February 5, 2017
"Without precedent in modern times: Why the world’s vortex of crisis will keep swirling in 2017."
The title caught my attention, so I read the article by Brian Stewart. He makes the following assessment of conditions in the world:
“Last year was one wild, unpredictable and unforgettable ride, but 2017 could well be as frighteningly full of shocks, with everything from global trade wars to a new nuclear arms race potentially on the horizon. …the sheer number and complexities of the difficult issues are without precedent in modern times.” (www.cbc.ca/news, January 3, 2017)
‘Without precedent’ describes the many crises and conflicts happening in the world today. The prophet Daniel spoke of a time of unprecedented distress in the world before the end (Daniel 12:1-2). But we do not need to be reminded of the difficult times in which we are living. Thankfully, this is not the whole story.
‘Without precedent’ also describes God’s plan for the world that Jesus proclaimed about 2000 years ago. I read Luke’s account about God’s mission to the world in Christ. Luke finishes with Jesus’ proclamation about the spread of the gospel. This is God’s plan and no one else has this perspective on world history. “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem." (Luke 24:46-47 ESV)
‘Without precedent’ also describes the recent growth of the gospel. God’s plan for the spread of the gospel is becoming more and more a reality. Scott Sunquist’s book, THE UNEXPECTED CHRISTIAN CENTURY, tells the story of the growth of global Christi-anity from 1900 to 2000. The growth shows no signs of slowing down this century in spite of the many challenges and difficulties.
Many servants of Christ are working faithfully in contexts of conflict, persecution and suffering. Last week I read about the Cottrill family during the recent unrest in Mexico. We too are called to be faithful in times of trouble. We all have an important part in God’s mission to the world in Christ.
Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer and financial support of our missionaries and projects in 2016. We look forward to your continued support in 2017. Lets believe and ask God to do much more, even more than we can ask or imagine.
"Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Eph. 3:20-21)
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Did you know? Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world (nearly half a billion).