[Wayne]: Welcome to another in our series of podcasts from the Far East Broadcasting Company. I’m Wayne Shepherd. This is Until All Have Heard. All of you have heard Ed Cannon on this podcast for each and every episode. Ed is the President of the Far East Broadcasting Company. Ed, here we are. It’s summertime. We are recording right in the middle of summer right now. Ed, you and I have a lot of fun talking about baseball and summertime. I know there is no spiritual significance to it. We have a friendly rivalry when it comes to baseball, but that’s just a summer thing, isn’t it?
[Ed]: I knew you’d want to rub that in after your team defeated my team three games in a row over the weekend. Thanks, Wayne.
[Wayne]: [Laughter] You knew that was coming, huh? You knew it.
[Wayne]: All right. Well, it could be that before this program is over, that trend will have reversed. So, we’ll find out. There’s no spiritual significance to that. Let’s move on to the most important things.
[Ed]: That’s baseball.
[Wayne]: Yes, it’s just baseball. Let’s talk about the Gospel. Let’s talk about FEBC’s ministry of the Gospel. It’s summertime, and this is a time when a lot of people take time off for vacations. I’m sure you’ll have a little time off, I hope, with your family, but the Gospel never takes time off, thankfully.
[Ed]: Yes, that’s right. I’ve had the privilege, I think, during the COVID time what – I used to have to travel a lot and do a lot of that sort of thing, and that’s all changed. So many of my meetings are on Zoom now, and it’s given me the privilege to say, “Ed, you need to read God’s Word far more than I used to.” I spend a great deal of time in God’s Word that used to be small, little chunks and segments between sleeping and jetlag and meetings and such.
[Wayne]: Watching losing baseball games. Absolutely, yes. [Laughter]
[Ed]: Yes. We’ve moved on from that. We’ve moved on from that.
[Wayne]: Okay, all right. [Laughter]
[Ed]: And I’ve discovered so many things in the Bible that I didn’t know before, despite the fact that I thought I’d spend a great deal of time. Let me share with you an unusual verse that really spoke to my heart when I thought about the ministry of FEBC. It’s in Jeremiah Chapter 23, starting with Verse 28. It says, “Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain,” declares the Lord. “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock into pieces?”
[Ed]: So, I apply that to FEBC. We need to be very faithful to speak God’s Word on the radio because it’s not about our power. It’s not about what we want to say. It’s about what God’s Word says. “For I am resolved to know nothing,” Paul says in 1 Corinthians. “I was resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” When we apply those lessons to our broadcasts, nothing is going to prevail against God’s Gospel. Jesus said in Matthew, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Not COVID, not governments, not hard hearts of human beings, nothing will prevail against God’s Gospel. So, this summer, this time of COVID, I’ve had the privilege of really soaking up what God’s Word has said about the mission of a ministry like ours, and how we don’t need to worry about our own wisdom, our own plans, our own strategies. Declare the Word of God and it’s like a hammer to break rocks into pieces. [Laughter]
[Wayne]: Yes, I like that, Jeremiah 23. What was the reference? I know someone was going to want to look this up after hearing you read it. What was the reference of Paul’s message there?
[Ed]: 1 Corinthians 2 verse 2 through 5.
[Wayne]: Okay. God’s Word is always fresh, isn’t it?
[Ed]: Yes. You know, Wayne, one of the things I’ve started doing differently than I did before COVID and maybe even only in the last few months, I used to read a little section of the Bible each day and just absorb what that small section meant to me. Now I’ve changed that habit because I have some more time to read an entire book at a time, read an entire book of Matthew, the entire book of 1 Corinthians, and it comes with a different message.
[Wayne]: I’m glad you mentioned that. Our producer, Joe, just today in the office together here, was showing me the reader’s Bible, which takes away all the chapter numbers and all the verse numbers and just gives you the book of Matthew, the book of John. That’s what you’re doing, isn’t it?
[Ed]: It is. A dear friend of all of ours, Pastor Don Cole, taught me very, very long ago to read the Bible slowly. It’s not the objective to say, “I want to get through the Bible in such and such a period of time.” Or, “I read the Bible – all the Bible in one year.” No, no, no. The goal is to read it slowly and carefully and let the message of the Bible work on me, rather than having me convert the message of the Bible to what I want to hear.
[Wayne]: Yes. Maybe that’s a great suggestion for our summertime when we maybe have a little more time on our hands, a little more free time to spend time on the Word like that, slowly.
