Source: The Greatest of these is LOVE
While reading some William Carey writings I stumbled across this this powerful challenge:
We are exhorted to lay up treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal. It is also declared that whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. These Scriptures teach us that the enjoyments of the life to come, bear a near relation to that which now is; a relation similar to that of the harvest, and the seed. It is true all the reward is of mere grace, but it is nevertheless encouraging; what a treasure, what an harvest must await such characters as PAUL, and ELLIOT and BRAINERD, and others, who have given themselves wholly to the work of the Lord. What a heaven will it be to see the many myriads of poor heathens, of Britons amongst the rest, who by their labours have been brought to the knowledge of God. Surely a crown of rejoicing like this is worth aspiring to. Surely it is worth while to lay ourselves out with all our might, in promoting the cause, and kingdom of Christ.
Run toward being radical rather sitting content with the normal Christian life! Sow like Paul sowed. Sow like Brainerd sowed. Sow like Moffat sowed. Don’t sow like the average Christian sows. Go above and beyond in the way you follow Christ. Err on following too hard rather than too little.
Think, pray, and get involved in the evangelization of the world!
Carey, William. “AN ENQUIRY INTO THE OBLIGATIONS OF CHRISTIANS, TO USE MEANS FOR THE CONVERSION OF THE HEATHENS.” Www.baptisttheology.org. The Center For Theological Research, 10 Mar. 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. .
How to Get the Most
from Reading your Bible
Puritan writer Thomas Watson tells us how to prepare for reading the Bible…
1. Remove hindrances. (a) remove the love of every sin (b) remove the distracting concerns of this world, especially covetousness [Matt. 13:22] (c) Don’t make jokes with and out of Scripture.
2. Prepare your heart. [1 Sam. 7:3] Do this by: (a) collecting your thoughts (b) purging unclean affections and desires (c) not coming to it rashly or carelessly.
3. Read it with reverence, considering that each line is God speaking directly to you.
4. Read the books of the Bible in order.
5. Get a true understanding of Scripture. [Ps. 119:73] This is best achieved by comparing relevant parts of Scripture with each other.
6. Read with seriousness. [Deut. 32:47] The Christian life is to be taken seriously since it requires striving [Luke 13:24] and not falling short [Heb. 4:1].
7. Persevere in remembering what you read. [Ps. 119:52] Don’t let it be stolen from you [Matt. 13:4,19]. If it doesn’t stay in your memory it is unlikely to be much benefit to you.
8. Meditate on what you read. [Ps. 119:15] The Hebrew word for meditate’ means to be intense in the mind’. Meditation without reading is wrong and bound to err; reading without meditation is barren and fruitless. It means to stir the affections, to be warmed by the fire of meditation [Ps. 39:3].
9. Read with a humble heart. Acknowledge that you are unworthy that God should reveal himself to you [James 4:6]
10. Believe it all to be God’s Holy Word. [2 Tim 3:16] We know that no sinner could have written it because of the way it describes sin. No saint could blaspheme God by pretending his own Word was God’s. No angel could have written it for the same reason. [Heb 4:2]
11. Prize the Bible highly. [Ps. 119:72] It is your lifeline; you were born by it [James 1:18] you need to grow by it [1 Pet 2:2] [cf. Job 23:12].
12. Love the Bible ardently [Ps. 119:159].
13. Come to read it with an honest heart. [Luke 8:15] (a) Willing to know the entire and complete will of God (b) reading in order to be changed and made better by it [John 17:17].
14. Apply to yourself everything that you read, take every word as spoken to yourself. Its condemnation of sins as the condemnation of your own sin; the duty that it requires as the duty God would require from you [2 Kings 22:11].
15. Pay close attention to the commands of the Word as much as the promises. Think of how you need direction just as much as you need comfort.
16. Don’t get carried away with the minor details, rather make sure to pay closest attention to the great things [Hosea 8:12].
17. Compare yourself with the Word. How do you compare? Is your heart something of a transcript of it, or not?
18. Pay special attention to those passages that speak to your individual, particular and present situation. e.g. (a) Affliction — [Heb. 12:7, Isaiah 27:9, John 16:20, 2 Cor 4:17. (b) Sense of Christ’s presence and smile withdrawn — [Isaiah 54:8, Isaiah 57:16, Ps. 97:11] (c) Sin — [Gal 5:24, James 1:15, 1 Peter 2:11, Prov 7:10&22-23, Prov 22:14] (d) Unbelief — [Isaiah 26:3, 2 Sam 22:31, John 3:15, 1 John 5:10, John 3:36]
19. Pay special attention to the examples and lives of people in the Bible as living sermons. (a) Punishments [Nebuchadnezzar, Herod, Num 25:3-4&9, 1 Kings 14:9-10, Acts 5:5,10, 1 Cor 10:11, Jude 7] (b) mercies and deliverances [Daniel, Jeremiah, the 3 youths in the fiery furnace]
20. Don’t stop reading the Bible until you find your heart warmed. [Ps 119:93] Let it not only inform you but also inflame you [Jer 23:29, Luke 24:32].
