March 14, 2014
Recently, the eyes of the world were focused on Russia as athletes from 90 nations competed in the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The Olympics have a very long history—even going back to biblical times.
In a New Testament letter to Christians in Corinth, located just a hundred miles from the site of the ancient games, the Apostle Paul contrasts people who pursue the fleeting things of this life and those who possess the eternal hope found in Jesus Christ. “Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable” (1 Corinthians 9:25, NASB). The tragedy of this world is that so many are seeking the perishable—investing their lives in things that cannot satisfy and staking their eternal futures on what cannot last. We know that the answer is the Gospel, the power of God for salvation, and God has called us to share that life-changing message with them before it is too late.
The Bible also compares the Christian life to a long-distance race. “Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). In order to complete this race we must focus on Jesus Christ as Paul said—“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God ” (Hebrews 12:2).
In an athletic competition and in life, it is important to finish well. The Apostle Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7, NKJV). At 95 years of age, my father has set a great example as he has remained faithful to God’s calling and persisted in the long race set before him. The exciting thing is that, no matter the age, God always had more in store for my father—as He does for all those submitted wholly to Him. At BGEA, we have much set before us to do and thank God for every opportunity to share the Good News of His saving grace.
This year we have accepted invitations to hold evangelistic Crusades (which we call Festivals and Celebrations) in 28 cities spanning five continents. We thank God for these open doors.
We also see God blessing and using the other ways that BGEA reaches out to share Christ with those who are lost. Over the last four months, more than 110,000 people across our nation have responded to the Gospel through the My Hope America outreach—and it isn’t over. Pray for the churches that plan to show the My Hope video The Cross on Good Friday or Easter, and pray for individuals around the country who intend to watch it at Easter with unsaved friends. Easter is such an ideal time for this—you could do it yourself. Ask the Lord to touch the hearts of people you know so that they will “take hold of that which is life indeed” (1 Timothy 6:19, NASB).
We are thrilled every day to see God drawing a nonstop, 24-hour-a-day harvest of souls to Himself through Search for Jesus, our Internet outreach. More than 4 million people so far have indicated that they made a decision for Christ as a result of this ministry. Many of them are from closed countries where we cannot physically enter to proclaim God’s truth. We offer them discipleship mentoring through our online team of trained volunteers and encourage them to find, where possible, a local, Bible-believing church.
[This month], my son Will is scheduled to lead Crusade events in Fukuoka, Japan, and then Clinton, Mississippi. Associate Evangelist Robert Cunville will lead a BGEA Crusade event late this month in New Delhi, the capital of India. And I will lead a citywide evangelistic Crusade at the beginning of April in El Paso, Texas, and then later in a number of other cities including Tbilisi, Georgia; Warsaw, Poland; Toronto, Canada; and both Erie and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Please pray for us.
The Apostle Paul said about his own ministry, “I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air” (1 Corinthians 9:26, ESV). We must all stay focused and purposeful in living our lives for the Lord. At BGEA, everything we do is with the goal of sharing the glorious and life-changing message of the Gospel with people who need Jesus Christ. We count on your partnership—we couldn’t do what we do without your prayers and your financial support.