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I hope you had a great Easter! Thank you for your prayers over the past month.
I had a great time celebrating Easter in Nagoya. In the morning we had Easter worship followed by a baptism. And in the afternooon, I hosted a special English Club event. HAPPY Around 40 people attended, and we had a great time playing games, singing songs and eating delicious sweets. Special guest Zach Motts (WGM missionary) gave us a short Easter message and performed an Easter skit with me. And we had seven guests from outside the church! I’m thankful for God’s blessing on this spiritual bridge-building event!
Please pray with me this month about the following:
1. Japanese studies — I’m starting to take private lessons again, twice a month, starting this week.
2. English Cafe — This Friday, April 5th. Please pray for good conversations and relationship-building.
3. Youth ministry — On Saturday, April 13th I’m speaking at a youth event here at the Nagoya Church.
4. English Bible study — This isn’t starting until May, but please pray for us as we prepare and promote it.
Thank you for your continuing prayers and support of our ministry in Japan!
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 NLT)
Jesus didn’t promise His followers an easy life, free from pain. He didn’t promises riches or comfort. But He did promise something better, something that this world can’t give: peace of mind and heart.
There are a lot of things I don’t have. But really, I know I don’t need them as long as I have Jesus. To be honest, I don’t always feel that way. But I’m thankful for this reminder, and that it’s true.
Lord, please give me a real sense of Your peace today, and let that determine how I think, how I talk and how I live.
John 12:42-43: “Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.”
This a danger for all of us who follow Christ. I see it especially here in Japan where there is so much pressure to conform and to please others. This fear of what others’ think leads to compromise, and even to denying Christ.
But it’s not just a Japanese thing. I too am tempted to keep quiet, to conform, to blend in. I don’t want to stand out or offend.
But isn’t God’s approval more important than man’s? Isn’t praise from God more desirable than praise from others? I want to live in a way that pleases God, that makes Him smile, that brings me His approval, no matter what others may think.
Lord, please give me the grace I need to stand up for — and stand out for — You today.
John 12:25: “Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those
who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.”
This is hard. There’s so much I still want to see and do and experience.
What about my needs? What about my desires? What about… ME?
Yet this the call of Christ. As He says elsewhere, “deny yourself, take up
your cross daily, and follow.” It’s a high calling. It’s not always easy.
It’s not always safe. And there’s no guarantee that you’ll have everything
But it’s good. Because He is good. And though the way may seem narrow and
hard at times, on this path is joy and peace and purpose.
On days when I feel weak or alone, on days when my list of unanswered
prayers seems too long to bear, it’s good to remember that Jesus didn’t
call me to an easy life, but to a good life.
And life is good. Because He is good. And He is with me.
Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” (John 11:40 NLT)
Like Martha, sometimes I doubt. Sometimes Jesus needs to remind me that His grace is enough. That if I believe, trust and obey Him I’ll see prayers answered, lives changed, His Kingdom come. And through it all, He’s my constant companion.
Jesus, help me to believe.