Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A "GENKI" CHURCH -- Devotional for February 29, from "Good Seeds"

NOTE TO READERS: Though I finished for the year, there are two more entries I am submitting now: 1) Feb 29: for "Leap Day" occurring once every four years, and 2)a changed one for April 13, spinning off of our eldest daughter's birthday, as I did with birthdays of my wife Karen on Aug 30 and our other daughters Heidi, Jan 19 and Heather June 26.

Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple of the Lord, and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the Lord your God. (Zechariah 6:15)

Today is “Leap Day,” a day we have added to the calendar to keep our human accounting of time in line with the heavenly. This added day synchronizes life on earth with the movements of bodies placed and set in motion by the Creator and Lord of the universe, which dictate the constancy of the seasons and of day and night. In all their detailed search and study astrophysicists have come up with no other place in the universe that could even remotely touch the minimum requirements for the sustenance of life that we enjoy on planet earth. The Bible says that not only was it by Christ that “all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth,” but also that “in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17). Just as the health of our planet is maintained by a certain divinely appointed equilibrium, so is the health of our lives, whether in the physical, mental, social or spiritual realm, all under the concern and care of a loving God. He expects us to do our part, of course, both as careful custodians of our physical environment, but also as good stewards of our own bodies and the family of man. Just as God sent His Son from far beyond the universe to come and dwell with man for the purpose of calling the wanderer back to his Creator, so God has ordained that we, too, in microcosmic imitation, come from afar to build up one another, bringing the loving grace of God to the suffering race of man. After a lifetime of ministry and while contemplating retirement, an American pastor and his wife sensed the call of God to move to Japan to help a missionary pastor with his struggling church. In the months of preparation (and silent grappling with indecision) the pastor received this message from the missionary: “My wife and I were reading in the minor prophets today when we came to Zechariah 6:15. It stopped us cold as it fairly shouted at us a great blast of encouragement – for it made us think of you two coming soon to help us! We have the physical buildings, but our spiritual body is not all that genki (“healthy”). Please pray for us, during this time of constant struggle, that our Lord’s work among the people will draw them first to Himself, and then together as a body, purifying us all to be clearer and better lights in this dark, idolatrous land, at this rather dark time.” Since February 29th only touches down once in four years, this devotional will no doubt be touched upon just as infrequently. But you’re reading it now, right! So as you do, let it remind you to uphold missionaries and pastors with your prayers, and with your help – all for the sake of a genki church!

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