Last year I had many blessings from my Father God, a year starting a new life in Christ, learning, being rebuked many times, making mistakes, growing in faith, loving people, having patience, changing and especially getting to know the character of Jesus Christ. His character can amazed anybody who desires to get to know him, for he reflects the invisible God [Colossians 1:15]. Our loving Father and Creator.
The church has such an amazing people with many gifts, with many personalities that bring joy to the Lord. With the church I have learned to worship, to have fellowship, to love others and to get closer in my relationship with God next to my sisters and brothers. It is such a privilege to preach and teach the Bible in Japan. I never expected to do it, however it has produced many fruits that I am so thankful for. I rejoice when I hear someone is saved and wants to get involve in church, to learn together and grow in faith. I rejoice when I hear that many of the people that I have Bible studies with, are becoming fruitful at looking for their people and sharing the gospel for the ultimate goal of disciplining them to live the kind of life God desires for them.
I just got back from Gifu, a town close from Nagoya, where I celebrated New Years with my friend’s family. I spent a great time over there, relaxing, chatting, eating delicious traditional Japanese food and had also an argument about the lifestyle that most of the Japanese practice under Buddhism. In most of Japanese homes you may find a Buddhism altar and a Shinto shrine which are believed to protect the house and the family. However when you ask to any Japanese person if she/he is Buddhist, the answer that you are going to get is uncertain because he/she might not want to commit in this religion or any other. They might go only to the shrines for a funeral ceremony or also at the night before new years begins to pray, believing that ringing the bells can rid their sins during the previous year and perhaps obtain blessings for the new year. Japanese has consolidated Buddhism and Shintoism together and even Christianity in some cases. When people confront problems of life and death whether spiritually, economically or physically, they usually go to a temple and ask the priest for prayers to heal their wounded souls. The Buddhism’s thinking does not believe that there is a Creator of the universe, its purpose is to cease the suffering. In contrast with Shintoism’s thinking, they believe they must live in harmony with nature because nature makes them clean and they might attain good things from the spirits and even think they can become gods after death. That’s why the way of thinking in the scale of being “good person” is based on doing practices, those practices that can not event get rid off their sins, they just do not think they are sinners by the way, they think they are not as bad as others. But we know the truth, as it is written in Romans 3:10-12
“As the Scriptures say,“No one is righteous— not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good,not a single one.”
So then what can we do in this position? it’s only to bring the Good News to these people, that even though we were sinners, Jesus took our sins in order to forgive us and resurrected in the third day so that whoever believes in him may start a relationship with the Living God, with the Creator of the universe. They can not be saved by themselves or neither forgiven by doing such practices. They need a savior and He is the Son of God, Jesus Christ. We have to show them the truth, that the idols were made by humans and they are not going to reply to their prayers neither the nature or the created things. The idols have not breath in them and they will not take away any sin from them.
“Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a silent stone, Arise! Can this teach? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it”.
“They carry it around on their shoulders and when they set it down, it stays there. It can’t even move! And when someone prays to it, there is no answer. It can’t rescue anyone from trouble”.
Psalm 115: 1-4
“Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?”. Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see”.
Please pray to God, so that many people may understand and seek the truth, and turn to our Heavenly Father and get saved and know the purposes in life.