August 23, 2011

Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

This is what happens when the Holy Spirit gets hold of an uneducated fisherman! There is no clearer statement of the necessity of Christ for our salvation in the whole Bible. It is interesting how strongly the devil fights against this truth. That’s simply more indication of how important it is! Many Americans today are deceived into thinking that other religions are on a par with Christianity, and that sort of thinking has long been imbedded in Japanese thinking, but that is a lie from the pit of hell. Jesus Himself said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) You can’t get any clearer than that, and Peter simply expressed exactly the same thing from our standpoint. Whatever may be said about other religions, they have no Savior. We don’t like to admit that we both need salvation and that we can’t save ourselves, but such confession is essential for salvation. I could go into length on various religions – Islam, Buddhism, Shinto, Mormonism, J.W. and more – but none of them have God becoming man in the Person of His Son and taking the penalty for our sins upon Himself. Even those that use the Bible, if they miss this foundational point, offer no real salvation. Sadly, many members of Christian churches are in that boat, because they have simply added a Christian veneer to their lives without genuine repentance and faith. It is inescapable that if Jesus is not your Lord, you are not saved. The devil does all he can to hide and/or distort that truth, because it forces people into the commitment that takes them eternally out of his hands.

This is of course of the utmost importance to me, not just for my own salvation but because I am commissioned to communicate this truth in Japan. I continue to be convinced that when Japanese believers wake up to who they are in Christ, they will change not only this nation but the world. That I am to play a part in that is both humbling and exciting. However, given the enormity of the task, the moment I start thinking I must, or even could, accomplish it in my own strength, it becomes exhausting. Burnout is an ever present danger for church workers in Japan. At the moment that is especially acute for those ministering in the disaster area in Northeast Japan, and I need to lift those brothers and sisters up in prayer, but I also need to be vigilant in my own life. I need to have the dual conviction that I can’t save anyone myself, but that God can save individuals and multitudes through me. Not only that, He can use me to equip others for that same ministry, but only if I am submitted and committed to Him.

Father, You’ve brought me back to the foundation of why I’m here. Thank You. Thank You for the refreshing of the change-of-pace day yesterday. Help me not think I am so essential to Your kingdom that I can’t take a day off, but help me also be totally available to You at all times so that You may do whatever You like through me. Thank You for how You are rearranging my tool set, so to speak, so that peripheral things won’t be as time consuming. May I do Your will on Your schedule in Your way for Your glory, today and every day, so that as many as will may be brought into Your kingdom for their salvation. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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