DAY 67: Sunday 24 May
PILLARS OF FAITH
Good Sunday morning to everyone
Just in the past few days, two great Bible teachers and evangelists have died.
David Pawson was born in 1930 in County Durham. His immediate ancestors were all farmers, Methodist preachers or both, dating back to John Pawson who was a personal friend and follower of John Wesley. From his childhood David wanted to be a farmer, but by the time he had completed his studies for a BSc in Agriculture at Durham University, he felt God was calling him into full-time Christian ministry. He then studied for an M.A. in theology at Wesley House, Cambridge, and subsequently joined the Royal Air Force as a chaplain, serving in Aden.
After leaving the RAF he served as a Methodist minister and later accepted an invitation to become pastor of Gold Hill Baptist Church in Buckinghamshire.
Later, as pastor of Guildford Baptist Church (Millmead), he established a reputation among both evangelicals and charismatics as a Bible teacher. From here his teaching tapes– originally made for the church's sick and elderly members – became popular worldwide. Under his ministry, Millmead Baptist Church became one of the largest Baptist churches in the United Kingdom. David died on Ascension Day (Thursday 21st) aged 90.
Last Tuesday, 2 days before David Pawson’s death, another giant of Biblical teaching and apologetics also went to be with his Lord and Saviour. Ravi Zacharias was born in 1946 in Madras, southern India.
His family moved north to the Indian capital, Delhi when he was quite young and he grew up there. His family was Anglican, but he remained a sceptic until the age of 17 when he tried to commit suicide by swallowing poison.
While he was in the hospital, a local Christian worker brought him a Bible and told his mother to read to him from John 14, which contains Jesus' words to Thomas the Apostle who later went with Syrian Christians to India and preached in Kerala where the first Indian Christian communities formed and there is still a Christian community in Kerala district that claims descent from Christians converted by the preaching of Thomas. Thomas was eventually speared to death for his faith on a hillside near Madras and a small church stands on the site. Ravi was aware of these stories having been born in Madras, so these words of Jesus to his disciples including Thomas who had been martyred near to where Ravi had been born were particularly powerful.
Zacharias said the words that spoke to him in that hospital bed were from John 14:19 - "Because I live, you also will live" and that he thought, "This may be my only hope: A new way of living. Life as defined by the Author of Life." He committed his life to Christ, praying that "Jesus if You are the one who gives life as it is meant to be, I want it. Please get me out of this hospital bed well, and I promise I will leave no stone unturned in my pursuit of truth." In 1966, Zacharias emigrated with his family to Toronto Canada, and more recently moved to Atlanta USA.
Having gone to hospital in Atlanta for back surgery in early March, the surgeon announced they had discovered an advanced cancer. Just 6 weeks before on 26th January, Ravi had been invited to speak at the 3rd National Bible Day breakfast event in Manila, Philippines.
I would like you to watch his powerful address entitled ‘Pillars of Our Faith’ which I have combined with three very different-style of songs to make our virtual service for today.
Today’s video service lasts just 25 minutes >>> https://falconlodgechapel.sermon.net/21597211
Sheila has been up and moving around and had some wires removed but she is still in the ICU ward.
Vera reports she is feeling much improved with the medication prescribed by her GP earlier in the week.
They tell me Lord, that when I pray,
only one voice is heard;
that I’m dreaming, You’re not there,
this whole thing is absurd.
Maybe they’re right, Lord, maybe they’re right:
maybe there’s only one voice that’s heard.
But if there’s only one voice that is heard,
Lord, it’s not mine, it’s Yours.
I’m not dreaming; You are the dreamer:
and I am Your dream.
= = = = = = = = = = = =
Enjoy the rest of this day