Monday, February 13, 2012
Foot Prints of God in YOUR LIFE
Preaching the Gospel to us every day.
A good report 良い報告 is always good to hear. Forgiveness and accepting forgiveness is very important to a marriage and ever so important to any relationship. It is the Gospel.
The Gospel is the soul basis of our acceptance by God and it is a forever experience. We learn that this is to be a growing understanding of His Gospel in us. When we do not have a solid grasp of what the Gospel is in us, not a clear awareness with the union we have in Christ, then those people will seek to find the assurance of the salvation in other areas. They will look to ‘what I have done’ rather than what Christ has done. We might depend on Church attendance or taking certain rites of passage or being covered with different amounts of water (sprinkling, or immersion).
Think back to the time where you would say The Gospel made the difference of life and death in your life. In other words, your point of conversion.
Telling the story あなたの物語を語る
How do we tell the story? In Deuteronomy 1 starts with Moses rehearsing the story 詳細に物語るor history of Israel’s rescue from Egypt. Verse 3; "In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them.”
He then told of the part of their history あなたの歴史の一部 of having them send out the 12 spies and how the majority of the people rejected God’s instruction, command, really, to enter the Promised Land because of the bad report. And because of their disobedience, the older members of the tribe-all over 20 years of age would die in the desert. (Numbers 14:29) They would not go into the Promised Land. Deut.1:39 “your children who do not yet know good from bad—--they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it.” And yet the people still did not understand how serious the Lord was. They said, “OK, we’ll go and we will take those people on… as the Lord our God commanded us. So every one of you put on his weapons, thinking it easy to go up into the hill country.”
God told them, “NO! I will not go up with you and you will be defeated by your enemies.” They still did not listen. They rebelled once again and in their arrogance, they marched up into the hill country and they were quickly beaten.
The story goes on about certain battles they fought in. Then in chapter four, once again, idolatry was forbidden. They were prone to do that, so the Lord reminded them. Deut. 4:15 You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, 19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.
29-31, 29 But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey Him. 31 For the LORD your God is a merciful God; He will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which He confirmed to them by oath.
We can see The Gospel once again. ~You are lost, あなたはさまよい, I am the one who found you あなたを見つけたのはわたしである, turn to Me and live わたしに立ち返れ, I will restore your heart. あなたの心を回復せしめる~
Please read Ps 145
Preaching the Gospel to ourselves every day. 日々福音を語り継げる
The speaking of the Gospel to ourselves and to the ones that mean the most to us is so important AND the Lord would want that kind of interfamily conversation going on anyway. It needs to be spoken of, many times and in many different ways so that the meaning is understood and finally having a shared belief system.
A little later on, in chapter 11, we find this, and this is the key for our understanding today. 11:1-7 1 Love the LORD your God and keep His requirements, His decrees, His laws and His commands always. 2 Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the LORD your God: His majesty, His mighty hand, his outstretched arm; 3 the signs He performed and the things he did in the heart of Egypt, both to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his whole country; 4 what He did to the Egyptian army, to its horses and chariots, how He overwhelmed them with the waters of the Red Sea as they were pursuing you, and how the LORD brought lasting ruin on them. 5 It was not your children あなたがたの子供たちは見た者ではない who saw what He did for you in the desert until you arrived at this place, 6 and what He did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab the Reubenite, when the earth opened its mouth right in the middle of all Israel and swallowed them up with their households, their tents and every living thing that belonged to them. 7 But it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the LORD has done. IT IS PERSONAL!
We, who are older in the Faith, maybe the adults but certainly the children who have already placed their trust in Him, need to remember that this happened to us. It is in the first person. The change happened to us personally. God touched us. It is not something that could be passed on to us like Grandma’s watch. It can only be experienced in each person’s life. One life at a time.
Sure, we pray for the moving of God in Japan. And as we see His Hand move in other areas of the world, large groups--sometimes whole villages--turn to God and placed their trust in the Lord as their Savior, we wonder why not here? We need to remember that while it might have been a mass conversion there, each heart needed to be convinced that their lives needed Jesus. One soul at a time.
