January 15, 2015

2 Chronicles 30:9 “If you return to the Lord, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”

This was a very bold move on the part of King Hezekiah. The 10 northern tribes had not joined with Judah to worship God for many generations, and it took real courage on the part of those who did accept Hezekiah’s invitation. However, unity has to start somewhere, and if we only attempt what seems possible to us, we will never achieve any sort of greatness, much less really experience the power of God. The result of Hezekiah’s boldness was a Passover for the history books, and God poured His grace and mercy out abundantly. It is never wrong to tell people what this verse says, because it is profoundly true. If we return to God, no matter how far we feel we have gotten from Him, He will always respond to us with amazing grace and compassion. That is at the very heart of the Gospel. The devil does all he can to hide this truth from people, which is why we need to be diligent in making it clear and plain, so that as many as will may receive it, accept it, repent and believe, for their salvation and the glory of God.

This is of course what I’m here to do. However, in Japan it is less than productive to say “Return to God,” because most people don’t know they ever left, since their ancestors weren’t Christians either. I’ve got to couch the invitation in terms of our Creator, since many will acknowledge that they are created beings. God’s love is the same, and is just as amazing, whatever terms we use to describe it! I certainly need God’s words and His inspiration, because my words aren’t going to get the job done. However, I am not to fail to issue the invitation just because I don’t expect much response, any more than Hezekiah did. He really didn’t get much turnout from the northern tribes, but those who did respond were enormously blessed, and that would have been missed had the invitation not been extended. I am to be one who continually cries out, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)

Father, thank You for the privilege of issuing Your invitation. I have failed to issue it out of fear of offending more times than I could count, and I regret that deeply. Help me never fail in that again, but be fully faithful as Your agent. Keep me from spouting off on my own, but may I never be silent when You say to speak, so that Your words through me may accomplish everything for which You send them, for Your glory. (Isaiah 55:11) 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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