Choosing to Bring Change Amidst Opposition 反対意見の中で変化をもたらすことを選ぶ by Medina Oiko (10/31) SCRIPT ONLY (原稿のみ)

Due to technical difficulties, only the manuscript will be published this week. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. 今週は技術的な問題のため英語+日本語の原稿のみです。

Choosing to Bring Change Amidst Opposition: Nehemiah 4:1-23 (Oct 31, 2021)
反対意見の中で変化をもたらすことを選ぶ  ネヘミヤ記4:1-23
By Medina Oiko (Translation by Ryuichi Okayasu)

Around this time last year, we were looking at leadership series. I had proposed to do “leading like Nehemiah” but I had to pull out due to unavoidable circumstances. Here we are again looking at the same man around the same time as last year. At least, I could use some of the notes I had prepared before and tell a much better story from my “Nehemiah-like experience” than the previous one that was just in its initial stages. This reminds me that God works in his timeline, not ours, and lets things happen just at the appointed time.

The title of this message is “Choosing to bring change amidst opposition.” You can add “to God’s work.” This latter part has been misunderstood and I think it is important to make it clearer before we proceed. What is God’s work? Is it limited to the church or religious setting? Most of us work in different places. If you are an engineer or a pilot who is a Christian, you are Christ’s representative in your workplace. You are that light set up on a hill to shine for his glory. Therefore, you realize that if you are truly a follower of Christ, you don’t live for this world alone. You contribute to changing this world, to make it a better place. And so if you have a passionate commitment for your city or whatever it could be, believe things can happen. And this is the way it began for Nehemiah.
このメッセージのタイトルは、”Choosing to bring change amidst opposition “です。”to God’s work “と付け加えることができます。この後者の部分は誤解されてきたので、先にはっきりさせておくことが大切だと思います。神様の働き・仕事とは何でしょうか?それは、教会や宗教の場に限られたものでしょうか?私たちの多くは、さまざまな場所で働いています。もしあなたがクリスチャンであるエンジニアやパイロットであれば、あなたは職場におけるキリストの代表者です。あなたは、キリストの栄光のために輝く丘の上に立てられた光です。ですから、あなたが本当にキリストの信者であるならば、この世だけのために生きているのではないことがわかります。この世界を変えるために、より良い場所にするために貢献するのです。あなたが自分の街や何かに情熱を持って取り組めば、そのことが起こると信じなさい。これが、ネヘミヤの始まりでした。

We are all called in different ways and as we obey our call, get ready to count on the opposition. The powers of darkness will not sit idly while the people of God rise to build – whether you are building a wall like Nehemiah or contributing to Christ’s work as we are called to do today.

The resonating theme in Nehemiah 4:1-23 is spiritual warfare. Nehemiah’s real enemy lurking behind the human opponents we see in this chapter is none other than Satan. Paul tells us that “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places Eph. 6:12. Nehemiah 4 is a description of two things: the threats from the enemy to stop the people of God from rebuilding the Jerusalem wall. The threats came in three waves of assault: verbal assault (Chapter 4:1-6): physical assault (Chapter 4:7-9); and internal assault (Chapter 4:10-14:); Second, is a description of measures Nehemiah and the people take to defend against the threats and to complete the project (Chapter 4:15-23). Let’s look at the waves of these threats.
ネヘミヤ記4章1~23節のテーマは、霊的な戦いです。この章で見られる人間の敵の背後に潜むネヘミヤの真の敵はサタンに他なりません。パウロは、エペソ人への手紙6:12で「私たちは、肉と血との戦いではなく、主権者、権力者、この世の暗やみの支配者、高い所にいる霊的な悪に対抗して戦っているのです」と語っています。ネヘミヤ4章は、神の民がエルサレムの城壁を再建するのを阻止しようとする敵からの脅しという2つの事柄について書かれています。 その脅威は、言葉による攻撃(4:1-6)、肉体的な攻撃(4:7-9)、内的な攻撃(4:10-14)の3つの波に分かれていました。もう一つは、脅威から守り、プロジェクトを完成させるために、ネヘミヤと民がとった対策について書かれています(4:15-23)。その脅威の3つの波を見てみましょう。

