Tuesday, September 16, 2008

To help you along

Here is the general outline you can use each week as you listen to sermons at ICCS, on your pod cast, or when you read the scriptures. A friend I met while in Bali-of all places- uses this at his church. It looked good and for a while, I hesitated to use it. But now, I feel it is time to introduce SOAP to the ICCS crowd. Soap can be used each day and I am sure you will find it helpful. I guess you know I am not talking about washing soap but:





Try this for a while and see if the messages last longer in your hearts. Ask the Lord of the Harvest to implant His message there to bring all of us closer to Him.
May His Grace Fill you as you seek ways to serve and love Him! Thank you.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Going Away From God's Ways

--or Jonah’s Travels!  神さまの道から離れる:ヨナの旅
Ever run away from a bully or a wild dog, or a situation that was dangerous?

We had been just married under one month when we visited my family in Rhode Island. I wanted to show my new bride around the great city of Providence and so we went all over the place. いじめっ子や野犬または危ない状況から逃げようとした経験はありませんか?
Some of the areas were even new to me as it had been many years since I had lived in Rhode Island. We visited Brown Un., RI School of Design, the First Baptist Church that was started by Roger Williams. ロードアイランドを離れてから何年も経っていたので、初めての場所にも行きました。
We went to the Arcade, even got a NY System hot dog, and went along the piers. The area was in repair and there were piles of broken this and discarded that all over the ground, but we were in love and all was well…until, we saw a rat!私たちはアーケードにも行きニューヨークのホットドッグを食べながら、桟橋を歩きました。その桟橋は修理中で壊れている箇所が多く、壊れたものがあっちこっちに散らばっていました。しかし私たちは愛し合っていたのでそんなこと気にしませんでした。ねずみを見るまでは!!

Now, as rats go, this was the Mother-of-all-rats! I had NEVER seen such a large rat. Being a newly married man and loving my wife so much, I bolted out of there with great haste---leaving Faith behind. I was scared out of my mind! But, I did not consider the safety of my new bride. I ran away, telling Faith to follow. そのねずみは母親ねずみで、今までに見たことのないほど大きなねずみでした。私は新婚で妻をとても愛していましたがその瞬間、妻を置き去りにして急いでその場所から逃げました。

Running away from danger is good. Timing was off but the idea was there!

What motivates us to obey God when He tells us to do something … especially when that something is not what we want to do? What could happen if we choose NOT to do something God tells us to do? 危険から逃げ去るのはよいことです。タイミングは悪かったかもしれませんがいつもそう考えています。神様にやりたくないことをするように言われたとき、どう従いますか?神様から言われたことをやらなかったらどうなるでしょうか。

Going away from God’s ways is a short series we will begin today. We will be looking at the expert at running away from God: Jonah!

What do you know about this book or this man? Tell me, please. (here people at the Chapel gave short answers like: a big fish, Nineveh, big storm at sea... 神の道から離れることについて本日は学びます。神様から逃げたヨナについてみていきます。

And as we look at this spiritual sprinter, we shall also see a God who is running right along him –dogging him at ever turn. But what we do not see is a God who is overreacting to Jonah’s disobedient behavior. このヨナが走っているのを見るとき、私たちは神さまがヨナと一緒に走っているのを見ることが出来ます。しかし、神様がヨナの反抗的な態度に過剰反応していないのが分かります。 In fact, we shall see such patience on His part. It is almost like this issue God has with the Pagan city of Nineveh is not the main concern of God but that of a changed heart in the Jewish man, Jonah. Maybe the main thing of Jonah is not the big fish, the three days in it’s belly, the city of Nineveh or the story of a repenting city. The main thing about this book could be Jonah, himself. 実際にはここで神さまの忍耐を見ることが出来ます。ニネベの町は偶像礼拝して、本物の神のことなど信じていませんでした。しかし、ユダヤ人ヨナによって彼らの心はかれられたのでした。

In our society, if we drive over the speed limit, we run the risk of getting stopped and pay the consequences, usually a pretty hefty fine. We keep the speed limit because we might fear the law and the penalty of breaking such a law. If we turn our backs on the speeding regulation and drive as fast as we want to, we are, in affect, by our actions, declaring that we are above the law—meaning the law does not apply to us. Over time, we might get stopped, if our consciences do not convict us first. この社会の中でスピード違反をしたら、警察に止められ罰金を払う危険が伴います。

