September 27, 2016

Read Romans 8:28-39

Adoniram Judson is the father of the American Baptist Missionary movement. He left for the mission field as a Congregationalist. After arriving in India and studying the Scriptures, he became a Baptist. He was baptized by William Carey.

He would eventually go to Burma where he worked for 40 years. H translated the bible in Burmese, spent 21 months in prison, and buried two wives and five children while on the mission field. He was born in 1788 in Massachusetts and died in 1850. He was buried at sea. 

There are four great lessons in Romans 8:28-39 that marked Adoniram Judson’s life and should be gospel markers in our own. 

1.    We Have the Providence of God (vs. 28-32) – Paul affirms there are no accidents in the life of the child of God, only providence. We see God’s “Golden Chain of Redemption” in these verses. First, God foreknew. Secondly, God predestined. Third, God called. Fourth, God justified. Fifth, God glorified. 
2.    We Have the Prayers of God (vs. 33-34) – In vs. 26-27 we learn that the Spirit of God prays in us and in vs. 33-34 we learn that in heaven the Son of God prays for us.
3.    We Have the Power of God (vs. 35-37) – Life, by its very nature, can be very difficult. Yet, we have a promise that nothing in this life can conquer the child of God. Why? We have His prayers (vs. 34) and His love (vs. 37, 39). This guarantees the victory. In vs. 37 we have the promise that “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him Who loved us.” The promise is not just a victory but an overwhelming, decisive one.
4.    We Have the Promises of God (vs. 38-39) – We, as children of God, have such a certain hope in Him. The difficulties of life and the enemies of the gospel have neither a hope or a chance of separating us from the love of God found in Christ Jesus. 

Adoniram Judson lived as the very embodiment of these promises as he walked out God’s will for his life among the Burmese people. In spite of all the difficulties he experienced in his service to the Lord, Adoniram would live to see about 7,000 people baptized in Burma and 63 congregations were established under 163 missionaries, native pastors, and assistants. Today the Baptist Convention in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) has more than 600,000 members in 3,513 churches. Every one of these churches trace their spiritual heritage to Adoniram Judson. 

On May 4, 1831, Adoniram Judson wrote the following letter to his fellow missionary Cephas Bennett. 

We have distributed nearly ten thousand tracts, giving to none but to those who ask. I presume there have been six thousand applications at this house. Some come two or three months’ journey, from the borders of Siam and China – “Sir, we hear that there is an eternal hell. We are afraid of it. Do give us a writing that will tell us how to escape it.’ Others come from the frontiers of Kathay, a hundred miles north of Ava – “Sir, we have seen a writing that tells about an eternal God. Are you the man that gives away such writing? If so, pray give us one, for we want to know the truth before we die.” Others come from the interior of the country, where the name of Jesus Christ is little known – “Are you Jesus Christ’s man? Give us a writing that tells about Jesus Christ.” 

This begs the question, “Are you Jesus Christ’s man or woman?

(This devotional is based on Chapter Two of Five Who Changed the World by Daniel L. Akin)
(Additional biographical information came from To the Golden Shore by Courtney Anderson)