Great Fellowship With
What a wonderful time a number of pastors and leaders from Berean had with this dear servant of God. As we enjoyed an evening together fellowshipping around the Word of God Conrad shared with us from John chapters 15 and 16 and gave us some instruction on the blessing of the Holy Spirit. During this time Dr. Mbewe also shared a list of some of the books that impacted his life during the formative years of his ministry. The list began with the impact the Romans series by Martyn Lloyd-Jones had on his life. Then he mentioned Pink’s Sovereignty of God, The Forgotten Spurgeon by Ian Murray, and also Berkhof’s Systematic Theology. The stories and the insights he shared with us that he gleaned from these books was fascinating and challenging. I commented to Conrad that many of these books were also used of the Lord to edify and bless our lives as well.
Dr. Mbewe also shared the dangerous trends seen in the West as Postmodernism continues to ravage the western world. The impact of this philosophical virus distorts the ability of the church to understand truth. Postmodernism also brings deadly and unbiblical practices into our worship services and church life. This problem is far more prevalent than most of us realize. My recent reading of the book The Tangible Kingdom brought this home to me in a shocking manner.
Conrad has been at his church for approximately 34 years. During that time he has not changed, wandered, or departed in any way from the biblical principles that were a part of that formative period in his life and ministry. This kind of faithfulness and fidelity is impressive. Yet, during that time they have seen remarkable growth, blessing, and amazing visitations from the Lord in their ministry in Zambia. God’s Spirit moves and stirs His church at different times or seasons according to His sovereign will. The Western world is witnessing a dying church. The cause is the departure from biblical doctrine and worship. Instead of returning to the things that have blessed the church in the past and led to revival the church is turning to man made programs and methodologies to do the work of God. The buzz, excitement, and results are superficial as we saw with the Willow Creek phenomena. The new ways of doing church are actually destroying Christianity in the West. I am struck by the testimony of people like Conrad Mbewe and Ronald Kalifiungwa who demonstrate that God is blessing the great old truths without having to compromise with the spirit of the age.
Dr. Mebewe shared the need for the church to be the church. He stressed the need to be holy, Spirit filled, utterly dependent upon God, and faithful in our proclamation of the doctrines of grace.
During my convalescence at home I have been working on a new book, The Foundations of Godly Living. My prayer is that those who know the Lord will demonstrate the marks of godliness in their daily lives. Let me ask a few questions for you to reflect on, "What does it mean to be godly?" "What is the evidence of godliness in our lives?" "What things can we do to promote godliness in our lives?" Answer these questions and then evaluate your own life. I plead with all of our Berean family to live for Christ with undivided devotion.
Paul taught us, "Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age." Titus 2:12.
Looking forward to the fall, winter, and the new year I am excited to have some of our dear friends coming to minister to us. We have Jerry Marcillno for our men's retreat, and in the New Year we have some of our dear brothers from Brazil coming. I also hope to have Dewi and Mari Higham with us in the New Year. I will be checking with Dr. Edgar Andrews for we will be having the new pastor from the Campus Church in Welwyn Garden City visiting us this coming year as well.
I am very grateful for the men we have at Berean who can fill the pulpit for me during my absence. Pastor Bill Tipton, Pastor Eric Maynard, my elders and some of our deacons, and even several other new men in our church who have been able to fill in for me on Wednesday night. How blessed we are to have these dedicated and gifted men in our midst.
Our pastor's fellowships have been a wonderful blessing to a number of Christian leaders, pastors, and friends. By God's grace may we strengthen one another with mutual love and encouragement.
Thanks again for your continued prayers.