When it comes to finding ourselves obeying God, who see all our moments and knows our very hearts, should there be some fear there as well? If we deliberately disobey God’s laws, His commandments, does that mean we are above His rules for life. もし、私たちが法廷速度を守らず、好きなだけスピードを出したとすれば、法律を守らなかった責任を取ることになります。スピード違反をし続けるなら、警察に止められる可能性があります。私たちが神さまに従っているかどうか見るとき、神様は私たちの瞬間、瞬間をしり、心を知ってくださいます。神様に対しても恐れが必要でしょうか?もし私たちが神さまの律法に逆らうなら、それは私たちの人生が神さまの支配外にあるという意味なのでしょうか? By bending the rules to suit our lifestyle, by cutting corners in following His ways, we are in effect saying that He is not the Lord of our life. We might be more afraid of offending a person next to us than we are of offending God, who is ALL POWERFUL and Holy.

Why? 神さまの律法を曲げて人生を送るとき、また神さまの道からそれるときにしゅは私の人生の主ではないと言えるのでしょうか?時に私たちは力強く聖なる神さまの気分を害するより、隣の人の気分を害することを恐れてはいないでしょうか?

Listen to the first chapter of Jonah and see if the shoe fits on your feet. Are you like Jonah? Going Away From God’s Ways:
READ Jonah chapter 1. ヨナ書第一章を見て、皆さんに当てはまるかどうか考えてください。皆さんはヨナのようですか?

Jonah is a good Jewish man. He felt a close relationship with the God of Abraham was good. He follows the letter of the Law. He hates those who hate his God and he does not show any compassion toward his enemies—even though he is told to love the enemies of God. ヨナは良いユダヤ人でした。彼はアブラハムの神とよい関係を持っていました。また律法にも従っていました。神様を憎むものを憎んでいました。敵を愛するように神さまに言われても敵を哀れみませんでした。 He tells complete strangers of his decision not to follow his God’s perfectly clear instructions. “Go ahead, do Your best on this enemy of Yours. Wipe them off the face of the earth. I will have no part in their repenting!” In fact, you would be hard pressed to think of Jonah as anything else but a good Jew. His heart was even at rest—he was sleeping when the ship was almost sinking.彼は神さまの完全な指示に従わないことを全く関係のない人に話しました。「あなたの敵をどうぞ、裁いてください。この地から根絶やしにしてください。彼らの悔い改めと私は関係ありませんから!!」事実、追い詰められたヨナであってもヨナは良いユダヤ人でした。ヨナの心は沈みそうな船の中で眠れるほど平安でした。

A little background here. Why is Jonah not pleased about going to Nineveh? Too far to walk? Out of the way? Bad weather there? No, these people were sworn enemies of the Jewish nation. ここで時代背景をお話しします。なぜ、ヨナはニネベに生きなくなかったのでしょうか?遠すぎたからですか?遠回りだったからでしょうか?ニネベの天気が悪かったからでしょうか?違います。ニネベの人たちはユダヤ国民の敵だったからです。 The king and armies of Nineveh had been at war with the Hebrew nation for years. Jonah has a deep personal and national hatred for them. He was dripping in racial traditionalist feelings. They were not the chosen ones; Israel was. But here he was being told to go to the enemy and to PLEAD with them to repent. BURN ‘EM! ニネベの王と軍隊は何年もの間、ヘブル人と戦争していました。ヨナは個人的にニネベの国を憎んでいました。彼らは伝統的なユダヤ人でした。ニネベの人間は選ばれた民ではない!イスラエルが選ばれた民であると思っていました。しかし神さまにニネベに行って悔い改めを告げるように言われたのでした。

I guess we need to ask the question: Where is Nineveh? Don’t turn to the map in the back of the Bible for the city of Nineveh. This Nineveh is the place God wanted Jonah but he did not want to be there. Not on your life! He would go to Tarshish to get away from that call on his life. ではニネベとはどこでしょうか?聖書の後ろにある地図を見る必要はありません。ニネベとは神様がヨナに行ってほしい場所でした。しかしヨナは拒絶しました。彼は神の召しから逃げてタルシシュに向かったのです。

So where is Tarshish in your life? Not the place you go to that is not the place He wants you to go? Not the attitude He wants you to have? Not the lifestyle He wants you to follow?

