December 7, 2014


Genesis 22:18 “Through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

This story of Abraham being willing to sacrifice Isaac is famous for a number of reasons. In the first place it’s one of the most dramatic in the whole Bible, and then it includes the Covenant Name of Yahweh Jireh, (often wrongly transliterated to Jehovah “Gyra”) God the Provider. However, the average person takes that as having their material needs met, when it is much deeper than that. The reason this passage is included in Advent readings is that this is a promise of God providing His Son as a sacrifice, just as Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac. Because Jesus was a physical descendant of Abraham and Isaac through Mary, He was the blessing for all nations that is mentioned in this verse. It’s hard for us to grasp that God really did have the entire plan of salvation worked out so many thousands of years ago, but Revelation 13:8 says that it was all worked out from Creation. It is not simply incidental that the Bible, and especially the New Testament, tells us so many times not to be anxious. When we understand the greatness of God and His love for us, then we will indeed rest secure in Him and seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. (Matthew 6:33)

I am here in Japan to tell people that God their Creator has provided a Savior for them. Most of them don’t know that. They don’t understand that they need a personal Savior, or even that it could be possible. That’s beyond my intellect and my powers of persuasion to overcome, but nothing is impossible for God. I am to be faithful and obedient so that I will recognize and make the most of every opportunity the Lord provides to share His Gospel. I am to remember at all times that it is the Holy Spirit who brings conviction, repentance and faith, and not try to do the job myself, but I am also to remember that He may well use me in the process. I am to be anxious for nothing and remember that Japan is among the nations mentioned in this verse, allowing myself to be used as an instrument of God’s blessing of salvation, for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder of what Christmas is all about. This season indeed provides many opportunities to share the Gospel. May I make the use that You intend of each one, not just preaching to the choir but introducing people to the Reason for the Season, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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About jgarrott

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