The Message; June 7, 2023

Isaiah 53;1 “Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

This is one of the most important chapters in the whole Bible, laying out God’s incredible plan of salvation hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth. Verse 6 was one of the first verses I ever memorized, and rightly so. Verse 5 was rightly quoted by Peter as the basis for the healing we pray for today. (1 Peter 2:24) I have heard many testimonies of Jews realizing that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah from reading this chapter, because it so undeniably lays out His life and what He went through to gain our salvation. That’s why it’s significant that the chapter starts with this question. It’s interesting that English translations generally say “our message” here, but the Japanese says “what we have heard.” It is indeed the message that Christians proclaim, but it doesn’t originate with us. No human being could have dreamed up what God planned from Creation to make a way for us to be His children indeed. It is the highest honor to proclaim this message, but we must not think we originated it, or change it in any way. Any such changes quickly make it “another gospel,” to use Paul’s terminology. (Galatians 1:7) It has always been interesting to me that it speaks of Jesus having no physical descendants (verse 8) and then turns around and says He will “see His offspring” two verses later. On the physical level that’s impossible, but every genuine believer has experienced it spiritually. That’s just a further reminder that the spiritual world, though invisible to our physical eyes, is very real indeed. All in all, this chapter is a prime example of why Scripture is to be digested, meditated on, and applied, rather than just read for the words on the page.

As I said, I was exposed to this chapter very early in my life, but it is still working its way into me and growing. I need to believe it in practical terms more and more, and I desire to be useful to God in sharing the message so that others may believe it as well. It is a message of such incredible love, grace, mercy, and glory that I will never be able to express it totally, but it is a joy to keep trying! I am currently at a leadership conference where the theme is Mission Advance, and I am surrounded by people who have the same goals I do. What a blessing! This morning and tomorrow morning I will have the privilege of providing simultaneous English interpretation for some brothers and sisters who are here from Singapore. It’s been a while since I’ve done that, and my brain isn’t as young as it once was. I need to rest, relax, and rejoice in my Lord so that His Word will not be distorted as it passes through me. Sequential interpreting is no big deal for me, but having to speak and listen at the same time is certainly taxing, particularly since word/sentence order in English and Japanese are often reversed. However, I know from experience that God can do it through me, because He can speak to me even as He is speaking to the person on the podium. I am not to be anxious, but rejoice to be useful to God for building up the Body of Christ.

Father, thank You for getting us here safely yesterday, and for the blessings You have already poured out. Thank You for the testimony from the pastor who was elected to the Diet just last year about how he is frequently asked outright to explain the Christian position, and the Gospel itself, to the national leaders with whom he works. I pray for a revival in the Japanese government! Thank You for the reminder that nothing is impossible for You, and that Your ways are indeed higher than anything we could dream up – just as this chapter in Isaiah demonstrates. May I indeed get my eyes off of myself and my limitations and trust You totally to do more than I could ask or think, (Ephesians 3:20) for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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Disciples; June 6, 2023

Isaiah 50:4 The sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
and wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.

This is reasonably taken as a Messianic passage, but it is one I feel can and should apply to every believer. We talk a lot about discipleship, and rightly so, since the term comes up a lot in the New Testament, and that is the term the Japanese uses repeatedly here. (“the tongue of a disciple” and “listen like a disciple”) However, I think we forget that the basic meaning is simply that of listening obediently, with a heart to learn. The problem is that we tend to be rebellious. We talk about the “terrible twos” in children, and then about “rebellious teenagers,” but many of us never really grow out of that. My mother had a rather colorful phrase that I think captures it well: “Independent as a hog on ice.” Hooved animals in particular can find walking on ice problematic. Just yesterday I watched a video of a man rescuing four wild deer that had gotten out toward the middle of a frozen lake and completely lost their footing, unable to stand up again. He just threw a rope around each one in turn and dragged it over to the shore where it could get some traction. Pigs are noted for their intelligence, but also for their willfulness, and that describes humans pretty well. (Sometimes a little shy on the intelligence.) Discipleship requires a choice, an act, really repeated, consistent acts, of our will. We can’t get by with saying a few words, however good and appropriate those words might be, and then failing to renew our commitment on a daily basis. It’s not that we “lose our salvation,” but we do lose a lot of the blessings God has prepared for us. The life of a disciple isn’t very attractive to our flesh, but it is loaded with incredible blessings the world knows nothing about.

