All things have a beginning. Let's run through the Old Testament and see how God moves in New Beginnings.
Sunday, May 26, 2013
New Beginnings 新しいよあけ
All things have a beginning. Let's run through the Old Testament and see how God moves in New Beginnings.
The Garden ガーデン -sin entered -cast out--new beginnings.
Noah ノア-sin was rampant-Flood -new beginnings.
One language- 一つの言語-sin entered-many tongues -new beginnings.
Abraham アブラハム -chosen-traveled/goal-uncertain -new beginnings.
Egypt エジプト-a place to grow- a place of unrest -new beginnings.
Moses モーセ-given the Commands -new beginnings.
Israel’s sin イスラエルの罪-broke the Ten-Law brought order -new beginnings.
Canaan カナン-10 spies said NO-one generation in desert-new beginnings.
Joshua ヨシュア-Jericho-new way to do war-new beginnings.
Samuel サムエル-Israel wanted a king- Saul-new beginnings.
Saul’s fall サウルの失脚God choice—David - new beginnings.
Israel united イスラエル連合-One King/One Lord/One People-new beginnings.
Solomon ソロモンIsrael’s sin -bad beginnings.
Divided Kingdom王国分割North went away from God’s Teaching-South-for God’s Way
North taken away into captivity -北部の捕囚 -lost
South warned 南に警告but unheard, unchanged -taken captive -different beginnings.
70 yr-one generation—後に新たな始まりのreturned to Jerusalem-new beginnings.
YEARS OF SILENCE 沈黙の年をChrist Born-キリストが生まれ - new beginnings.
12 followers -12人が従い-God’s Spirit given -new beginnings.
Gospel spread all over the known world-福音を広げ-newer beginnings.
You heard the Gospel Message-change of heart-new spirit -new beginnings.
ICCS on the corner of some changes -do not loose heart-look for---new beginnings.
Same Promises Same God He is Faithful 新しい始まり同じ約束-同じ神 主は誠実である
Let us look into my favorite Book of the Bible and see how Paul deals with new beginnings.
Philippians 1:1-11 (NIV)
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the Day of Christ Jesus.
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the Gospel, all of you share in God’s Grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the Day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the Glory and Praise of God.
NEW BEGINNINGS HAVE A PAST. すべての新しい始まりが過去を土台にしている
There is nothing new under the sun. Other events, incidents and circumstances come up later. There has to be a foundation to be built upon. One that is sure and tested. One that can be believed in and that is dear to one’s heart. Even from ashes, a new beginning can spring up.
Josephヨセフwas the favorite son of his father— hated and detested by his brothers—was sold into slavery in Egypt. Suffering once again from false claims, he was sent into prison only to be released to serve as the Number 2 man in all of Egypt. His God was Faithful.
David’sダビデown Father-in-law had a desire to kill David. Yet, the Hand of God was on David and out of that hard dark personal time, his Lord, the God of Israel, was able to lift him up.
Look at Israel, イスラエルbeaten and separated, brought low by invasion, taken away into a pagan land---from those ashes, a new nation was reestablished in 1948.
What one factor was true with all of these examples? The Faithfulness of Father God. 父なる神の真実 Even when the People of Israel rejected God’s claim on them, there were a few… a remnant of hard-core believers who give their love to the Holy One. And the Faithfulness of God was seen. God delivered them from all their enemies. He delivered them from national calamities. As we read this last week from 2 Chronicles 7:14 If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2歴代誌７:14 わたしの名を呼び求めているわたしの民がみずからへりくだり、祈りをささげ、わたしの顔を慕い求め、その悪い道から立ち返るなら、わたしが親しく天から聞いて、彼らの罪を赦し、彼らの地をいやそう。
Again, in Psalms 81:13 “If My people would only listen to Me, if Israel would only follow My ways” 詩篇 81:13 ああ、ただ、わが民がわたしに聞き従い、イスラエルが、わたしの道を歩いたのだったら。
There is a promise here that can not be dismissed as ‘just from the Old Testament”。
Paul takes up that call in our passage this morning. Listen again to his heart. Paul writes: “I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now .” 私はいつも喜びをもって祈り
Paul sees the work he had started as a partnership from the very first day of working with them. Remember that beginning? Paul and Silas was in jail and the Spirit of God moved in the earthquake while they were singing praises to the Lord and the jailer thought they all had escaped. He was about to kill himself when he asked the all-important question: “How can I be saved?” He put his faith in the Lord Jesus and his whole household did the same—they were baptized and the start of the first church began at the kitchen table as the jailer bandaged up the very men he had beaten hours before. A NEW BEGINNING. There was fierce opposition to the Gospel by the city authorities but the Lady Lydia and the Jailer were the first to believe. They had partnered with Paul and Company and the first church in that area was established. It grew fast and many came to know the Lord Jesus.
