Daily Topic for March 19, 2008
Here John applies Old Testament prophecy to Jesus. In Isaiah 42:6 we read, “I will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles.” Isaiah 60:1-2 declares, “Arise, shine, for your light has come…. darkness shall cover the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples; but the Lord will rise upon you…. the nations shall come to your light.” The incarnation of Jesus was a burst of light that continues to radiate to the nations today.
Lord, we stand on the truth of these prophecies for the sake of those peoples who still live in deep spiritual darkness.
Is it possible that 17 years after the fall of the Soviet Union there could still be people in that part of the world who have never heard the gospel? Pentecostal missionaries spent 20 days in eastern Siberia traveling by boat visiting remote villages and found this to be true. Not one person had a Bible. The missionaries distributed Bibles provided by the Institute for Bible Translation (IBT) operating out of Moscow. IBT started secretly in 1973, but operates now with varying degrees of openness.
More than any other organization IBT has laid the groundwork for evangelizing the 130 ethnic groups of the former USSR by providing Scriptures in their local languages. Sometimes only one book from the Old or New Testaments is available, but other times they have the entire New Testament. Their most popular publication is the “Children’s Bible” which is eagerly read by adults as well as children.
Today IBT boasts 62 translations, ranging from the full Bible for eight million Tajiks to the Gospel of Luke for 2,000 Itelmen people living on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s far east. One Yakut woman of northeast Siberia wrote, “I received this precious book from the Lord… It was obvious God’s blessing was upon it. As I began to read, I kept thinking, ‘Lord, You’re talking to me!’ It was easy for the Word of God to enter my heart….My soul welcomed God.”Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray for lasting fruit to come from these efforts to get gospel materials to the unreached people groups.-JS