21. Put into practice what you read [Ps 119:66, Ps 119:105, Deut 17:19].
22. Christ is for us Prophet, Priest and King. Make use of His office as a Prophet [Rev 5:5, John 8:12, Ps 119:102-103]. Get Christ not only to open the Scriptures up to you, but to open up your mind and understanding [Luke 24:45]
23. Make sure to put yourself under a true ministry of the Word, faithfully and thoroughly expounding the Word [Pr 8:34] be earnest and eager in waiting on it.
24. Pray that you will profit from reading [Isaiah 48:17, Ps 119:18, Nehemiah 9:20].
…As a missionary
Here are 5 traits I believe are important in the work of church planting mission work as the missionary seeks and develops leaders on the foreign field.
Faithfulness – This is at ground zero. Without faithfulness a man is going nowhere. This can be taught but it can’t be forced. At some point the disciple has to grab it and own it . He has to see how important it is to be where he is suppose to be every time and on time. He has to see how important it is that people can count on him. He has to desire and work at building a name for always keeping his word. A leader has to be faithful. A great verse that really shows how bad it is to be unfaithful is found in Proverbs 25:19 – Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint . An unfaithful man will never be a great leader.
Ownership – A good potential leader is one that takes ownership. We are speaking in the area of church work. He will realize the importance of being a member of his church and get involved. He will help take care and maintain the building because it’s his church’s property. He will look and search for ways to serve because it’s his Lord’s church. It’s not about getting paid it’s about the fact that he realizes this is his eternal family and he wants in, completely in!
Initiative – This trait is defined as the ability to assess and initiate things independently. Or the power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do. A potential leader is going to learn to take the initiative. He is looking for work to be done, opportunities to be taken, without having to be told to do so. This is unfortunately a rare trait. But if you and I desire to be great leaders initiative is a must! You will only realize the importance of this trait when you are starting or leading an organization on your own. Look for the guy already working – even though he may not be doing it right or the best way but he is moving and trying. This guy probably takes initiative. Some guys have just never had a good example of someone with initiative. Be that person and explain what it is and how important it is and somebody might latch on to it.
Quality Workmanship – A great leader in my book is someone that cares about the quality of his work. This guy is not perfect. He may not be the most talented but he is working hard with what he has. He studies to show himself approved unto God. He prepares for anything and everything he is responsible for because his name, and more importantly His Lord’s name is on the line. He is not a “wing-it” kind of guy. He puts in the time to get the job done and done right. He genuinely cares about the the product he puts out – whether it’s a message, manual work, or some sort of oversight of a job in the church. He’s all about quality!
Aspirations – This is the hope or ambition of achieving something. I realize ambition can be a bad thing. But I believe it can also be an essential quality of good leadership. An aspiring young man is a guy that dreams, and wants to do something great with his life. I’m not talking about building his own fame but this guy understands the he only has one short life to live and that is only assured one breath at a time. He wants to make the most of every moment. He is hungry and driven for the glory of God! He wants to see God do something great through his life – in every area – as a husband, father, church member, Sunday school teacher, children’s church leader, preacher, pastor etc, etc. He has great aspirations!
These are things that are very important to me as I look at myself, other leaders, and potential leaders. I realize there many traits much greater than these but I think these should definitely be on the list of leadership qualities. May God help us to have them, develop them, and help others to gain them for the glory of God!
Please pray for a group of about 13 people who we’re traveling back from Sipho Bonga’s mother’s funeral yesterday. They were riding in the back of Pastor Ntobeko’s truck. A tire blew out and from what I understand the truck rolled. People were cut, scraped, and banged up as you can imagine.
We were at the hospital til almost 12am. We are extremely thankful no one was killed but for many it will be a while til they are back to 100%. Please pray for this situation and the recovery of all these people.
Just wanted to ask prayer for a few big events coming up!
Anniversary Sunday at Madiba Bay Baptist Church tomorrow. This is the first church I planted when when we arrived in South Africa.
USUKU LOBUHLOBO (Friend Day) at Wells Estate Baptist Church coming up the first Sunday of October.
Missionary Mark Coffey as he plants a church with Babalo Nyumbana in Motherwell. I think they hope to start the church in the next few weeks.