Verbal Assault (4:1-6)
Sanballat, the governor of Horon, was furious at the news of rebuilding the wall. He mocks the builders saying they are feeble, incapable, hopeless, overly ambitious, and without sufficient resources. Little did he know that the King was backing up the project and that God had approved it. His threat was an attempt to bring down the builder’s morale. Verbal assault requires very little of the person doing it. It is much like liquid or internet courage today where someone somewhere, unknown to you, writes something offensive in the name of a comment to discourage or undermine your effort. Tobiah joined in the mockery describing how the builders’ work is poorly done. “Even what they are building – if a fox should jump on it, he would break their stone wall down!” Anytime you say, “ let us arise and build, there will be those who will say “ let’s arise and destroy.” but remember, your mission is God’s work, so the mockery is aimed as much at God as it is towards his servant.
言葉の攻撃 (4:1-6)

Please allow me to integrate this chapter with my story. What I can call my “Nehemia-like experience.”
For about 6 years, I’ve been trying to awaken a large-scale Hass avocado project, in a 19-acre piece of land that my dad had finally succeeded to own after over a 30-year land wrangle. The project was collapsing with many of the trees getting infected with diseases, the quality of the fruits going down and the big clients rejecting them. Amidst the many responsibilities that were on my plate, I tried to contribute to it. But with such a large-scale project, my contributions were like a drop of water in an ocean. Nothing was changing.
この章を私の話に統合させてください。私の “ネヘミアのような経験 “と呼べるものです。

Like Nehemiah, who was troubled over the ruined walls of Jerusalem, the walls of his fathers, I was greatly troubled seeing so much wealth wasted and the people who owned it suffer. After a lot of research, I landed on fundraising as a way to resolve the problem. Like Nehemiah in front of the King, I was “afraid” carrying the fears of the past fundraising experiences. I had done one for a patient and Sanballats and Tobiases were everywhere trying to pin my efforts down. I was baptized with different names and was looked at negatively. But you know, to lighten any load, first, you have to feel the pressure in your own soul. I could not assume the need, and with the pressure that I felt in my soul, I knew this was a noble cause, took action in my fears, and raised a substantial amount that cleared the patient’s hospital bill.

Similarly, the avocado project lay heavily in my heart, and amid my past fears, I sought God in the matter, read books, prayed and fasted, and asked God for the right people or rather “the King” who will support this project. I had reached out to a few and positive responses came by and of course, others were negative. One person wrote this to me: “After reading your story and looking at the prospect of your project, I realized it aims at making a profit and I don’t give my contributions to search. I’m sorry I can’t be of much help, but I wish you the best.” I was not surprised because I had told myself to prepare for a Yes or a No. But even so, it felt uncomfortable and I had to ask God again to help me handle the “Noes”.
同様に、アボカドのプロジェクトも私の心の中に重くのしかかっていました。過去の恐れの中で、私はこの問題について神を求め、本を読み、祈り、断食し、このプロジェクトを支援してくれる適切な人々、いや「王様」を神にお願いしました。何人かに声をかけたところ、肯定的な返事がきましたが、もちろん否定的な人もいました。ある人がこんなことを書いてくれました。”あなたの話を読み、あなたのプロジェクトの見通しを見て、それが利益を上げることを目的としていることに気づきました。私は寄付金を検索には出しません。お役に立てなくて残念ですが、頑張ってください。” 私は自分自身に「YesかNoかを準備するように」と言い聞かせていたので、驚きはしませんでしたが、それでも違和感があり、「No」に対応できるように、もう一度神様にお願いすることになりました。

