I'm reading Numbers with help from the BST by Raymond Brown. More reflections on Numbers to follow in due course. Brown illustrates at one point from the life of Adoniram Judson (9 August 1788 - 12 April 1850). He comments that Judson ministered in Burma for 5 years before he Baptised his first convert.
Five years... we're so quick to reinvent, change plans and give up. Judson ultimately ministered in Myanmar for 40 years and today there are vast numbers of believers in that nation. How we need to learn perseverance, and trust in God's sovereign election. This is helpful to me to remember as this academic year draws to a close, my sixth in contact with Reading University.
Over that time we've not shared Judson's experience - a number have been converted over those years - though there have been times of particular fruitfulness, and other times without. Fruitfulness should not inspire self-confidence, rather confidence in our saviour.. confidence that it is he who saves, in his time.
"Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me." - Colossians 1v28-29All that is gained is by his work, for his glory not ours. The mercy of God should humble us. As CJ Mahaney write: “Humility is honestly assessing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness.”. Studying Romans 12-13 with Tom & Ed has reminded me again of that... the mercy of God removes all grounds for boasting and thinking of ourselves in anyway other than with sober judgement.
"But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." - Acts 20v24Four weeks to go until the end of this academic year... let us not slack off but rather finish our course, testifying to the gospel of grace. Let the word increase, and let God call more to become disciples!