Salvation; September 24, 2019

Psalm 119:155 Salvation is far from the wicked,
for they do not seek out your decrees.

It’s always interesting when the Lord speaks to me through a verse that’s not underlined in my Bible. (This one is now, though!) The Bible speaks many times about salvation, and God being “near” to us, but this verse speaks very clearly to why that’s not the case for “the wicked.” It’s not that God doesn’t love them, it’s that they avoid Him, or at best ignore Him. If you want God’s salvation, it only makes sense to listen to what He’s saying to you! The devil actively discourages that, naturally enough. The US currently has a Vice President who is well known as an active, committed Christian. Not long after he came under the media spotlight, a media personality questioned his sanity because he had talked about hearing from God. She claims to be a Christian, but she said that hearing voices was a sign of insanity. I think it’s clear that she fits in the category of “cultural Christians!” Seeking God and what He has to say is a clear characteristic of those who recognize their own need for salvation. Without that recognition there can be no salvation, because the Bible is very clear that all have sinned. (Romans 3:23) The glorious part of this is that God and His salvation are indeed very near to all who do recognize their need and cry out to Him in repentance. (Romans 10:8-13)

I was enormously blessed to be raised in a family where this was one of the foundational truths of reality. As missionaries, my parents were dedicated to sharing this truth with as many people as possible, by whatever means. As a pastor in Japan myself, I’m dedicated to that same cause. It can be very painful to see people who stubbornly refuse God’s offer of salvation, for whatever reason. The devil has a huge catalog of excuses that he’s more than happy to supply to anyone to keep them from turning to God, but every last one of them is a lie from the pit of hell. I am not to attack people for expressing those lies, but I must never draw back from speaking the truth in love, even when speaking that truth might make people turn against me personally. When I have found God’s salvation, I must never hesitate to do anything that might help someone else find it as well, regardless of any seeming cost to me.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the coaching conference I’m attending, where we’re learning better how to make disciples, as You told us. (Matthew 28:18-20) Help me receive all that You want to say to me today, however and through whomever You want to say it, so that I may keep growing as Your disciple, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

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