And our story needs to be told, one person to another. How will they know unless they hear and how will they hear unless someone tells them. The old line-use words if necessary---is so false. IT IS EVER SO NECESSARY! Use Words! 言葉を用いなさい! Actions alone are not enough. The air is so confused with all sorts of mixed messages and the message is misunderstood in so many areas of the questions of what is meant. Words are used to proclaim the Gospel. The Word became flesh…and the Word lives among us …
Remember that your kids were not the ones who saw God’s Hand in your life. They will only know of that WHEN and IF you tell them. A while ago, while visiting a family over New Year’s Holiday, the parents took out their wedding albums to show us. We loved looking them over but the thing that shocked us the most was that their adult children had never seen them before! Never had they even shared that part of their own family history. I didn’t understand why--most likely never will, but there were some interesting stories around that wedding that their kids needed to hear about as some of them were looking at marriage in a few years. How did they meet? The kids did not know that part of the family history. What were their dreams? Unknown. We shared about our engagement to the delight of all their family. Our own family had heard it SO many times over the years—they could tell it with 99.9% accurately.
How you met the ONE who changed your very life needs to be shared with those who are closest to you. It is not a culture issue; it is for the sake of the Gospel! An eternal issue. Between life and death.
Moses reminded the Nation that because THEY experienced the Glory Days of Moses, the rest of the people who would follow would need to hear of the wonders of His might Hand themselves! It wasn’t the kids who saw this! The parents did! And they need to tell the next generation those stories! Not in a bragging, self-centered way but a bragging God-way. THIS IS WHAT HE DID IN MY LIFE! This is why I am the way I am today! These stories of God’s Mercy and action in our lives are not only for our kids, they are for our grandchildren.
They need to know. 彼らは知る必要がある
A sad fact for the tribe of Israel, the generation after Joshua did not know these stories. Why? They were never told! Even sadder to know that the pagan peoples of the land around them knew of them and they were afraid BECAUSE THEY WERE aware of what this God of Israel could do!
As we are in our 21st year of ICCS, it is the role, the task, the responsibility to pass on what we saw the Lord do among us to the new people who come and join us in the Walk of Faith. If we don’t, it will be lost--forever! Verse 7: “But it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the Lord has done.”
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so! 主が仰せになるように贖われなさい
With some help a while ago, we had put together a REMEMBER sheet of verses for our families: How to pray for the Families. In our Church Family, we have only 9 couples. There are 56 people who come on a regular basis. A large number of our people are the only Jesus Followers in their families. (We need to pray for them--in a deep and real way, as we pray for the country that rejects the Gospel and makes it hard for the Gospel to be preached within their borders, there are families RIGHT among us that are having problems like that on a day-to-day basis. We need to pray for them.)
So, if we do this reporting to our families, what will happen? Some will get saved. I believe that. Some will reject the message. But ALL will have heard. This is our Jerusalem. This is where it begins. The message of God’s Grace will be heard. The Word of God will not return void. Someday, in the lives of those who might have rejected your Word to them, will open their hearts to the Lord.
But if we do not tell them, they may never hear. If they never hear, they will never know. If they never know, they will be lost for ever. Vs 13 “So if you faithfully obey もし従うなら the commands I am giving you today--to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with al your heart and with all your soul--then I will send 私は送ろう rain on your land--I will bring blessings to you. I will provide 私は与えようgrass and you will eat and be satisfied. あなたは食し満足するであろう。” Sounds good to me! We need to be faithful.
Vs 16 “Be careful, 注意しなさい! or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them.” You might not see yourselves, in truth and practice-- bowing down to idols, but our hearts will allow all sorts of stuff in there--to corrode and confuse our hearts to do evil or to non-practice. When we neglect His ways, we are not doing what the Lord says, therefore it is sin and that sin needs to be taken to the Lord and confessed and forgiveness being sought after, looking to the finished work of Christ on the Cross for that very salvation--which He will give willingly BUT it needs to be confessed and turned from.
Vs 18 Fix these words of Mine in your hearts and minds; 私のことばを直しなさいtie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children教えなさい, talking 話しなさい about them when you sit 座り at home and when you walk歩き along the road, when you lie down 横になり and when you get up起き上がる. 20 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land あなたの日々は多い that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
Our role and responsibility to our families is clearly explained in the passage. We are to be active in the telling. Even if they reject the message, they still need to be told. And then, once they know and have heard the message of life and of promise, they are to open their own hearts and believe. It is God’s will that all should come to know Him. But, He has also given our children and our spouces the will to make a choice. We pray they make the right choice. Deut 30:19~20 19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the LORD is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.