Priorities; March 27, 2023

Psalm 27:4 One thing I ask of the Lord,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.

This Psalm has several famous, dearly loved passages. A personal favorite is verse 8, that says, “My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek.” However, that is essentially a condensation of this verse. A right relationship with God starts in the heart, as a matter of priorities. Many people claim to love God, but they can’t be bothered to come to Prayer Meeting, or for that matter, tithe. One of Jesus’ famous parables applies here: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45-46) Are we willing to give up everything material that we have in order to have a right relationship with God? That’s a painful question for most people, particularly in affluent countries like the US and Japan. In my experience, God doesn’t call many people to a life of deliberate poverty. So the issue is our willingness. Whether we have a lot or a little, if we value things above our relationship with God, we are in trouble.

Growing up in a missionary family, we were never awash in material goods, but God supplied our needs. In the 54 years Cathy and I have been married we have had some genuinely tight times, but again, God supplied our needs, sometimes in downright miraculous fashion. Since living in Omura we have had medical issues that, had we been in the US, could have bankrupted us, but because of the Japanese health insurance system we were never close to that. God knew what He was doing when He sent us to Japan! This morning we will go to the clinic that handles our physical therapy, and Cathy will be evaluated for a “handicapped card,” that will allow the two of us to take public transportation for the price of one – something to be greatly desired since we plan to attend a Pastors Conference in Shizuoka Prefecture in June. While she’s doing that, I will have a PCR test, since I’ve been running a fever of up to 102.5 Fahrenheit. (It’s down from that this morning.) Whatever the results of any of that, we know that our God. Is gracious and loving and we have nothing to worry about.

Father, thank You for all that You allow us to experience. Thank You that there is absolutely nothing that You can’t turn around for good, whatever it looks like at the moment. As You have told me to do, help us indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, 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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