I have known the term and the concept for as long as I can remember, but genuine discipleship is something I’m still growing into. I am very grateful that on some levels this verse describes me, because I can’t really begin my day without taking time to listen to God and respond to Him. He has given me a gift for words, which was recognized from when I was much younger, but the question remains whether I consistently use my words to “sustain the weary,” as the NIV puts it. Too often, even now, my words wound rather than heal, but my prayer is that will continue to change. I delight to share what the Lord speaks to me, but I must never do so in pride, talking down to people. I’ve got to be an obedient disciple myself! I know from countless experiences that I am imperfect and prone to stumble, and I’ve got to keep a firm grip on Daddy’s hand to keep from falling flat on my face. If I will do that, He will use me to teach others to take His hand as well, so that together we may be His disciples to do His will for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the conference we’ll be attending from today. I pray that every attendee would have a tender heart to hear what You are saying to them individually, so that the Body of Christ may be cleansed and built up, knowing who we are in Christ and living that out consistently, for the salvation of this nation and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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The Only God; June 5, 2023

Isaiah 43:10-11 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after me.
I, even I, am the Lord,
and apart from me there is no savior.

This is as clear a statement of the uniqueness of the Creator as could be written, but there are some who would attribute human characteristics to Him and say that of course He would say such things about Himself, whether or not they were true. Such a person is determined not to submit to their Creator in the first place! There are many logical reasons to believe in a Creator, but it ultimately comes down to a decision, and some people refuse to make it. However, they are ignoring the reality that they are mortal, and the time will come when the truth will be inescapable. As Paul wrote, the time will come when every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, whe­ther they ever did before or not. (Philippians 2:11) As has been com­mented, if God is not real and there is just nothing after death, we have lost nothing by living as though He were real. However, if He is real, and we face judgment after death, (Hebrews 9:27) then we lose everything by failing to live as though He were real. Some people in­sist that religions are all superstitions, dreamed up to try to explain things that primitive peoples couldn’t understand, but that we live in the “enlightened” age of science, and we don’t need such things. That was the stated position of Karl Marx, who called religion “the opiate of the masses.” Such hubris is sadly popular even today. The amazing thing is not that God exists, but that He loves His creation enough to divide Himself, as it were, to send His Son into the world to take the penalty for the sins of mankind, and then further send His Spirit to indwell all who would open their hearts to Him in faith. Now that is a miracle! However, hundreds of years before those things happened on the human scale, God is here declaring that He is the only Savior. It does take faith to believe such a thing, but God provides it for all who will open their heart to accept it.

This is of course why I am alive today and ministering in Japan. I am totally convinced that God created me, flaws and all, and He has chosen to use me in this nation, again flaws and all. The early part of this chapter has been set to music and is a powerful encouragement to me as I face trials of all sorts. My life continues to go through different periods, some of which could be called green pastures, some rushing rivers, and some trials by fire. I have no reason to fear any of that, because I am with my Creator and He is with me and in me. I am to make full use of every opportunity He gives me to share His truth with all who will receive it, so that others too may know their Creator and His love for them, for their salvation and His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for all You said through me yesterday, both in the service and in the unexpected counseling opportunity in the afternoon. I pray that I would be Your agent at all times, rightly relating to You so that Your purposes may be accomplished in and through me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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Connection; June 4, 2023

Isaiah 42:10 Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise from the ends of the earth,
you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,
you islands, and all who live in them.

