Tag Archives: Scripture

May He Grant: May 6th

May 6: Pray that Melissa would have a strong, vibrant walk with God. Ask that she would be faithful to times in the Word, prayer, and fasting.

It’s Day 6 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete guide for the month here.

Pray that Melissa a mom of 5 can have a strong a vibrant walk with God. Sometimes getting through the day and accomplishing everything on her to do list can be daunting. In Mark chapter 10  Jesus is talking to his disciples about it being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. The disciples asked astonished, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus answers, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

Even rich with 5 kids, God can make all things possible. Please pray that Melissa will have have insight into Scripture. That she will have the time to accomplish her studying, praying, and fasting.

May He Grant: May 5th

May 5th: Ask the Lord to provide 5 new monthly partners this week. May He give them a vision of Rev. 7:9-12, and an excitement to be a part of people from “all tribes and peoples and languages” praising the Lamb!

It’s Day 5 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete prayer guide for the month here.

As most of you know, Wycliffe missionaries are each sent by a team of prayer and financial partners who are partnering with their specific ministry. Prayer partners are an invaluable part of the team – thank you for joining us in this way!

We also cannot go to PNG without folks willing to commit to give towards our monthly Wycliffe ministry budget on a regular basis. These gifts can be monthly, quarterly, or annually.

We have an amazing team of regular financial partners, and we are so thankful for each one of you. Currently we have 52 individuals or families, and 3 churches, that are part of Smiths on a Mission in this way – you are so important to this work! Please spend time today thanking God for all He has done to lead each of these people to join our ministry!

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” Revelation 7:9-12

This work, this team? It’s not about us. It’s not primarily about Papua New Guineans. It’s about God’s glory. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might are all His!! Forever and ever! His Word promises that people from every language will worship Him. We get to be a part of that, and we have the privilege of inviting others to be a part of that with us!

 

Only be strong and very courageous! Part 2

In part one we established two major things. 1) Moses, the greatest leader that the Israelites have ever known, described as the servant of the LORD, has died. 2) God is now speaking to Joshua, Moses’ assistant. If I had been in Joshua’s place, I might of called my self Moses’ lowly assistant. Any rate this is the first blow that Joshua gets. The leader whom had lead the Israelites out of the most powerful nation at the time, whom had preformed signs and wonders for God in the sight of powerful men, and the man whom and lead that stubborn people for over 40 years, was now dead. This would have created a vacuum of power. You can only gather from the inference that the people saw Joshua as “Moses’ assistant” and not the servant of the LORD, the leader of Israel.

However, the verse has not even stopped here! Verse 2 after “Moses my servant is dead.” goes like this, “Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you, and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.” Ok so Moses the, servant of the LORD, this man described as none of the other prophets are like him, has died. We got that part, but now God says that Joshua, Moses’ assistant, get up, go over the Jordan. That river that marks the boundary between them and that land God had promised. The land that 12 spies (including Joshua) had gone into; describing the men as giants them only being grasshoppers in their sight! If that wasn’t bad enough God hasn’t stopped speaking, “you and all this people…” You, Joshua, Moses’ assistant, take this people whom mumored in the desert for 40 years, whom worshiped a golden calf, and even challenged Moses’ authority from time to time. All while Moses was still alive, and he’s dead now! God then says, “into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.” Reminding them of the promise that He has made to not only Moses, but all the other patriarchs as well.

God then begins to promise, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised Moses.” He then follows this up with the boundaries.  What a promise! A promise that would not come to fruition if Joshua would have say turned the other way because the problem was just too big. Or it was just too fearful. After all, he, Moses’ assistant, was only a grasshopper in the eyes to the men whom he was to conquer. Do you think Joshua was afraid? Do you think he wanted anything other then to have been Moses’ assistant? I do.

Part 1

All Scripture is from the English Standard Version. In context: Joshua 1.

Only be strong and very courageous! Part 1

Through this process an old adversary of mine has risen again. Fear. You see I am a man who likes to know the plan before I begin the plan. To practice the different pieces. Just so that I know that part of the plan is well in hand. A personal pride of mine.

Faith is something that is difficult for my analytical mind to grasp. In fact many times I have had to pray that prayer the father in Mark 9:24,25:

Jesus said to him, “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

So in the praying, seeking, and of course planning my old friend, fear, has raised his head again. Not really a fear of dying or anything like that, but fear of not being accepted. Fear of something health wise keeping us from serving Christ in PNG. God however is far more gracious. Because He has brought a Scripture to mind. Joshua 1:9:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Now I’ve read this before. I’m even guessing (from my analytical point of view) that you have read this verse too! However, I have never really paid attention to the punch of this verse. You see it actually begins at the end of Deuteronomy! What happens there? Well Moses essentially dies (bummer). But it’s far more then just a down time for Israel. First in this chapter you find that the people stay in the plains of Moab for thirty days for weeping and mourning. Then it says that the people obeyed Joshua, BECAUSE he was full of the spirit of wisdom, FOR Moses had laid his hands on him. [Emphasis mine] Joshua is basically obeyed (in the eyes of the people) because Moses had, for the lack of a better word, christened him. Notice that it also says, “And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, none like him for all the signs and wonders that the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt…”

That’s where we open up in Joshua 1. Now Joshua 1 simply starts out restating the obvious (from reading Deuteronomy 34). However, pay close attention of how it says this: “After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant…” Do you see the difference of caliber of leadership? Moses was the greatest leader of all the leaders! Now that Moses died, Joshua must fill his shoes. How inadequate Joshua must of felt? How unworthy of such a task? How unequal he must of felt!

