November 5, 2013

Ezekiel 20:32 “`You say, “We want to be like the nations, like the peoples of the world, who serve wood and stone.” But what you have in mind will never happen.'”

It is amazing that God’s people could want to be like those who are not God’s people, but it has happened time and time again, and it still happens today. We see a hedonistic lifestyle and imagine it to be liberty, when in actuality it is bondage. We see blatant rejection of God’s laws in various areas and likewise think that is liberty, when it is really running blind in a minefield. Thankfully, God doesn’t let us get away with it for long. God desires that those who bear the name Christian, that is, “Of Christ,” should live appropriately to that label. Around the world, God is allowing circumstances that make it very clear who is truly Christian and who is not. That’s not very comfortable for either camp, but it certainly clears the air! God does not want people who go to church on Sunday and surf porn on Monday. Through the cross of Christ, God has done everything necessary to raise up a holy people who are indeed worthy of His Name, but we have to accept and submit to what He has done, for it to be operative in our lives.

As a pastor, all of this applies doubly for me. As I have learned to walk in closer obedience when I am not being observed (by anyone but God) I find that God manifests Himself through me more frequently when I am being observed. This trip has had various interesting incidences of that. I am to walk in personal purity, and I am to encourage others to do likewise. That does not mean running around pointing fingers, but rather speaking into people’s lives as God gives opportunity, always modeling what I am talking about, always making it clear that I am as I am only by the grace of God, and that grace is available to everyone.

Father, thank You for all You have done and are continuing to do on this trip. Thank You for the pastor who wants to meet me on this leg. Keep me from pontificating! Thank You for the fresh insights You have given me in various ways, particularly in the message I heard on Sunday. Guide as I prepare the message You want me to deliver on the 10th, right after we get back. I will be in a fog from jet lag, but that’s all the more opportunity to let go and allow You to be in full control. May all I do delight You, causing others to draw closer to You as well, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

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