I love this chapter, but I was starting to wonder how I had chosen it when the theme is Faith, until I got to verse 17 that mentions trusting in idols. That said, the reason I love the chapter is the repeated references to islands. Actually, that’s one of the many reasons I like the whole book of Isaiah! Born and raised in Japan, as well as being commissioned to minister here, islands have always been close to my heart. An inescapable characteristic of islands is separation, since the definition of an island is “a body of land completely surrounded by water.” It just occurs to me that you could use that definition to define a person as “a spiritual being completely surrounded by flesh.” Separation is a characteristic of the human condition, and we all long for connection, in one way or another. The newborn infant wails and flails, because they have lost their connection to their mother. “Skin­ship,” physical touching, is an essential part of communicating love, from parents to children, spouse to spouse, and more broadly. We spend our lives seeking connection, which is one reason electronic communication is so popular, and yet so isolating, because it lacks the physical touch. God sent His Spirit to destroy that separation, because Holy Spirit knows no physical limitations. He isn’t just with us, He lives in us, as surely as a fetus is in its mother. (Of course that analogy falls apart pretty quickly, but you get the idea.) We really don’t have words to express the degree of connection that is objective reality on the spiritual level. That’s why Jesus’ statements about being “in the Father” and the Father being “in Him” and both of them being “in us” can get so confusing, until we experience it ourselves. Probably the closest human connection we experience is between husband and wife, which is why the Bible speaks of the Church as the “Bride of Christ.” The devil does all he can to pollute that by spreading sex outside of marriage and perverting it in countless ways, but that doesn’t eliminate the reason God designed it in the first place. A husband and wife who share the spiritual connection of a common faith and intimacy with their Creator and Savior are indeed connected to a degree that is surpassed only in heaven. That heaven is going to exceed that connection can be hard to grasp, but once it is grasped, it creates a huge anticipation or heaven!

I don’t go into this sort of detail, but this is something I touch on in marital counseling all the time. I tell couples that if they don’t have the heart-to-heart connection (since most of my counselees aren’t Christians) that they can get tired of the physical connection, and that’s a major trigger for infidelity. However, if the heart connection is strong, infidelity becomes out of the question. As a pastor, I try to help people understand and believe the intimacy our Lord desires and has prepared for us. That can be difficult without using sexual metaphors, and sex is NOT part of heaven! My position on this issue is backed up by, so far, 54 years of what I think any objective observer would call an excellent marriage. My wife and I don’t have perfect connection – that will have to wait for heaven – but what we have is deep and wonderful. We do have lapses in communication, particularly related to current health issues, but we know that those are temporary. All in all, we have tasted heaven, and we are looking forward to its fulfillment!

Father, thank You for this beautiful exposition. Thank You for the message You’ve given me for this morning, that Holy Spirit is personal and individual and we need to relate to Him that way. I ask for clear words and anointing so that Your truth may penetrate the heart, mind, and spirit of each hearer, bringing us all into closer connection with You, for our blessing and Your pleasure and glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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The True God; June 3, 2023

Isaiah 36:18 “Do not let Hezekiah mislead you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?”

If any of the people using this Scripture list aren’t really familiar with the Bible, this chapter should certainly inspire them to keep reading to see what happens next! Sennacherib was indeed a great king, well recorded in the history books, and this chapter is a very detailed, and almost certainly accurate, record of his tactics. Why fight when intimidation can do the job? However, the field commander speaking here, and by extension Sennacherib himself, made a drastic miscalculation. They thought that Yahweh was like all the other gods they knew of, including their own: figments of human imagination, mythologies to tack onto natural events. In those days, only the Jews knew and worshiped the Creator of the universe, and the Assyrians were about to find that out. How all of that relates to us today is the many people who dismiss and denigrate genuine Christian faith. Granted, there are plenty of counterfeits out there, people who use their “faith” as an excuse and cover-up, but that doesn’t negate reality. Those who do know the One who not only created them, He sent His Son to die for them so that they could live as His children, should never be intimidated by the naysayers. Right now in the US there is an anti-Christian current that has never been so evident before. That’s all the more reason to stand up boldly and proclaim God’s truth! We are to do so humbly and in love, but with absolute assurance. We aren’t to let the insults embarrass us, because they are lies. Sometimes they can be ignored, but sometimes they need to be answered so that other people won’t be deceived into thinking they are true. Above all, our lives need to be the validation of our words, living out the truths we proclaim, so that our opposition may be silenced. (1 Peter 2:12; 3:15-16)