How did Nehemiah handle the verbal threats? Threats usually create two basic reactions – fear and retreat. Nehemiah did not tolerate any of this. His faith in God takes him on his knees, but he does not stay there for the whole day, he gets up and acts. Practical of what James says, “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being alone” (Jas. 2:17). Nehemiah began his entire mission as a man of prayer. Once the king asked him what he wanted to do. He said, So I prayed to the God of heaven.” Repeatedly in this book, we hear Nehemiah say, “and so I prayed to the God of heavens.” You will win major battles on your knees. If you are a praying Christian, your faith in God will carry you. If you are not a praying Christian, you’ll have to carry your faith and you’ll get extremely exhausted bearing the infinite. When you are on your knees, it is not a showcase but rather a true point of recognizing that you aren’t sovereign over this universe. You understand your limitation, that you cannot solve all the world’s problems but you know who can. Prayers will enable you to see your heart as God sees, and as God wants you to understand who you really are. Coming to a point of saying, “Be unto me according to your word” Luke 1:38.
ネヘミヤは、言葉による脅迫をどのように処理したのでしょうか?脅しは通常、恐怖と退却という2つの基本的な反応を引き起こします。ネヘミヤはこのようなことを一切許しませんでした。彼の神への信仰は、彼をひざまずかせますが、一日中そこに留まっているわけではなく、立ち上がって行動します。ヤコブの言葉を実践してみましょう。「それにしても、信仰は、もし行いを伴わなければ、死んだようなものです」。ネヘミヤは、祈りの人としてその任務のすべてを開始しました。ある時、王が彼に何をしたいのかと尋ねました。彼は言った、『だから、私は天の神に祈った』と。この本の中で、ネヘミヤは繰り返し、”だから私は天の神に祈った “と言っています。祈りを持ってして、大きな戦いに勝つことができるのです。祈るクリスチャンであれば、神への信仰があなたを支えます。祈っていないクリスチャンは、自分で自分の信仰を運ばなければならず、無限に耐えて非常に疲れてしまいます。ひざまずいているとき、それは見せ場ではありません。それは、自分がこの宇宙の主権者ではないことを認識する真のポイントです。あなたは自分の限界を理解しています。世界のすべての問題を解決することはできませんが、誰が解決できるかを知っています。祈りによって、神が見ているように自分の心を見ることができ、神が望んでいるように、自分の本当の姿を理解することができます。それはルカの福音書1:38「お言葉どおりに、この身になりますように」と言うところまで来るのです。

Nehemiah has been praying but this chapter is specific about the kind of prayer he makes – a prayer of vengeance which is different from our normal prayers today. Many think this prayer contradicts the lessons from the Sermon on the Mount that speaks of love for our enemies (Mat 5:44). This sermon is about us and our relationship with others. The prayer of vengeance, also seen in Psalms 109, is mainly about God, his glory, and justice and not personal vengeance. We are most often taught to love and encouraged less to hate; however, as believers, we should hate sin and its consequences; dislike anything that opposes God.

Determined Mindset to Act
Nehemiah with his team are determined to work and not allow these verbal assaults to distract them from their calling. They are halfway and the work is getting more difficult and requires more effort. Coupled with verbal assault, it is a vulnerable time in the project. What the builders resolve at this point is very critical.

As if that is not enough, the opposition grows and intensifies to stop the work. Sanballat and Tobias realize their verbal assault does not affect the builders. They intensity their effort with physical harm when they conspire with other enemies to fight against Jerusalem and cause a disturbance. The enemies say, “They will not know or see until we come among them, kill them and put a stop to the work”(vs.11.) Reaching the end for these builders is not easy. The builders are mocked, the number of their enemies has escalated and they are threatening to physically attack them. That’s tough! There are those moments in life when you pray and continue to faithfully serve God but circumstances don’t seem to improve. Yes, sometimes matters get more difficult before they get better. Let me try and relate this to my story:
I got into major preparation for the avocado project and planned to seek advice on the way forward. Unfortunately, the very day I had planned to reach out to two people who I had thought of deeply to help me with their ideas to propel the project further, I fell very sick and was hospitalized for about two weeks. In the hospital bed, much as I tried to distract myself from the project, I could not stop thinking about it. The Monday I was out of ICU, I received four replies, three were positive and one negative. The three left me feeling that this project is working out. I had more than enough time in the hospital. Instead of laying on my bed and replaying unpleasant memories of what had happened, I got into planning, writing the to-dos that I would execute when I am out. One major one was to fundraise online. I had gotten in touch with good photographers to help me get good videos, and translators to expand my language territories. Everything was set. Only to come out and meet another hitch – the heavy influence of Coronavirus. It was bad news “everywhere I turned” and from what I gathered, it was not a good idea to forward such a course to the public when everyone seemed depressed in many ways and more so financially.

