Stephen & Laura Holt | Sierra Leone, West Africa

Beginnings

Date of original journal entry:  June 22, 2016

I’m not even beyond the first verse of the first chapter in my reading and I find myself marveling in a lesson as broad as the world and as deep as the Savior’s love for that world.

Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God

Glory to God it was just the beginning!  The mosques have just finished their loud and lengthy early morning broadcast via loudspeakers adding poignancy to the lesson; the beginning of the gospel will silence vain religion.  As I sit enjoying the fresh quietness, I take consideration of some beginnings.

The beginning of the gospel.  Such a simple statement yet this morning it has caused me to think of all the far flung places to which the gospel has traveled and the vastly different people it has touched.

IMG_0382Two weeks ago, in the poorest country on earth, a dear old Muslim man, Mr. Combi, nearing the ending of his physical days, made June 3 his own beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  He is a fragment gathered, a soul saved, while the long-suffering of God waited for him, not willing that any, including Mr. Combi, should perish.

 

And one just week ago in one of the most privileged countries on earth, a little boy, only six years old, at the very starting of physical his days, made June 16 the beginning of the gospel in his young life.  Caleb Daniel Thoma, our own dear grandson, is a fragment gathered, a soul saved; yes, God was not willing that he should perish either.

The beginning of the gospel. God is no respecter of persons; he is not willing that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance.  Young or old, rich or poor, educated or illiterate, privileged or disadvantaged in life, God doesn’t see people as man sees.  He sees them all the same: as souls which need to be saved from eternal damnation.  There is one, and only one, aspect in this life which is entirely and eternally fair – Salvation is a free gift to all, to each, to any, and to everyone who will call on the Lord.

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The beginning of the gospel.  Two people, Mr. Combi and Caleb Thoma, were used of the Lord this morning as the vast comparisons of life were brought before my eyes; they couldn’t be more opposite, yet to God, they were entirely the same.  What a privilege to have a view of these immeasurable differences and to truly see men, women, boys, girls the way God does, only as fragments which need gathering; as souls who need to come to the beginning of the gospel in their lives regardless of social standing, rank, ethnicity or nationality.

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