[Ed]: Yes. Slowly. It’s kind of a paradox, but you want to read it slowly in great deals at one time. So, long sections and slowly. Guess what that means? Lots of time. What else is more important?
[Wayne]:Right. That’s how the Lord speaks to us. It’s through His Word.
[Ed]: You know what, Wayne, it’s far more important than baseball.
[Wayne]: Okay. [Laughter] I agree. I agree. A little baseball sprinkled, it isn’t a bad thing.
[Ed]: A little baseball sprinkled, it isn’t a bad thing. No, you’re right.
[Wayne]: [Laughter] All right. Let’s talk more. I’d like to hear more of the Scripture that you have on your heart today, Ed.
[Ed]: Well, I was going to shift gears for just a second because…
[Wayne]: Oh, okay. You’ve got a letter, don’t you?
[Ed]: Yes. You see, we have this time, and some of the things that I’ve started doing at FEBC, we send receipt notices out to people when they give us a gift. I’d like to make absolutely sure that people understand that regardless of the size of their gift, in many cases, that I deeply appreciate their support of our ministry. Not too long ago, we received a gift from a couple. I’ve never met them before. They live very far away from here. The particular gift they gave was designated toward Japan. So, I thought, “Well, I’ve been to Japan. I know a little bit about what’s going on there.” So, I decided to take some time and write them a personal note. So, I said, “Thanks so much for remembering the country of Japan.” Many people don’t think about it as a hard-to-reach place. Actually, Japan is such a difficult place for the Gospel to spread. There’s very, very, very few Christians there, and they’re very old. Young people don’t seem to have a thirst for God’s Word or the Gospel. So, I said, “Thanks for sharing with Japan and not forgetting them.” We’re fortunate to have a broadcaster, Keiko there, who’s been the number one voice for FEBC for over 50 years.
[Wayne]: Yes. Keiko just received recognition from the National Religious Broadcasters, which is an international organization really, for her 50 years of service to Christ. So, that was a special honor she received just this summer.
[Ed]: Can you imagine, Wayne, if you were a radio listener, and let’s say you started listening to FEBC Radio when you were about 10 years old. You know how some of those programs when you’re a young kid are so grafted into your mind that it just becomes part of your being? After a number of years, you almost can’t live without it. You’ve got to hear that broadcast. I’ve got to hear my favorite broadcaster on the radio. Imagine you started listening to Keiko when you were 10.
[Wayne]: Wow. [Laughter]
[Ed]: Then you really loved her ministry when you were 30, but now you’re 60 years old, and you’re still listening to the same soft, humble voice on the radio, declaring the comfort that comes with the acceptance of God’s Gospel.
[Wayne]: That’s faithfulness. That’s faithful right there.
[Ed]: Isn’t it amazing?
[Ed]: It’s just an incredible thing.
[Wayne]: It’s a great thought.
[Ed]: These donors sent the note back. They said, “We appreciate…”
[Wayne]: Okay, wait a minute. FEBC received a gift.
[Wayne]: You sent them a little handwritten thank you.
[Ed]: Yes, and I mentioned Keiko.
[Wayne]: Then they wrote back to you.
[Ed]: I said because they gave the gift for Japan and I mentioned Keiko in my note. They said, “We traveled to Japan some 20-plus years ago. On our travels, we love FEBC and we called in advance and sought to find out where we could meet someone from FEBC. We did and we had a lovely meal with Keiko.” They’ve sent me a picture of them together having lunch.
[Wayne]: How nice.
[Ed]: It just touched my heart with the way people and ministry and radio and communications are so all pulled together.
[Wayne]: Well, I think the word for these donors…
[Ed]: I do, too.
[Wayne]: …who, as they travel the world, they think of our broadcasters and they want to encourage them. So, they’ll pay them a visit. I think that’s an extraordinary idea.
[Ed]: If you are listening, I thank you so much for your kind and gracious note, which really touched my heart. These kinds of small acts of generosity and kindness, I think, are really important amongst us Christians.
[Ed]: If you’ve got somebody that you appreciate, tell them, reach out to them and say – you know, I really appreciate it that that happened. Not that I am preaching to anyone on the radio broadcast today, but it was a lesson I learned this summer, Wayne. I thought I’d share that with all of our listeners at this time.
[Wayne]: That’s very nice, very nice. So, we’re just kicking back in the summertime here on Until All Have Heard. I’m talking with Ed Cannon about passages and prayers and stories here. You still have your Bible open in front of you, don’t you?
