Reflections on our life and lessons in uganda
The Importance of the Bible
I am reading a book about Hudson Taylor right now. And a few things really stood out to me in the first chapter that I have been reflecting on for the last week or so. I figured I would share them with you, as they are some things I have been learning since we moved to Uganda.
The first is what a blessing a Godly heritage is. When he speaks of his parents he says, “For myself, and the work I have been permitted to do for God, I owe an unspeakable debt of gratitude to my beloved and honored parents who have entered into rest, but the influence of whose lives will never pass away”. I know I feel the same about my parents and how they raised me. Salvation is open to any and all who will have faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. But what an advantage I have in having been raised in a Godly home. So parents out there, even though it can be hard and is often discouraged by so many; take heart, and raise up your kids to know the Lord. Show them your relationship with him. Hudson Taylor and his siblings grew up watching their father pray in his prayer closet. This allowed them to see a real, vibrant relationship with God. This is what children desperately need in their growing years!
Since moving to Uganda, I have come to have a deep appreciation for the privellige of being able to read the Word of God in my own language. The average American household has 7 Bibles! Many folks in the churches we teach at don’t have a Bible at all, and if they do it isn’t in their native tongue, or is in a difficult to read translation. What a blessing it is that I can open any of my numerous Bibles to hear directly from the God of the universe! There is a video of Chinese believers being given Bibles for the first time and it is very moving. I never appreciated what an incredible gift that would be. I have been spoiled in never having been deprived of being able to get into God’s Word. Even as a child, I had a picture Bible. That is a gift many people do not have. It is something the American church takes for granted and it has made us so very lazy.
The second thing I have been reflecting on comes from the first. Since moving to Uganda and spending my days really studying the Old Testament in relation to the New, I have been blown away. It is so easy for us in the west to write off the Old Testament. “We are New Testament believers,” we cry. “We are under grace, not the Law,” we proudly proclaim. And all of this is true. But I can tell you from firsthand experience, that there is a depth of relationship that can only be acheived by study of the entire Bible. About Hudson Taylor and his incredible work for the Kingdom it was said, “God’s character was his only confidence; God’s Word was the sole foundation for his feet.” Americans live in a day where there are books on every subject available. But I would submit to you with full confidence that the only thing a believer needs to walk in the ways they ought is to study the Bible.
Many people have asked us why we teach pastors only the Bible, Genesis to Revelation. But when you look at men like Hudson Taylor, Charles Spurgeon, or even Paul the Apostle, these men didn’t have commentaries on every book of the Bible. They studied God’s Word and placed their faith in those truths. They let the Bible be its’ own commentary and understood it as one story with one glorious message. When you read and study Scripture, it enables and compels you to walk in the ways of God. One thing I have gained from studying Scripture as we have been is the confidence that the Bible is one cohesive message.
I used to fear reading the Old Testament because I didn’t understand it. “It’s too hard and it doesn’t even apply anymore,” I would say. But I was so very wrong. The Old Testament was God beautifully weaving His story into the hearts and lives of men and women. It is the very confirmation of Jesus being who He claimed! It is the heartbeat of God pointing forward to the promised Messiah. I never appreciated how incredible Jesus’ life and death was until I began to understand the Old Testament.
So I would encourage each of us to spend more time in studying God’s Word. Men like Hudson Taylor aren’t our examples of our Savior. But lives like his and other’s show what God can accomplish with only a willingness of heart and a passion for sharing God’s Word.