I felt like I lived at the borders of my enemies like the Judeans in verse 12. They lived near the borders and constantly listened to the claims of the enemy. There is no doubt they were influenced by these claims and the disturbance forced them to report to the builders, not once but ten times, of the imminent danger, saying, “They will come up against us from every place where you turn.” It is in such times that you start believing what the enemy is saying. “Yes, it’s true that you are weak and incapable of finishing this task. You have been overly ambitious. This project is a hopeless endeavor.” And you tend to agree… “It could be true… look there’s really insufficient reusable material out of all the rubble to rebuild the wall. Sanballat’s assessment might be right.” I’m not saying you ignore what the people at the borders are saying. That information can help to plan on how to be on your guard such that with the full armor of God on, you know right gadget to use to handle the attacks. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand Ep. 6:13.
私は、12節のユダ人のように、敵の国境に住んでいるように感じました。彼らは国境近くに住み、常に敵の主張に耳を傾けていました。彼らがこれらの主張に影響されたことは間違いなく、この騒動によって、彼らは一度だけでなく、10回も建設者に危険が迫っていることを報告しなければなりませんでした。”彼らは、あなたがたがどこを向いても我々に向かってくる “と。そんな時には、敵の言っていることを信じ始めてしまうのです。「確かに、あなたは弱くて、この仕事をやり遂げることができない。あなたは野心を持ちすぎています。このプロジェクトは絶望的な企てだ」。確かにそうかもしれない…城壁を再建するには、瓦礫の中から再利用できる材料が不足しているのではないか」と納得してしまいがちです。サンバラテの評価は正しいかもしれない」。国境にいる人々の話を無視しろとは言いません。その情報は、神の完全な武具を身につけて、攻撃に対処するための適切な道具を知っているように、どのように警戒して行くかを計画するのに役立ちます。だから、神の完全な武具を身につけなさい。そうすれば、邪悪な日に際して対抗できるように、また、一切を成し遂げて堅く立つことができるように、エペソ人への手紙6:13
Nehemiah had a firm stand and because of his firm faith, he could tell that the Judeans were overwhelmed with fear. He says, “When I saw their fear…” There was no question that the threats and the challenge of the rebuilding project had started affecting the people of Judah. Their initial zeal had begun to wane as the reality of time and difficulty began to take its toll. I can relate to their experience. I felt like my plans were thwarted, but instead of giving up, I started thinking of taking a different route. When I was trying to reroute, I was struck with hospital memories that got me into what I later understood was an anxiety attack. That was indeed an attack. You are normal in one minute and in the next, you are totally restless. I did not know what it was, how it came, where it came from and how I could deal with it. This made me more scared. Imagine my state of helplessness. You are in a situation that is totally out of your control. You and the people around you don’t understand, and so they cannot help. I cried bitter tears to God requesting him to save me and get me out of that situation. I never wish it to happen to anyone. At this point, I stopped everything I was doing and buckled up the avocado project somewhere in my heart, and said “God will deal with it in his timeline.” I went into a moment of silence; however, this matter still lingered somewhere in my heart and mind with a deep desire that it will become fruitful someday. How dear is your calling to you?
ネヘミヤはしっかりとした信仰を持っていたので、ユダ人が恐怖に打ちひしがれているのがわかりました。彼は「彼らの恐れを見たとき…」と言っています。再建プロジェクトの脅威と挑戦が、ユダの人々に影響を与え始めていたことは間違いありません。彼らの最初の熱意は、時間と困難という現実の影響を受けて衰え始めていました。私は彼らの経験に共感しました。自分の計画が頓挫したと思っても、あきらめずに別のルートを考え始めたのです。その時、病院の記憶が蘇ってきて、後になって不安に襲われたことがあります。あれは確かに攻撃だった。1分後には普通になっていて、次の瞬間には全く落ち着かなくなる。それが何なのか、どうやって起こるのか、どこから来るのか、どうやって対処すればいいのかがわかりませんでした。そのため、私はもっと怖くなりました。私の無力な状態を想像してみてください。あなたは自分では全くコントロールできない状況にあります。あなたも周りの人も理解できないので、助けることができないのです。私は神に救いを求め、その状況から抜け出すために苦い涙を流しました。このようなことは誰にも起こってほしくありません。この時、私は自分のしていることを全て止め、心のどこかでアボカドプロジェクトを取っておいて、”神様は自分の時間軸で対処してくれる “と言いました。私は黙祷を捧げました。しかし、この問題は私の心のどこかに残っていて、いつか実を結びたいという深い願望がありました。あなたの召されていることはどれほど大切なものですか?
The constant bombardment of the world will take its toll on the strongest of believers unless they spend time listening to and reading the truth of God’s word and drawing encouragement from experiencing fellowship with other believers. It is in tough times in your calling that you start to feel isolated. That is the time you most need the word of God and the church family. Unfortunately, the opposite happens. When we feel intense pressure and are bombarded from every side, we withdraw from God’s word and the church. This is not what the Judeans did, they went and reported the matter to Nehemiah. There was something different about him, the main reason for his difference was his dependence on God. He knew which voice to pay attention to. You can tell from his prayer patterns. Don’t try again and again to run your own life. Totally surrender to the will of God. Your intimacy with him is the most important thing you’ll ever need. When you’re before God in prayer, he is making you the dream of what he intends you to be. The day you believe that your prayer life is the most critical aspect of who you are, your life will dramatically change. Prayer warriors like that have made great impacts. With prayers, you will win different battles.
Secret Preparation to arm themselves
When the attack on the builders became severe, Nehemiah, again, prays and acts “But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them *day and night” (4:7-9). For Paul, it is not enough to put on the armor thus he adds, And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying… Eph 6:18. Nehemia prays to God to do for them what they cannot do themselves, and he uses all the resources God has given him – his mind – the wisdom – and the community of faith. In verse 13, He stations the people in the exposed places, to make sure there are no easy places to slip and attack. He also stationed the people with their families providing them with even greater incentive to fight – to fight for their families. He ensures they have “the armor” to defend themselves – swords, spears, and bows. They can fight within close quarters or at a distance.

