"Then God said, 'Take your son, your only son, whom you love-Isaac-and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.'" (Genesis 22:2).
Sometimes if we read the Bible too quickly we miss important things that the Lord intends us to pay attention to. For example, in the famous verse above, God tells Abraham to take his ONLY son, Isaac, and sacrifice him. Did you ever realize that Isaac was actually Abraham's second son? Ishmael was born first, yet in God's sight Abraham only had one son, and that was Isaac. Thousands of years later the Apostle Paul expanded on the story: "His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise" (Galatians 4:22-23).
Ishmael was produced as a result of human desire and fleshly effort, whereas Isaac was the miraculous result of God's promise. The same principle applies to Christian work today. God is not interested in what we can do for Him! He's only interested in what He can do through vessels that are yielded to the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, much of what passes as Christian activity today is mere human striving, not motivated by the love of Jesus Christ or empowered by the Spirit. Such activity invariably produces frustrated, spiritually barren and burnt-out people.
As Christians we can easily start out serving in the power of God's grace and His indwelling life, but somehow we are deceived into thinking we can continue on by ourselves. The Lord Jesus clearly laid out how much we can achieve for God's kingdom apart from Him when He said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5); and again, "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing" (John 6:63).
We know that many people who read our newsletters are involved with ministry work of one kind or another. We encourage you to slow down and make sure you are always connected to the true vine, for only those activities done under the leading and power of the Holy Spirit are useful to the Lord's kingdom and will have eternal value. The rest is wood, hay and stubble and is destined for the fire (1 Corinthians 3:12).
The China Bible Fund - 12 Million Bibles and Counting
Recently, by God's grace and divine enablement, Asia Harvest passed the milestone of having printed and distributed 12 million Bibles to house church Christians in China since the project commenced.
Those who have served God in China, especially in recent years, will know that such a milestone can only be reached by the supernatural hand of God. To print a single "illegal" book of any description in China today is practically impossible, with the Communist Party controlling every aspect of society and crushing anything that doesn't line up with their atheistic philosophy.
While we cannot share any specific details of how the project functions, it would not be an exaggeration to tell you that the latest million Bibles, produced over the last 18 months, were probably more difficult to do than the previous 11 million combined! Many Christians have paid a very dear price for their involvement in this project, and some have even been called to lay down their lives for the gospel.
Please pray for this vital project. It seems almost every other Christian ministry that has been providing Bibles to the 60+ million house church believers in China has been shut down in recent years. Church leaders in China are amazed that we are still able to function and provide God's Word to the hungry new believers in their fellowships.
To each person who has prayed and given so that the Christians in China have been able to access God's Word, we say thank you on behalf of the Chinese Church!
By His grace we intend to serve the believers in China for as long as the Lord holds the door open for us to do so.
Please join with us in lifting up the China Bible Fund before the throne of grace, because without His empowerment and protection the project would not continue for a day. Thank you.
Thanks to the grace of God and your prayers and generous support, Asia Harvest recently passed the milestone of 12 million Chinese Bibles printed and delivered to the house churches in China. Our co-workers provide detailed reports, allowing us to keep track of the Bibles we print and to create this distribution map. On behalf of all the grateful believers in China, thank you and God bless you!