I’ve not encountered the kind of open opposition described here, but I’ve certainly run into a lot of people who didn’t think my God was worth considering for themselves. I can’t change people by my own wisdom and strength, but I’m never to discount what God can do. I’m always to speak the truth in love, not in pride or anger, so that my words may be useful to the Holy Spirit to bring conviction and repentance. The more I am assured of the God I know, the less I have to defend Him! (2 Timothy 1:12)

Father, thank You for this reminder, and that You are absolutely omnipotent and reliable. Help me indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, so that You may do in and through me exactly what You desire, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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Help; June 2, 2023

Isaiah 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
who rely on horses,
who trust in the multitude of their chariots
and in the great strength of their horsemen,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
or seek help from the Lord.

We know from history what actually happened, but we don’t have that perspective about our current situation. Back then, chariots, horses, and trained, equipped troops were the pinnacle of military might, whereas today we have some pretty amazing war machinery and technology. The principle, however, is the same: we need to look first to God and depend on Him. The current administration in the US seems bent on destroying the effectiveness of the military through social engineering, but our technology is still supreme. There are exceptions, such as an article I read yesterday about how the US may well be buying a Japanese seaplane, because it is the only one in the world currently capable of landing and taking off in 3-meter waves, but its focus is on search and rescue, not killing the enemy. It’s not bad to have good equipment, and certainly not bad to have well-trained troops, but that must not be our focus. We are to be good stewards of what the Lord has provided, but remember first Who provided it. This verse of course is talking about military matters, but the same thing applies in every area of life. The most wealthy, gifted person in the world must first look to their Creator, and sadly, that is not common. We are all too prone to look at and to the material and forget the underlying spiritual reality. When as Paul said we walk by faith and not by sight, (2 Corinthians 5:7) we have absolutely nothing to be afraid of.

I’ve done my share of depending on things other than God, and it’s never turned out well. In the process I have learned that God is indeed totally dependable, but I must not be presumptuous. I must always have my eyes open to see what God has already provided, to make the use of it that He intends, to accomplish His purposes for His glory. So long as I’m looking to put a feather in my cap, I’m in the wrong. God has blessed me remarkably, but for a long time I thought those gifts were mine, and I was mired in pride. Just recently He has been working on that again. I’ve been using computers effectively for almost 40 years, but my latest acquisition came with Windows 11 installed, and I’m left feeling like a “newbie,” unable to do things that should be simple. Frankly, that’s painful, and doubly so because I don’t know how to ask the system the right questions, apparently. I too need to look to the Lord to rescue me! I’ve got to remember this as I relate to those around me who can’t seem to grasp things that seem obvious to me. I’m no better than they are! I need to recognize the lessons the Lord is giving me and so learn what I need to, to become a more effective servant of my Lord, for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. I should have learned this thoroughly by now! Thank You for the line of investigation You indicated to me about the computer issue, but more than that, help me focus more and more on You in every issue, every detail of my life, so that I may walk in Your light and not in darkness, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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God’s Offer; June 1, 2023

Isaiah 30:15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.

This is so typical of human interaction with God! He offers us in­calculable blessings, everything we genuinely want and more, and we turn Him down because we want to do things our own way. We are like those quoted in verses 10-11, telling God’s ministers what we want to hear instead of what God is really saying to us. I forget the exact quote, but I think it was Einstein who said something like, “There are two things that are infinite, the universe and human stu­pidity, and I’m not so sure about the universe.” Frankly, we see th­at displayed around us all the time, in ways big and small. Just yesterday my wife was telling me something someone had done recently, and I literally did a face palm, at a loss for words. That particular thing wasn’t so significant, but the sad thing is that it happens all the time in life-or-death issues as well, as Isaiah is writing about here. Frankly, all we really need to do is acknowledge our ignorance, stupidity, and powerlessness and then ask for God’s guidance and help, but we are too stupidly proud to do that. Pride trips us up in many ways, yet we are too blind to see it and so cling to our pride. God loves us and offers us eternal life and infinite glory, but we have to accept them on His terms and let go of our conditions, our pride.

