(BNc) Editorial by J. Randal Matheny — To share stories about God working in peoples’ lives gives us great pleasure. We all need encouragement, and not a few are finding it in the reports published here on BNc. The website has caught the attention of many good saints and congregations.
Such reports encourage all the more when they highlight God’s work in and through his little ones, humble saints who rarely make headlines. They are evidence of the “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” Ep 4.6 NET. Indeed, he is powerful and gracious to choose a people whose only merit is a desire for his presence and a dependence upon the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The past year surfaced some sad stories and a few unpleasant reports. The Way holds all manner of experiences, so at times we deem it important to remind ourselves of the dangers that lurk along the way and that have already appeared in places here and there. The majority of stories, however, rejoice in the victory of the gospel evident on every hand.
The naysayers would have us believe that we are a legalistic little sect withering on the vine, a boat full of leaks whose occupants trample over each other in order to jump overboard and free themselves of patternistic nonsense.
Stories abound to contradict their false portrayal. Here on BNc we but touch the hem of the garment. We know the truth. We see the Lord’s hand upon his servants. The body of Christ is alive and well. Like the Gnostics of old, today’s agnostic believers strike an arrogant pose and make themselves judges of God’s people. If the body is sick, it is because of the presence of false-grace purveyors, rather than the faithful whose heads are low in the harvest and who sing from joy at the fruit of the Spirit.
For 29 years I have seen the Lord’s hand reach forth time and time again to snatch Brazilians from the jaws of death. He has saved them from eternal perdition, as well as from the full range of carnal transgressions. Like Romanians, Koreans, Indians, Sudanese, and Americans, they respond to the simplicity of the plea, the power of the gospel, the clarity of following the word of God as our only rule of faith, practice, and service.
They serve as yet more evidence that, rather than being an outdated Lockean philosophy, the pattern of apostolic teaching revealed in the Bible provides for every need of spiritual life and godliness, Rm 6.17, 2Pt 1.3.
This norm of healthy teaching cultivates the faith and love which exist only in Christ Jesus, 2Tm 1.13. To this standard we hold and urge upon all our readers. With so many of you, we share this like-minded faith. That our people might grow continually stronger in faith and love and good works, we join hands with all those in every place who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ from a pure heart, 1Co 1.2, 2Tm 2.22.
And this we will do in 2014, with God as our helper. We ask your indulgence, as we work with limited hours and resources. We ask your prayers, that we might show wisdom and compassion in our reporting. We ask your encouragement, while we also seek to encourage.
Like you, we need these stories as well, to remind us that God hears our prayers, works among us, and fulfills his promise to his people. Satan would have us forget the faithfulness of the Lord. In this, and in every way, we cling more and more to this central truth that steadies and guides us. God will not forget the work and dedication of his people, Hb 6.10.
Please read our prayer for you as we enter the new year.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us