Influence; August 16, 2019

Psalm 69:6 May those who hope in you
not be disgraced because of me,
O Lord, the Lord Almighty;
may those who seek you
not be put to shame because of me,
O God of Israel.

This is a prayer that needs to be taught in every seminary in the world! Actually every believer, but especially every church leader, needs to have this attitude. The thing is, our attitudes and actions don’t affect just us. Every time a known Christian trips up, other Christians feel the pain in some way. That’s not to take too much responsibility on us; the Church has survived some pretty spectacular failures over the past 2000 years. However, every last one of us needs to be concerned as to how our lives are going to impact others. We don’t deal in abstract concepts very well, so just being good/faithful for the sake of being good doesn’t resonate too effectively. However, understanding that our actions influence others should motivate us. Sadly, we tend to be so self-centered that we don’t realize our impact, or if we realize it, we might not even care. That is downright tragic. We need to pray this prayer of David so that everyone will be blessed and God will be glorified.

This certainly applies to me! I’m about to hit 38 years of living in Omura. Many people know me, and many more know of me. My prayer is that what they know may draw them to repentance and faith, and not be an excuse for them to walk away. Cathy and I have hit our golden wedding anniversary, and I have assurance that seeing us has indeed given people hope for their own marriage, and caused some young people to desire to be married. Cathy’s many medical trials have been a powerful witness to many as they have seen how she has made it through them. Just yesterday someone told her, “My god doesn’t do stuff like that!” She is a testimony of God’s faithfulness. In this year’s photo show, that will end at 2 pm on the 19th, we have included small pictures of the two of us and our family over the past 50 years. Quite a few people have been more interested in those than in the large, “artwork” photographs that take up the majority of the wall space. I am beyond grateful that we don’t have shameful incidents to record in those pictures, but they all speak of God’s faithfulness.

Father, thank You indeed for Your faithfulness. I continue to pray along with David that my life would draw people to You and not drive them away, for their salvation 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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