While there were neither beatings nor earthquakes when we started this Fellowship together back in 1990, the Hand of the Lord was upon us all and there was fast growth. People came to know Jesus. Lives were changed and challenged. Folks followed the Lord’s commands and were baptized. We sent out two missionaries over time to Peru and into Near Asia. Mission trips were set out to China, short term to Peru, Hi-BA summer teams, Europe Summer work, China Bible School aid, Tohoku Relief, and we now are sending one of our own to Nepal this summer. There was a partnership in the Gospel. Some could not go, but they helped send. Some helped with giving. We prayed for the work. We make Prayer Quilts for some who needed encouragement and prayer. There is joy in knowing our past as we did these acts of Ministry TOGETHER.
From verses 7 & 8, Paul continues: “7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the Gospel, all of you share in God’s Grace with me私は神の恵みを皆とともに分かつ 8God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.”
All of us shared in God’s Grace in many ways. Some had medical needs: prayer was made and God healed. Some had children with heart problems: those who knew about it prayed and the boy recovered. A young girl was very sick in Norway: we prayed but she did not recover. We shared both the joy of answered prayer and the sorrow that comes with a death. But we all shared God’s Grace. We ALL received His blessings. We grew deeper in love with our God. We were given His Great Grace to carry us through hard times.
Father God showed Himself to be Faithful.
And we returned to prayer. Some—deeper than before while others forgot the promises He had to us and their faith went flat. Unanswered prayers—lack of joy—resulting in darkness and empty hearts.
And He calls us once again for A New Beginning. Again, in Psalms 81:13 “If My people would only listen to Me, if Israel would only follow My way” He will answer when we look to Him. When we remember His Grace and turn from our own ways…He will hear from Heaven and heal our land.
6 being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the Day of Christ Jesus. 6 あなたがたのうちに良い働きを始められた方は、キリスト・イエスの日が来るまでにそれを完成させてくださることを私は堅く信じているのです。 Paul’s confidence in the people at this church was not based on their character or skills. His confidence was in the Lord Himself who called each one to follow Jesus. Same with us today. God will provide ALL that is needed which was planted in each heart when we believed. His Good work in us will carry us through hard times as well as times of real joy. His Good Work in us will keep us focused as we walk this Walk of Faith so that we could hear the Father say to us: Matthew 25:23 “…Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.’
You do realize that I am not Paul. I do not have the same call he was given on the Road to Damascus. But I do share this with him: Your hearts.
And his prayers: 9 And this is my prayerこれはあなたのための私の祈りです：: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge知識において and depth of insight洞察力の深さにおいて, あなたの愛がもっともっとたくさん溢れるように 10 so that you may be able to discern what is bestそのことであなたが最高であることをわかるように。。。and may be pure and blameless for the Day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the Glory and Praise of God.
This is like a prayer check-list: My prayer for you is also that your love may abound more and more in the knowledge and depth of insight. More and more of Jesus. SO that your hearts will grow so deeply in love with Jesus that there is no longer any room for doubt. No more room for doing life on your own. Loving Him more today than you did yesterday. Does that sound good to you? Can I pray that for you? Yes? No? Are you afraid?
Paul also prayed that his friends would be able to discern what is best. That is a great prayer for us! So that we will not settle for good when Best is around the corner. Best and not just things being ok. His Best for His Glory!
And, I will pray that your life would be pureそして純粋に. There is something about that brings our attention to Matthew 5:3~10 from the Message: マタイ3:3-10
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
This is on the handout you have now. Read this and study this and pray this for you and your family. Will you do that? Yes? No? Afraid what that prayer will do in your family?
And to be blameless for the Day of Christ! キリストの日のために That is by Faith. We cannot be blameless now. It is a goal we live for and that will be ours when we close our eyes in this world and open them in the next to hear Him say Matthew 25:21 ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!... Come and share your master’s happiness!’
And Paul ended this short POWERFUL pray with: 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness主の義の果実で満たし that comes through Jesus Christ—to the Glory and Praise of God. Filled with His Purity and filled with the Fruit of Righteousness that only comes from the Lord Jesus. It comes when we humble ourselves before Him. All of us. We need to do this as a community of believers. Every one of us is needed to make this thing we call 愛CCS really move forward. It is only found coming from His heart—to the Glory and Praise of God. 神の栄光と賛美する Amen!
Are You Ready For New Beginnings? 新しいよあけですか？