I well remember a time, many years ago now, when I was in a prayer meeting and someone had a problem they were struggling with. I felt that I was to give him part of this verse, but it was awk­ward because I didn’t feel like he was rejecting the quietness and trust God was asking of him. That brother has graduated from this life just this year, and I know he is currently rejoicing in all the good things God has for him, but he needed to accept more of them soon­er. I have been very slow to accept some of the things God has offered me, so I have no fingers to point in this area. I am to proclaim God’s truth, His mercy and grace and holiness, and pray for people that they may reject the devil’s lies and accept God’s incredible of­fer, for their salvation and His glory.

Father, thank You for the privilege of being Your messenger at times, even when people don’t want to receive the message. Help me be faithful, applying what You say in my own life and not thinking it just applies to others. Thank You for finally getting it through to me that I’m not smart, regardless of my IQ, and that wisdom comes from knowing I’m not wise on my own, but only to the degree I listen to You. May I be Your agent in every area of my life as You desire, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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Foundation; May 31, 2023

Isaiah 28:16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who trusts will never be dismayed.

This is of course a very famous prophecy, quoted in the New Testament, and it has been magnificently set to music. There is no question that it speaks of the Messiah, but we need to think about its implications in our daily lives. Just ahead of this, the Jewish leaders are quoted as saying, “We have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.” Lies are amorphous, figments of imagination, because they have no objective truth behind them, and are the polar opposites of a foundation stone. Typically of the devil, his onslaughts today are all lies, extending all the way to basic biology. The counter to all that is to stand on the Rock, Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6) One of the basic facts about the devil and his lies is that there is no foundation. An old Japanese term for the world of nightlife and bars and brothels is ukiyo, the “floating world.” Part of that may have come from the fact that “red light districts” were often by rivers or canals, but such are common in Japan. The “floating world” can and often does seem glamorous, but with no foundation it is swept away. Those who know Christ must stand on Him and insist on truth, rejecting the avalanche of lies. As Jesus pointed out, without a foundation we cannot stand. (Matthew 7:24-27) In that, though, He specifies that His truth must be put into practice for it to be effective. We can’t just say, yes, yes, and then do nothing about it. (James 1:22) We all need a foundation, and Jesus is the only one that will ultimately stand the tests of time and eternity.

I had the incredible privilege and advantage of being raised by a man who held absolute honesty as one of his guiding principles, and that was based on his knowledge of and devotion to Jesus Christ. I have tried to do the same, but I have shown myself to be all too adept at fooling myself (to go back to what James said). As I minister in Japan, I find that many people have no real concept of a foundation in life. After all, in Buddhism the ultimate “good” is mu, nothingness! For the foundation of faith to be laid, sometimes a lot of digging has to take place. However, nothing is impossible with God, and the Japanese people have a history of commitment to the point of martyrdom. I cannot lay a foundation in someone else’s life, but I can provide the materials and ask the Holy Spirit to do the work. He is more than up to the task!

Father, thank You for providing, for being, the foundation we all need. Help me be firmly established on that foundation but not be satisfied with that for myself alone. Help me be a good builder, as Paul described himself, (1 Corinthians 3:10) so that Your Church may indeed rise as You intend, bringing many into Your Kingdom and destroying the lies of the devil, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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Happiness; May 30, 2023

Isaiah 26:12 Lord, you establish peace for us;
all that we have accomplished you have done for us.