[Ed]: Yes. As a matter of fact, I was just going to get back to it. One of my all-time favorite lessons from the Gospel, I just happened to have right here in front of me. It’s after the time that Christ brought His apostles to Caesarea Philippi and He asked His disciples, “Who do the people say I am?” I’m sure you’re all very familiar with that story. This is when Peter stood up and said, “You’re the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus acknowledged Him for saying, “Yes, you’ve learned this lesson from God. I’m going to use you in the advancement of my church. Now, let me tell you about my future.” Then He begins to tell the apostles. He’s going to go into Jerusalem and He’ll be killed. Peter said, “Wait, wait, wait, wait a minute, Lord. Stop. We’re not going to let that happen to you. I’ve got a better idea.” Whoa. That’s very, very dangerous turf to get on. We all know what Christ said to Him after that. “Get thee behind me, Satan.”
[Wayne]: Yes, strong word.
[Ed]: “You are a stumbling block to me.” Now, for me, the most important part of that lesson is what follows those words from Christ. He said, “You are a stumbling block to me. You have in mind the things of man and not the things of God.” Wow. So, Jesus explained to him exactly his problem. “You’re depending on your own thinking, Peter. You’re not depending on the things that God has taught you.” So, we can read His Word. We can absorb His Word. We can understand what His Word is saying, but if we think that we have the best idea and that we can change things on our own, we’re in big trouble. We have to be thinking of the things of God. There are so many examples, Wayne, that I’ve read lately about in the Old Testament, about leaders and kings and God’s chosen people choosing their own plans. “I know how I’m going to do this,” and then getting in deep trouble with God because He says, “No, no, no, no, no. That’s not what I told you to do.”
[Wayne]: Yes, my thoughts are not your thoughts.
[Ed]: Yes, that’s one of my favorite verses, too. That’s Isaiah 55, right? So, I think I’ll turn to that since you’re on that.
[Ed]: Yes. “My thoughts are not your thoughts,” He says. A matter of fact, “My thoughts are higher than your thoughts as the heaven is higher than the earth.” So, think about people in those days, back – they didn’t know what the universes were or what stellar galaxies were. All they knew was the sky and the earth. So, to say as high as the heavens from the earth, that is as big as they can imagine, which is saying to people, “There is no comparison between how much higher my thoughts are than your low thoughts,” right?
[Ed]: He goes to say, “But my word will accomplish what I desire, not what you desire, for the purpose with which I said it.” Once again, we’re back to fulfilling the mission of FEBC. We don’t need to be thinking about our own wisdom, Wayne. We need to depend on God and His Word. Unleash God’s Word through the radio all around the world so that people will hear it, understand it, place their faith in Christ, and therefore, our mission will be fulfilled.
[Wayne]: Ed, thank you for sharing so openly with us today, just the things that God is teaching you through the Word. It’s always refreshing to talk to brothers and sisters who are spending time in the Word and what the Lord is teaching them through that time. So, I appreciate you sharing that with us today. I do want to mention, for those who are not listening on our website right now but listening through Apple podcast or Spotify or Google Play or however you’re listening to Until All Have Heard, please go to our website: febc.org. There you’ll find an opportunity to sign up for our International Prayer Guide. Let’s not take this summer off of prayer, either. Let’s make sure that we’re upholding these listeners in this country and the staff of FEBC in our prayers. You can do that effectively when you download the International Prayer Guide at febc.org. Do you want to say anything about that, Ed?
[Ed]: Well, I was going to say that I’m going to bless the audience by not going to my favorite verses in the book of Lamentations. So, we’ll skip that portion today.
[Wayne]: [Laughter] Okay. You’ll save that for next time?
[Ed]: No, I think I’ll cancel that.
[Ed]: We have to be more upbeat now, but the International Prayer Guide is a great opportunity for people around the United States to hear more about what God is doing internationally and how we can pray for those people and His work so that more will come to know Him as Savior.
[Wayne]: Yes. It’s a great tool, and it’s available free, of course, when you sign up at febc.org. Well, here we are with the summer edition of Until All Have Heard. Our thanks to Jonathan Mortiz and, of course, Joe Carlson, the behind-the-scenes guys who make this possible. So, thanks, men, appreciate your help of great deal. For Ed Cannon, I’m Wayne Shepherd. Thanks for listening and tell others about this podcast. Share it on your social media feeds, Until All Have Heard from the Far East Broadcasting Company.