Be Fruitful & Multiply – An Important Scripture from the Inception of the Brethren Movement

I’ve been doing some research over the last few weeks on groups of 5-12 in the history of the Grace Brethren. The clear beginning of our movement happened when 8 men and women gathered together to be baptized as adults demonstrating their personal belief in Jesus as Savior and Lord.

“This is [Alexander] Mack Jr.’s description of the baptism, based on papers of his father and others, and reports of eyewitnesses:

Brethren Initial Baptism

After they were thus prepared, the said eight went out to the water called the Eder in the solitude of the morning. The brother upon whom the lot had fallen first baptized that brother [Mack] who wished to be baptized by the church of Christ. When the latter was baptized, he baptized him who had first baptized, and the other three brethren and three sisters. Thus all eight were baptized in an early morning hour. After they had all emerged from the water, and had dressed themselves again, they were all immediately clothed inwardly with great joyfulness. This significant word was then impressed upon them through grace: “Be fruitful and multiply!’*

The joy of doing what God wanted coursed through their veins! And the Scripture the Holy Spirit blew into the hearts of these founders of the Grace Brethren Movement – Be Fruitful and Multiply!

May we continue “through grace” to keep up the significant work of “Be fruitful and multiply!”

 

*Brethren Beginnings: The Origin of the Church of the Brethren in Early Eighteenth-Century Europe by Donald F. Durnbaugh (Brethren Encyclopedia: 1992) pg. 23 {ISBN 0936693231}

Rescue Mission within a Yard of Hell

Ran across this quote…

“Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell,

I want to run a rescue mission within a yard of Hell.” – C.T. Studd

within_a_yard_of_hell_bumper_sticker-p128632879538016468en8ys_400

It reminded me of the Scripture written by Jude:

But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them;…

Jesus Shows Up in Joshua chapter 5!

Joshua has stepped into being “strong and courageous” as he was exhorted by the Lord and his people. He is full of courage as the Lord parted the Jordan River and his people walked across a dry riverbed striking terror into the hearts of their enemies in the Promised Land.

The Lord asks Joshua to lead the people of Israel in marking themselves out separate unto God through the ancient practice of circumcision. This was a painful process for the warriors, but an important step in showing their obedience to the LORD.

After a time of healing, Joshua is on a reconnaissance walk  making plans for the impending battle with Jericho.

“Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and

Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?”

He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.”

And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?”

The captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.”   

— Joshua 5:13-15 NASB

Most believe that this “captain” was Jesus appearing to Joshua. Well actually the Son of God, because He didn’t become Jesus until He was born as a baby years later!

You can imagine that Joshua was VERY confident about leading the battle against Jericho. God had them shaking in fear, and its likely Joshua was puffing up with pride.  In this exchange, Joshua is humbled and brought back to a proper position of servitude and reliance upon the LORD.

When Jesus shows up in our lives, He often has the same message– don’t rely on yourself, rely on me!  Jesus is certainly worth our full faith and trust!  The Captain of the Heavens is on our team!

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These thoughts were spawned through the message on Joshua 5 that Phil Helfer gave at Los Altos Grace Brethren Church on Sunday, February 3, 2013

Walk In Love

“As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love.” – 2 John v.6

Jesus lived His life walking in love. He actually had to learn to walk—as all toddlers do.  He loved his parents and his mentors in the temple.  He walked into religious places and loved them. He loved the outcasts by enjoying dinners and drinks with them. He loved the children and brought them into the middle of His circle. He even walked on water.

He healed the chronically ill, the blind and loved Lazarus enough to raise him back to life. He loved those “Gentile dogs”—the non-Jews who He welcomed into His Kingdom. He stooped onto the ground with a basin of water, towel wrapped around his waist, and washed His disciples’ feet showing them the full extent of His love. He walked up a hill after a beating, with a crown of thorns and a cross. He escorted the man hanging next to Him on the cross—a mocker and thief—into paradise. He died, was buried and walked out of the tomb indicating His loving victory over sin and death. He walked through the walls into a locked room to be with His beloved disciples after His resurrection.

Jesus walked on this planet in love and as He departed, he lovingly shared with his disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation.”

Jesus’ love moved Him on mission to our world–from a baby through the ascension.  As we walk in His love, it will move us to mission as well. Won’t you consider how you can “Walk in Love”?!?!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” – John 3:16

 

UNREACHED People Groups and our rationalization…

Almost every time I speak about unreached people groups, I hear a comment like, “We’ve got plenty of unreached people right here where we live, without worrying about groups halfway across the world.” And that’s true. There are more individuals living within already “reached” people groups, than there are in all the unreached people groups of the world. However, there is one major difference. Most people in the West have great access to the message of Christ through media, local churches, and believers. For 300 million people in the unengaged, unreached people groups of the world, there is no way, outside of divine revelation, to hear the message of Christ. There is no church, no missionary, and not one verse of Scripture translated into their language. How much longer will we wait until we go to these groups, and put them on our priority list for funding and manpower?

pauleshlemanBy Paul Eshelman // Director of Finishing The Task)

Read the rest of Paul’s article  in Mission Frontiers

 

Hear Paul tell the story of when God grabbed his heart for the unreached 

 

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