The awareness of this truth is the secret to genuine success. We do all sorts of things, but it is actually God who accomplishes them through us. Grasping this truth is the ultimate antidote to personal pride; it converts it all to gratitude. It’s not at all that we are to be passive. The Verse for the Year makes that quite clear: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) The Japanese for this verse in Isaiah uses much the same language: “You prepare/provide peace for us.” We all are deficient in gratitude, I think, because we don’t grasp how utterly powerless we are without God, and how much He does for and through us. We forget that we are created beings, and everything that gets created is created for a purpose, however trivial that might be. Anytime we do something right we are simply fulfilling, in some small way, the purpose for which we were created. The glory should all go to our Creator. I’m reminded of another thing God said through Isaiah: “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’?” (Isaiah 45:9) The devil is constantly striving to keep us from fulfilling our purpose, (John 10:10) so every time we manage to do things right we have every reason to be grateful. And actually, numbers of studies have shown that gratitude is an essential key to happiness. Everyone would like to be happy, so we need to seek the purposes for which we were created and thank God when we fulfill them, in even a small way.

As I have written numerous times, I have had real struggles with pride. That has certainly taught me the futility of personal pride. The Lord has also done a number of things through me, and I have learned that being grateful that He has done them has brought me happiness to a degree that makes some people envious. I actually had someone of a different religion bring a friend to meet me, because he wanted his friend to “know someone who really enjoys living.” That is a testimony to how blessed I am! I certainly have my frustrations, and I don’t always respond properly to my blessings, but I have learned the reality of this verse from Isaiah, and I am deeply grateful.

Father, thank You for Your overwhelming grace toward me. Thank You for the book You have provided to draw me to a higher level of intimacy with You by Your Spirit. As I read it, help me remember that You relate to each person individually, so that I won’t try to copy specific things in the book, but rather learn better how to open myself to You in full adoration and obedience. I ask for clear guidance in how to pass some of these truths on to others, so that they too may discover the incredible privilege of walking with You consistently, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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Waiting on God; May 29, 2023

Isaiah 25:9 In that day they will say,
“Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

In reading this chapter I was first struck by the fact that verses 7 and 8 explicitly prophesy that God will destroy death. In my awareness this is the earliest mention of such a thing in the whole Bible, though I may be wrong. This verse seems like a positively tame response to such a reality-shattering thing as that! However, several details are worth noting. In the first place, it starts with “people will say.” This isn’t a prophecy for the immediate hearers, but one for a far future date. It’s also worth noting that both places where the NIV says “trusted,” the Japanese says, “waited in hope.” Our “faith” can get very impatient! We want God’s promises fulfilled NOW! However, the Bible speaks of waiting on God many, many times. We need to remember Peter’s insight: “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:8-9) He was perhaps remembering a line from the only Psalm credited to Moses: “For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” (Psalm 90:4) The point is, God’s time frame is manifestly different from ours, but He is totally faithful. When we are waiting on Him to act, we aren’t like the play, Waiting for Godot, where Godot never shows up. That’s why we wait in hope. As Hebrews points out, sometimes the fulfillment of God’s promises comes outside of the context of our current physical life, (Hebrews 11:39-40) but that doesn’t make that fulfillment any less certain. That’s what faith is all about. It is when we abandon the boxes into which we have tried to push God and our circumstances that we discover the peace that indeed exceeds human understanding. (Philippians 4:7)

I have a family history of this. My parents arrived in Japan as missionaries in 1934 and 1935, respectively, and labored until the Lord called them home, but they never saw the great harvest of souls that they sought. I have taken up the task, but I too have only seen sparse results. That doesn’t mean that God has been less than faithful! I am not just waiting on God, I am doing so in hope and assurance, and in the meantime He has stuff for me to do. (Ephesians 2:10) I am to keep my focus on Him, even while I am being faithful at the task at hand, whatever that might be. At the very least, it will be glorious when I leave this body!

Father, thank You for the gift of faith. Thank You for speaking through me yesterday, and for all the people who came to our special event. I pray that the impressions they received would be indelible, drawing them steadily toward You, toward repentance and faith for their salvation, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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