December 21, 2014

Luke 1:77 “to give his people the knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins.”

This prophesy of John’s ministry is applicable to every Christian today. The record shows that John fulfilled this prophesy magnificently, eventually at the cost of his life, but every generation needs to be given this knowledge afresh, and that’s where we come in. As long as there is anyone who doesn’t know that they are a sinner, and that God has provided a solution for that through His Son, then our job is not complete. America today is a prime example of what happens when God’s people get complacent and fail to communicate the Gospel. God alone knows who are His and who are not, but the ratio seems to be worse than it has been in many generations, to the point of active hostility against true Christians in many quarters. Repentance is certainly called for, but how will people repent if they don’t know their need, and that a solution is available? Assorted surveys all turn up the same depressing statistics: how few people spend time regularly in prayer, reading the Bible, and communicating the Gospel. There is no end to the ills affecting America right now, though it was founded on Biblical truth, but those ills will not be healed until and unless God’s people repent of their own sins and the sins of their nation, and repentance involves real change. (2 Chronicles 7:14) Lip service will not cut it. After 9/11 there was a lot of lip service but very little real change, which means very little real repentance. Everyone who is a real Christian needs to accept the commission of John, even though they will be very much “a voice crying in the wilderness.” (John 1:23) America is a wilderness right now, and in desperate need of many to accept John’s mantle.

Living in Japan I am at a remove from what is happening in the US, but courtesy of the Internet I am very aware of it, and find myself wondering why so many Christians seem so oblivious. At the same time, I am surrounded by people here in Japan who have not yet received the Gospel, even if they might have heard it, so my task and opportunities are limitless. I am not to be so wrapped up in what is going on in the US that I fail to be faithful right where I am. I haven’t seen the massive harvest I would love to see, but I have seen individuals be transformed into genuine disciples of Jesus Christ, and that is rewarding indeed. I am to be faithful at each task the Lord sets before me, and leave the results up to Him.

Father, thank You for getting us through the second interdenominational carol sing yesterday. Thank You that You will get me through the service this morning and the concerts at the nursing home this afternoon. I pray that I may indeed communicate Your truth effectively at every turn, building up the believers and drawing more to repentance and faith, not by my own efforts, which certainly won’t get the job done, but my Your spirit operating through me, 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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