BCC Staff: The countdown to the Global Summit continues. We hope you are getting more and more excited about hearing from biblical counselors serving the Lord across the globe! We invite you to visit the Summit website and register to participate. Today’s blog, originally posted last summer by Kevin Hurt, reminds us that God’s purpose is to bring His Word to bear on the lives of people all over the world. How are you part of God’s global vision?
God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. He has an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the supremacy of His name among the nations. Therefore, let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose.
In the summer of 2015 Dr. Ed Bulkley and I taught a 40-hour week of lectures at the Ugandan Seminary as part of the I.A.B.C. (International Association of Biblical Counselors) training for certification.
In our initial planning conversations with the leaders of the Ugandan Seminary, they told us that they never had biblical counseling offered in their country. They had been presented with psychology and integrated counseling systems, but they never had any training in biblical counseling and the sufficiency of God’s Word for counseling (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 2:13). Unfortunately, they reported that none of the former systems of counseling had produced real and lasting change in the lives of the believers in Uganda.
As believers, who love the Lord and His Word, they knew that a vital part of discipleship and growth was lacking in their culture. They had heard about biblical counseling and knew that it was the answer to life’s issues, so they had been praying and looking for the opportunity to bring biblical counseling to their country. So, when we were invited to come to Uganda and be the first to teach them about biblical counseling, we realized this was an opportunity to serve our brothers and sisters in a life-changing way. But more importantly, it was a reminder that God was giving us an opportunity to “join His global purpose.”
Now, since God has a global purpose, then He must have global and timeless truths for the world. As we know, secular and psychologized approaches to change do not present timeless truths for all generations and people groups. But, when we counsel from the Word of God, we present truths and answers that never need to be updated to meet the real needs of mankind or the deep issues of life.
It is true that the Truth of God’s Word will be lived out and applied differently from culture to culture, but the core and life-changing truths of Scripture remain the same. It is an all-sufficient Word to serve God’s global purpose of reaching the world, not just for salvation but for sanctification as well. If we truly believe this, then we should have the upmost confidence in God’s Word to transform other cultures at any point in time.
Unchanging Truths Verses Changing Therapies
Here are five reasons that I’m so excited to see God’s Word go anywhere in the world. They are reasons that remind me why God’s Word is always enough to transform the heart and life of man at any time and in any culture.
- The Bible is the inspired Truth (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16). That means it is straight from God, not man. He is the source of the Truth. What was written down by human authors in both the Old and New Testaments is God speaking His Word to humanity.
- The Bible is eternal Truth (Psalm 119:89; Matthew 24:35). It is Truth that has been handed down from God that connects us back to the God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. To this day, in any culture and time, it is still accurate in its directives for people wherever they might live.
- The Bible is God’s wisdom (Psalm 119:23-24). Scripture only presents two sources of wisdom…God’s or everyone else’s. When it comes to man’s wisdom on life issues, man is constantly changing and adjusting to try and make sense out of life. But God’s wisdom is forever settled. He doesn’t need any assistance or insights from man.
- The Bible reminds man of his core problem of depravity and that he cannot change himself (Jeremiah 17:9). Man tends to put the focus on cultural deficiencies, a dysfunctional home, a lack of education and training, bad role models, etc. Though all those are real and troubling issues, and they do affect and contribute to the troubles and hardships in our world, they miss the core problem of man’s depraved heart and his inability to make any lasting and true change. The Bible goes right to the core issue of all life’s problems.
- The Bible leads to a dependency upon God (Galatians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5). God has so designed and revealed His Word that it creates a dependency on Him. It reminds us that we need such things as grace, mercy, strength, love, perseverance, etc. (all of which God gladly bestows on those who turn to Him). However, other solutions that are offered to other cultures ultimately produce dependency on people.
Join the Conversation
Have missions and biblical counseling been connected in your life and ministry? Have you seen God’s Word prove to be sufficient in other cultures?