Dr. R. Paul Stevens
David J. Brown Professor of Marketplace Theology and Leadership, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.
“Life is a journey.” So begins one of Joseph Hovsepian’s brief but meaty meditations. And so it is — a journey in which the deepest questions we ask and the most pressing issues of direction and destination have to do with our souls. God made us for Himself and our hearts are restless until they rest in God — as St. Augustine said centuries ago. What Hovsepian does time and again is to show us how the God-shaped vacuum in our soul can be filled and how to live the faith.
These meditations are personal. They deal with our relationship with God. They do so by exploring the basics of the Christian faith — the Good News of Jesus, the unconditional love of God, forgiveness, sin and holiness. This is no watered-down version of the faith. People today are often inoculated with mild doses of religion that have made them immune from the real thing. The real thing is what these meditations are all about. Read them yourself as a daily devotion. Give them to a seeking friend. They represent a lifetime of teaching and writing by Pastor Hovsepian.
Inevitably, when people read a book they try to discover the person behind the words. It has been my privilege to know Joseph Hovsepian for almost forty years. I was once his pastor and have, over the years, watched him grow as a disciple of Jesus. He pastors a multi-ethnic church in Montreal, Temple Baptist Church. He also pastors from his electronic repair shop on Park Avenue, a business through which he supports himself and his family. Like Aquila and Priscilla in the Bible, Joseph and Jessie Hovsepian are tentmaking (self-supporting) servants of God. I have lived in their home and vouch for their integrity — a matter of no mean significance in an age of religious hucksterism. Both the man and the message are the real thing. So read. Enjoy. Believe. And thrive in the journey of faith.
This book is full of messages that reflect Joseph Hovsepian’s everyday experiences with Christ.
As pastor of Temple Baptist Church since 1984, and previously an elder there for more than twenty years, his ministry has been unusual. He speaks and preaches in English, Greek and Armenian, and also speaks French and Turkish. He is one of God’s few workers who can serve in such a diverse ministry. Joseph has been a layman and pastor, relying on his business for his income; an evangelist; a radio broadcaster; a counsellor, both in face-to-face situations and on the phone; a servant in other ministries (such as my own, Gospel Reach-out Inc.) and much more. And now, a book publisher!
I have known Joseph since his childhood and I remember, since he came to Christ at the age of twelve, his great zeal to serve his fellow man for Christ. As a youth, he wrote and circulated Greek evangelistic leaflets. In later years, he wrote “What Are You Searching for?” and nearly one million copies have been printed (in English, French and Greek) and distributed around the world.
Joseph has a brilliant intellect, a highly trained mind and an outstanding gift of preaching and teaching. His great success lies in his consuming devotion to the Lord, his reliance on the Holy Spirit and his absolute trust in the revelation of God through the Scriptures. His messages are full of spiritual discernment and address the subjects of salvation, evangelism, the Christian life, spiritual warfare and, especially, the most desperately needed message in our churches today: revival at any cost. Many times Joseph’s articles have given me ideas and outlines for the preparation of my own messages.
As you read this book, my prayer is that God will ignite in you a spark that will become a flame of righteousness and holiness in your life. Besides, this is the need of the hour as He is coming again. I hope you agree.