Part 2

All Scripture is from the English Standard Version. In context: Deut 34 and Joshua 1.

Why do Bible Translation at all?

This is actually a very good question for several reasons. Let’s first take a look at ourselves (meaning English speakers). What do we have in way of Bible translations? Well according to American Bible we have some roughly 900 translations. Now there are some issue with this number as they explain.

I am afraid no one can give you an exact number for the English translations and paraphrases of the Bible printed since Tyndale’s New Testament of 1526. In part this is due to the difficulty of determining what should be defined as a new translation as opposed to a correction or a revision of an existing translation. There is the additional question of how we should count translations that include not a complete Bible or Testament, but just a group of books or even a single book. And then, of course, there is the difficulty of sheer numbers. With all these caveats in mind, the number of printed English translations and paraphrases of the Bible, whether complete or not, is about 900.

 If you were to go to the above link and read on you would find that they do site a reference called Catalogue of English Bible Translation. In the section of canonical books are 806 pages. Now they didn’t say how many translations there are, but I assume by the wording that each translation is represented by a single page. So another count of 806 English Bibles.

Arguably you do not have access to all 800+ translations. So let’s take a look at that. Assuming you had over $1,600 worth of change laying around, and if you were to buy for instance Logos’ Scholar’s Library: Platinum then you would have 47 English translations available. But for the sake of argument let’s just say that you are a little bit thrifty. Let’s say that you use Bible Gateway. I counted that at the time of this writing you would have access to 30 different English translations for the cost of getting on the Internet. Or you could even go to Bible.is and listen to 3 English translations (very well done I might add). Ok so the take away is that essentially free of charge you have access to at least 30 English Bibles and the ability to listen to 3 of those in very professional grade audio form.

“Ok, so what,” you might say. Let’s take a look at the stats for other languages of the world. Currently we believe that 6,837 languages are in use. Of these 6,837 languages Bible translation is progressing in this manner (remember English is just one language):
Complete Bible:  471
New Testament: 1,223
Just Portions:      1,002 (defined as one or more books)
That’s a total of 2,696 of 6,837 languages with some to complete Scripture.

As of the 2011 Survey there are 2,040 languages that likely need a translation that have no one at this present time working on translation. Here is a map of the world representing the distribution of these numbers.

For more information visit Wycliffe.net.

Here is an excellent vision of the point I’m trying to make.

So the next time you go to do your Bible study, and you have multiple versions to help you comprehend the meaning and context of Scripture do a couple of things. First, thank God for his mercy on you to have an abundance of resources to understand His word. Resources meaning not only translations, but also Bible dictionaries, commentaries, handbooks, audio Bibles, maps, books, etc. Second, pray for the people groups of the world who have little or no Scripture available in their heart language. Pray specifically that God would raise people up to go and do this hard work, including the people who play support roles, like we hope to do. Pray that they will also have people rise amongst them to write these other Bible study resources to help their people understand God’s word.

 

Teaching the littles and myself.

Today we weren’t able to go to church for our service. Seems that we had some virus spreading from child to child.

What did we do? We read 1 Corinthians 15. In which it explains the whole purpose of Christ coming to die on the cross (and why it is important to believe in the resurrection of the dead). Paul begins the chapter by reminding the people in Corinth that he had a hand in leading them to Christ. Verse 3 & 4: For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He goes on to describe the rest of the events surrounding Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and some of the appearances he makes to the disciples.

He then begins to reason with the people in Corinth who are raising questions about the possibility of people raising from the dead: Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection? I have to be honest, my kids did not grasp this portion of scripture. I’m not sure I did until we read it today. Paul is pleading with the Corinthians to realize that without resurrection that faith in Christ would be in vain! That his work on earth would have been in vain! That the men who were witnessing about Christ were misrepresenting God if indeed there was no resurrection of the dead. 16: For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. (!!) A dramatic statement.

As always with Paul’s logic he comes back to answer that very charge. 20-25: But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfuits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (!!)  But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.

So we had to explain to the kids about Adam and how Adam brought sin into the world. That then God had to send Christ to take our place and forgive us.

Of course the chapter does not end here for it goes on. I’ll pick up in another part of the chapter that impressed upon me. 35-37 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. Here Paul is echoing something that Jesus had said in John 12:24: Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Our image of self, of our rights, of what belongs to us, and even ourselves must die. It took me a minute to realize that the Holy Spirit was talking to me. That I must die to what I claimed rights to, to myself.

We are to be wholely sufficient not on ourselves, but on Christ alone. Then when the resurrection of the dead takes place and we are with Christ in our new immortal and imperishable bodies then we can say:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

ESV used throughout.