This month’s Serve is written by Dr. Bill and Deb Edmondson, BMM missionaries in Boston and leaders of Boston and Beyond: A Globalized Cities Initiative. The Edmondsons’ piece is a call to faithful discipleship amidst a quickly-changing and increasingly godless society.
It is a new year with new challenges seated alongside old and reliable promises: “I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). In addition: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations ... and lo, I am with you always …” (Matt. 28:19-20). God’s promises outlast politics, plagues, and hardships and press us to trust and obey.
Consider three examples of God’s faithful promise and man’s trusting response. I am reminded of Joseph who victoriously served in a less-than-democratic administration. It was through Joseph that God preserved the people who became Israel, from whom the Savior came.
I also think of the Apostle Paul who ministered under the tyranny of Rome. It was this man, the Apostle to the Gentiles, who by the sovereign hand of God, was taken as a prisoner to Rome. From the geopolitical center of Rome, the Gospel was able to travel globally.
Finally, it was the faithful Baptist missionary, Adoniram Judson, born not long after the Revolutionary War, who served the Lord during the time of the War of 1812. He died not too many years before the Civil War and served under a Nebuchadnezzar-like ruler in Burma. He lost two wives, several children, and many missionary colleagues while serving there. Burma also claimed Judson’s life as well. Yet he was instrumental in opening Burma to the Gospel, a place missionary William Carey advised him to forget, believing it was beyond hope.
Joseph, Paul, and Adoniram Judson did not allow the politics, plagues, or hardships of their day to stop them from faithful and victorious service. Instead, they joined God in His sovereign dealings in order to accomplish His will.
Consider these three action steps in seeking to serve faithfully in 2021:
By God’s grace and almighty power, we all must endeavor to follow the example of Joseph, Paul, and Adoniram.