May 16, 2016

Psalm 65:2-3 O you who hear prayer,
to you all men will come.
When we were overwhelmed by sins,
you forgave our transgressions.

I know I’ve written on this before, because it’s such a significant pair of verses, expressing two of the most important characteristics of God, when viewed from the human standpoint. The first of those is that God hears prayer. Countless people have tried to deny that, egged on by the devil, because God doesn’t spoil us, answering our every whim. If He did that we would be spoiled indeed, good for nothing to anyone! However, He is very different from the impersonal Watchmaker that some have suggested. He didn’t create the universe, wind the stem, and then just throw it out into space and leave it alone. No, He cares about His creation and He listens to His children. Anyone who understands this is going to come to Him, just as this says. However, there we have another problem: sinful man cannot approach sinless God. Anyone who is honest and understands the holiness of God will indeed be overwhelmed by their own lack of holiness. That’s why it is so incredibly important that God forgives sin. David didn’t know about the cross of Christ that atones for all the sins of mankind, but he had experienced God’s forgiveness, and he was deeply grateful. We know about some of his biggest sins, but like everyone else he had countless smaller sins that aren’t recorded. Even one such sin would bar us from intimacy with God, but the good news is, He forgives!

I have experienced both of these truths about God, and I am deeply grateful. It is a mystery to me that so few people pray like they think God is listening, if they even pray at all. Yesterday’s message was about the Church, as Jesus’ house, being a house of prayer. That’s very true, but by that token, many church buildings could hardly be called churches at all, because so little genuine prayer takes place in them. Brother Kobayashi’s main point was that we are God’s house, and as such should be filled with prayer. That’s something I’ve tried to get across, but with decidedly mixed success. I’m never to give up, but rejoice with those who do grasp the truth and seek to equip them to share it with more and more people. The devil hates God’s truth by definition, and he does all he can to block it being transmitted, but I must remember that He who is in me is greater, (1 John 4:4) and press on in the wisdom and power of God.

Father, thank You for all that You are doing, and for the privilege of being part of it. Thank You that Brother Kobayashi’s first sermon after seminary went as well as it did. Help me be the mentor to him that he needs. He’s only 18 years younger than I am, but the gap is much wider in years since salvation. Help me never put him down, but lift him, draw him toward You with every interaction, so that he may be fully equipped for every good work, (2 Timothy 3:17) for his blessing, the building up of the Body of Christ, and 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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