God wanted Jonah to go to this city that had many many people. They had over 120,000 children who could not tell their right hand from their left. 皆さんのタルシシュはどこですか?そこは自分が行きたい場所であって神様が行って欲しい場所ではありません。またはそれは神様が望まない態度でもあります。またはそれは神様が望まないライフスタイルかも知れません。神さまはヨナに多くの人々が住んでいる町に行って欲しいと願いました。ニネベには120,000以上の右も左も分からない子供がいました。 Completely clueless, yet God told him to go. WHY? So they could repent? Maybe but I feel it is deeper than that. I feel God was trying to work His Will out in the Hebrew Nation via this very deeply Hebrew man. God was at work to bring THE NATIONS to Himself and because of religious walls of hatred and of years of neglect, Jonah just reflected his own culture. But the culture was wrong. It did not reflect the Heart of God.神はヨナに行けと命じました。何故でしょう?そしたら彼らが悔い改めるからでしょうか?それもありますが、もっと深い意味があると思います。神さまはこのヘブル人ヨナを通してヘブルの民にご計画を持っていたのではないでしょうか?神様は何年もにわたる憎しみと拒絶という宗教的な壁をヘブルの民から取り除くように働かれたのです。ヨナは典型的なヘブル人であり伝統を重んじていました。しかし、その伝統は間違っていました。それは神さまの心を反映するものではありませんでした。

So, I ask you again, where is your Nineveh? Where and who don’t you care for or even love the way God cares for and loves. Is it a people group or an individual? A nation of people you have learned over time to hate? Let’s not push aside the deeper meaning to this text. We will look at the book, somewhat verse by verse but let’s not neglect this deeper issue that this man needed to face and so do we. And he faced it in the belly of a large fish! そこで皆さんにもう一度ききます。みなさんのニネベはどこですか?神様が彼らを愛しているのに皆さんが関わりたくない人や場所はどこでしょうか?それは個人かもしれませんし民族かもしれません。皆さんが嫌いな国の人々かもしれません。ヨナの話しの深い意味をないがしろにしないようにしましょう。一節一節を読みながらヨナが直面した問題を軽視しないようにしましょう。

Not too comfortable. Not a nice quite place to rest his head. He had seaweed wrapped around his head and neck. He was in the depth of the ocean when he came to his senses. God had gotten his attention! And he knew it! I guess he could resist but then I guess we would not have this book to read. God did change his heart—bit by bit and even while God was doing it, Jonah resisted. He was just like us! 居心地の良い場所ではありませんよね。横になるのに最適の場所でもありません。頭にも首にも海草が巻きついていたでしょう。ヨナの平常心がもどったのは海の中でした。ヨナの心は神に向きました。そこでもヨナは拒絶することも可能でしたが、もしヨナが拒絶していたらこの書は存在しなかったと思います。神様はヨナの心を少しずつ変えようとしていたのでしたが、ヨナはそれを拒み続けていたのでした。ヨナは私たちと似ていますよね?

This morning, that is all we will say. This is a good topic for a series on the Reason for Missions and it might lead there but for now, you need to ask yourself: Is there a Nineveh in my life? A place God wants to take me and I am resisting His pull?

Or is there a Tarshish in my life? Am I going the wrong way—away from where He wants me to go? Am I resisting Him?  今朝は以上にしたいと思います。これは宣教の理由を語るトピックにふさわしい話しです。これを通して導きがあるかもしれませんが、まず自分自身に聞いてみてください。自分の中にニネベはあるかどうか?神の召しを拒んでいないか?

If you answer yes to either one, there needs to be a big fish waiting for you as you leave ICCS this morning. Don’t be surprised if you are forced to spend some time with Him this week. God really wants to change us to reflect Himself—in all ways—even in matters of our heart. Listen to Him and allow His Hand to move. It will go well for you if you do. もし、皆さんの答えがイエスの場合、ICCSを去ると大きな魚が待っている必要がありますね?

He wants committed learners/people who are serious about living their lives with Him at the center!