Peace to you all! I am grateful to God for the mercy and privilege He has given me to serve in His kingdom. I am also very grateful for your support and prayers!
My wife and son make me feel so blessed by God. They are also one of the means that the Lord has placed in my life to help me grow in sanctification. Our Lord often teaches us lessons by illustrating spiritual truths we find in normal life. For example, our son is now starting to eat more solid food, rather than just milk. It makes me think of the Bible passages that liken Christians to babies, such as in Hebrews 5:12-14, “you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” So is the case with a new believer, who is only able to drink the milk of the “basic principles” and “elementary doctrine of Christ.” Hebrews goes on to define these as, “repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.” As the believer grows, he must mature and move on to more solid food. Reading further in the book Hebrews, one can see these truths that Christians to be able to dig their teeth into. In fact, even the basic teachings on repentance, faith, washings, laying on of hands, resurrection and eternal judgment, are rarely heard of in a coherent way in Finland. Consequently, a result of this has prevented many churches from growing properly. They need basic Gospel truths, the foundation of their faith established, in order to build other truths upon it correctly.
There is a lot of good and wholesome milk, as well as nutritious solid food produced in English, that can be translated. We praise the Lord that we have been graced to translate a small fraction of these resources. Translating available material tremendously facilitates this endeavor of getting clear evangelistic and Biblical teaching into the hands of our people. We do not have to re-invent the wheel. Of course, there is also a great need for producing our own indigenous material. By the grace of God, we have already started seeing these things happen. The materials that are to be published in the near future on Evangeliecentrerat.se have been planned, and in God’s providence, we are pressing forward. I have been able to translate enough to go into the month of February. One of the proofreaders who have been helping with translating articles has now been taught to make subtitles as well, and he has done a great job. We are excited about this.
Taking Finnish classes has been a good way, not only to get started learning Finnish but also getting out among some new people. Some of my classmates, especially Asians who have completely different letters and pronunciation, are struggling and need help during class. I have happily been able to try to provide this help. Finnish grammar is hard as it is – knowing Ancient Greek, Hebrew, and Latin helps though! – but to them, also just learning to pronounce these foreign letters and words, is a great challenge.
In October I preached from Ecclesiastes 4:1-3, To Die is Gain: The Misery of this Life and the Fortune in the Next. I had recently preached on a similar topic, death because the previous passage from Ecclesiastes also was about death and judgment. But this passage did have other, complementary, things to say on this topic. It is a reminder that one must trust God while preaching expositorily through the Bible. It may sometimes seem repetitive, but God has something to say to His people, whether it is a word of hope, encouragement, or exhortation in that particular season and moment, through His Word. Indeed, He is always faithful.