Posts Tagged ‘Hantz Bernard’

On last night’s program, the words of Acts 13:2-4a were written:

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed…

After drawing a distinction between an ordination service and a commissioning service, Pastor Minnick reviewed the highlights of my 19-year relationship with Mt. Calvary Baptist Church. Though we all wanted to have the service in the newly renovated and expanded auditorium, it wasn’t ready yet so we squeezed into the old auditorium, what we call the “Fellowship Hall.” In a sense I was brought “full circle” since I first visited Mt. Calvary 21 years ago in that old building. I began attending regularly in 1992 and joined in 1996.

After Pastor’s introduction, I was able to give testimony to my call to missions and to BI, and then to review what I’ve been doing since 2007.

Dr. Hantz Bernard challenged the church to consider its stewardship of the Word of God. God has entrusted to the church, the pillar and ground of truth, with the custody of the Word of God (Jude 3). The Church must take its responsibility seriously. And in its partnership with the head of the technical department of the only fundamental Bible society in existence, Mt. Calvary has a great responsibility to uphold me in prayer and in finances. Hantz’s words were both sobering and encouraging. He explained to the church the “behind the scenes”, intellectually and physically demanding ministry I have. At one point, I said to myself, “What are you getting yourself into?!” But then I reminded myself of God’s calling on my life and of the unique privilege I have to help people gain access to God’s Word all around the world!

Pastor Minnick began his charge to me by remarking that it was significant that I would be commissioned into the Bible translation ministry on the 400th anniversary of the King James Version. He magnified the importance of this ministry when he stated that the work of Bible translation actually preceded apostolic ministry. In Ephesians 4 we are told that the Lord gave apostles (and others) to the church, but as they conducted their ministry, they carried with them a translation. The Greek translation of the OT had already been done 150 years earlier and provided them with the Bibles they needed to evangelize the Mediterranean world.

Pastor Minnick tried to get us to realize the significance of what we have in the English language by having us imagine what our culture would be like without the English Bible. He drew a hypothetical picture in which the Chinese have all the resources we have, not us. He had us explore what life would be like in such a situation. Deep darkness!

Pastor challenged me from 2 Timothy 2:15:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2Ti 2:15 KJV)

He encouraged me to be a faithful steward of God’s Word both in life and ministry. He assured me of the church’s prayers for me. The missions committee laid hands on me and prayed for me to close the service. Many came up afterwards to assure me of their prayers and support.

So, just as with Barnabas and Saul, tomorrow I depart. I head back north to stay in Indianapolis for a few days before going to a deputation meeting in Kankakee, IL, and a work meeting in Cleveland and then back to Grand Rapids at the end of next week. Full-time ministry basically begins for me on Monday, as most of my deputation meetings will be behind me. I still have 1 more in January and 3 in March. Otherwise, I’m praying that some of the 170 churches I’ve already presented at will take me on for support to complete the remaining 9%. Please pray!

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