December 29, 2016

Matt 2:15 And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Matthew emphasized the fulfillment of prophecy more than any other New Testament writer, making it clear that he was writing for a Jewish audience. Recent computer analysis indicates that he probably wrote originally in Aramaic, which was translated into Greek for general consumption. (The oldest texts we have are all Greek.) He wanted to show that Jesus wasn’t just some generalized Savior, much less some run-of-the-mill “holy man,” He was the promised Messiah, the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham, David, and many more down through the centuries. Human beings are very prone to focus on right now, on whatever their senses tell them at the moment, but God sees the end from the beginning, and He has it all in His hands. We need reminders of that from time to time, to give us perspective and keep us from losing it over the crisis of the moment. After all, Jesus was “the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8) God knew the mess the world would become from the moment He created it, so He had His solution ready from that point as well. When that is the case, why do we get tied in knots over such minor things (however major they might seem to us)? We are in the flow of time and so see things from a linear perspective, but God sees it all at once, and we need to trust Him with all of it.

This is certainly applicable to me right now. This whole business of the land next door has been an emotional roller coaster ride, but that could be said about all of my 35 years of ministry here in Omura. Yesterday at the Prefectural Office I got a fairly warm reception, along with an explanation of the mountain of regulations we will have to deal with in purchasing the land and building the facility, not to mention operating it. At the same time, when I called one of the church board members to ask for prayer about the issue, I found out that for various personal reasons he and his wife and son will be attending a different church from now on, reducing our numbers even further. Though not unexpected in itself, the timing made it a bit more painful. It was a reminder that, as the song says, “In Christ alone I place my trust.” We have nothing else to rely on, but that’s really not a bad place to be. Even now, in the middle of all this turmoil, I am to rest, relax, and rejoice, not letting the devil steal anything from me through doubt and anxiety. I am to look forward each day to what God is going to do, savoring each moment and His presence in it, as His agent for His glory.

Father, thank You not only for yesterday but for this past year. Thank you that I’m not who or what I was a year ago. Help me keep growing, always looking to You and allowing You to operate through me, so that in every detail Your will may be done on Your schedule 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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2 Responses to December 29, 2016

  1. dawnlizjones says:

    “He has it all in His hands. We need reminders of that from time to time, to give us perspective and keep us from losing it over the crisis of the moment.” From “time to time” in my case should be more like “pin it on your forehead”! Beautifully said and very timely for me also. Could you possibly link to me a post about your land? I’ve missed it.

  2. jgarrott says:

    I don’t know that I’ve posted directly about it, other than the various mentions of it in this blog (which is an edit of my personal devotions). My calculator tells me it’s “0.39168” acres, and was a samurai residence 450 years ago, meaning that at that point it was probably in Christian hands, since Lord Omura at that time was the first Christian feudal Lord in the whole country. (There are stone walls that are 350 and 450 years old, respectively, and we want to preserve them.) It has numbers of large trees on it, and some of those will have to be removed. Just last night the current owner said he is applying to have the “agricultural” parts of the land re-zoned as non-agricultural, since they certainly haven’t been used for that purpose since WWII. Such petitions are rarely granted, but if it goes through, that will clear the way for the land to be sold to the church with no strings attached, which would be very desirable. Pray!

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