difficult to do the same when he’s an adult. Never think that God can’t use you because you are “too young”. Will you give your life to the Lord to use in any way? No matter if you are 7, 17, or 77, God desires to use your life.

The Praise of All People

The Praise of All People

By Shawn Bateman, Missionary to Argentina

“Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee.”

Psalm 67:3

God’s intentions were global from the very beginning. God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:3 was that in him “all of the nations of the earth would be blessed.” We often think of missions as a New Testament thing, but it all started in the Old Testament in the very first book of the Bible. Missions is found all throughout the Old Testament.

Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. Psalm 96:3

O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. Psalm 117:1

God desires the worship of all people. The text says, “Let ALL the people praise thee.” God desires the praise and worship of all people. When you stand and sing next Sunday morning, know that God desires this worship not only from you but from every man, woman, boy, and girl throughout the whole earth. It is His desire that all may sing of His redemption and grace.

Know this, though: they are not all singing God’s praise. Nearly two billion people will pray to Mecca today and praise the name of Allah. One billion people will practice Puja, which is the prayer and devotion of the Hindus. Five hundred million Buddhists will offer up offerings to their idols today. The goal of our churches should be that all people might hear the gospel so that all people might participate in the worship of the one true God.

Blessed For a Reason

Blessed For a Reason

By Shawn Bateman, Missionary to Argentina

1 God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

2 That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.

Psalm 67:1-2

The Psalmist opens up this song with three requests. First, he asks that God would be merciful. Mercy is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as, “that benevolence, mildness, or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries.” In other words, we as sinners deserve the righteous judgment of
God for our sins, but mercy is receiving the forgiveness of these sins instead of justice.

Secondly, the psalmist prays for God’s blessings. The blessings of life come at the command of the Lord. Deuteronomy 28:8 says,

“The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land
which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

All the blessings that we have received have come from God’s hands.

The third request made is that God would “cause his face to shine upon us.” This phrase is mentioned seven times in the Psalms and means to look favorably towards. When I was growing up I would sometimes sit with my friends in church. I remember while sitting in church one Sunday morning, we began to play with my friend’s toys.I heard someone snap their fingers behind me and I turned around to see my mother staring at me. At that moment her face was not shining towards me; I was in trouble. Here, by praying, “God cause your face to shine upon me,” the Psalmist is asking to live in God’s favor. He wants to know that God loves him and is looking towards him with a smile on His face.

In verse two he begins with the word “that.” There is a reason he is asking for mercy, blessings, and favor. The word “that” here implies “so that” or “in order
that.” The Psalmist says, “God bless us, have mercy on us, and look favorably towards us so others can hear of Your greatness and so Your way can be known throughout the world.”

God has not saved us and blessed us so we can just sit around and do nothing more than live blessed lives. God has saved us and blessed us for a reason, and that reason is to make His way known throughout the whole earth. Who has heard of the greatness of our God and His great salvation as a result of your telling them? We are blessed for a reason: so that others might hear.

“THE GOD OF THE WHOLE EARTH” SHALL HE BE CALLED

“THE GOD OF THE WHOLE EARTH” SHALL HE BE CALLED

By A Missionary to a Creative Access Country

Wow! What a powerful thought from Isaiah! I am reading through Isaiah, and I come across chapter 53. It talks about the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Here are a few things He did according to Isaiah 53:12:

-He hath poured out His soul unto death.

-He was number with the transgressors.

-He bore the sins of many.

-He made intercession for the transgressors.

Then in the following chapter, the prophecy of Jesus Christ dying in our place and for our sins basically starts out as a revival. He tells them to sing and enlarge their tents because they are going to break forth on the right hand and the left because their seed is going to inherit the Gentiles ( you and me). By the time we get down to verse 5 he says “the God of the whole earth shall he be called.” He is not the God of just America. He doesn’t fit into the little box we
made for him, nor is He in the bottle we rub three times to get our wish. He is a worldwide God, the worldwide Creator, the worldwide Redeemer, the worldwide One, and Only Way of salvation.

-For God so loved the world (John 3:16)

-I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)

-And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2)

-the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6)

Are we taking the Gospel to the world? Are we getting involved in the largest revival that has ever happened, the salvation of sinners from every tongue, tribe, and nation? What am I doing, what are you doing, to take the “the God of the whole earth” to the whole earth?

God Speaks, Abram Obeys

God Speaks, Abram Obeys

By Jeffrey Bush, Director of Vision Baptist Missions

1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. 4 So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.

Genesis 12:1-5

The Lord said to Abram, “Get thee out…. I will shew thee.” and “Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him.” God tells Abram to get out, not specifying where he would be going, how long it would take, or the route to follow, and yet all we see is that Abram gets up and obeys. This seems to be the story and life of Abram (later Abraham). God repeatedly told him to do something, and Abram simply obeyed. God speaks to Abram without giving all the details of His instructions (he would have a child in his old age and later he would be asked to sacrifice that child), and Abram just follows and obeys whatever God says. How could you just give everything up and go when you cannot see the full picture? How could you just blindly say yes if God were to tell you to drop all and go somewhere? What about safety? What about money, family and future? It just doesn’t make sense to drop all your current plans just because God says to do something, but that’s exactly what Abram did.

In God’s Word we see that every man and woman that God used had this same character trait. They were willing to obey even when they did not know all of the outcome. So what about you? Would you be willing to say “yes” to the Lord if you feel Him dealing in your heart? God may not speak to us in an audible voice like He did to Abram; it may be through reading His Word, hearing a sermon, praying, seeing or thinking about the need. Sometimes we have the idea that God is not calling out any more people like at other times in history, but the truth is that God is still calling people. Many are not responding. Our ears are so stopped up and our lives are so packed full of our own ambitions, goals, and activities that many times we cannot hear when that still small voice speaks or nudges us. May we learn to be as Abram with ears and eyes wide open and a willing spirit that says, “Sure, I’ll go anywhere or do anything that you say, Lord.” Abram did not understand what every step of the way was going to look like, but what he did understand was that God could take care of every detail much better than he himself could. Abram was wise enough to know that his responsibility was not to understand everything. Rather, his responsibility was to simply obey God, and God would take care of all the steps along the journey.

With God All Things Are Possible

With God All Things Are Possible

By Jim Roberts III

22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Matthew 14:22-23

Perhaps, I should begin with a warning: DO NOT TRY THIS AT THE LAKE OR RIVER BECAUSE IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO WALK ON WATER!

Jesus can walk on water because He is GOD, and besides, He created water. But Peter is not God and he did not create water. So how did Peter walk on water? Remember, walking on water is impossible.

The disciples are in the middle of the lake rowing and going nowhere. There’s a big storm, and they are afraid. Their situation looks impossible. Your situation may look the same. You may say, “I can’t go to the mission field; that’s impossible.” “I cannot give more for others to go; that’s impossible.”

How did Peter do the impossible? Peter asked Jesus, “Bid me come unto thee.” Jesus said, “COME,” and Peter walked on water, doing the impossible. You, too, can do the impossible. You won’t be able to walk on water, but you can GO and you can GIVE. Ask GOD! That’s what Peter did.