Nehemiah tells the people, “Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses” (vs.14). He then reminds the people that the lives of their beloved ones are at stake. Either they fight or watch their loved ones perish and all that God blessed them be destroyed. There is this story of a university student who is accused of being disruptive in the classroom for telling the professor that he keeps mocking things that are sacred to her. Like saying Christianity is cowardly. She couldn’t stand it anymore. The professor told her that she doesn’t understand. She’s got it all wrong that for 18 years she was indoctrinated in their home and that she’s in the university to be educated and change all the wrong beliefs. Let us be careful. Something out there is watching to craft our children. Let us prepare our children, training them in the way that they should go, so that when they grow up, they will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6). You could be here and saying, “I nurtured my children in a Christian way, but he left and seems to be never coming back.” Do not lose hope. You did your part by planting the right seed, though it lies dormant, keep watering it, calling him/her back in prayers, and like what happened to the prodigal son, God will do the rest.

In other words, don’t let the voice of the enemy paralyze you at the expense of losing your cities, your children, your calling. Believe in God to use you to fight for its defense. Don’t get intimidated by the forces that would want to stop you. Remember, any time you say, “ let us arise and build, there will be those who will say “ let’s rise up and destroy.” But you will win because you honor God, and he’s the ultimate winner.

Exhortation & Getting Back to Work
Nehemiah’s prayers are fruitful as we can see in verse 15. “Then all of us returned to the wall, each one to his work.” The enemies thought that the builders had given up only to realize that the builders had planned against their tricks, and returned to work. Nehemiah prepares the people to the point of avoiding the paralysis of pessimism. You will get distracted if you only look at the immediate. The rebuilding project had already caused rivalry among the enemies thus affecting the progress of the project; however, the builders took a break and planned, and armed themselves in secret to prevent the enemies from attacking the project. Only after planning carefully, will they be ready to go public with their mission with God.
ネヘミヤの祈りが実を結んだことは、15節で見ることができます。”それから、私たち全員が城壁に戻り、それぞれが自分の工事に戻った。” 敵は、建設者があきらめたと思っていましたが、建設者が彼らの策略に反して計画していたことに気づき、仕事に戻りました。ネヘミヤは、悲観してマヒすることを避けるために、民を準備します。目先のことだけを見ていると、気が抜けてしまいます。再建計画では、すでに敵同士の対立が起こり、計画の進行に影響が出ていましたが、建設者たちは、敵の攻撃を防ぐために、一休みして計画を立て、密かに武装しました。綿密な計画を立てて、初めて神の使命を公にすることができるのです。

After the major preparations, Nehemiah was able to strike his plans into quick action to complete the project in 52 days! When it gets tough, don’t be pessimistic. Don’t lose heart. Don’t you want to see what happens if you don’t give up? Nehemiah built the wall and came back and brought peace for his people. Isn’t that what you want for your land, people, or cities?

To continue with my story… I stopped heavy planning with my project for more than 7 months then I told my husband that something needs to be done to put the property into proper use because it was getting worse. The land was now being mortgaged like the exact thing happening in chapter five, which got Nehemiah “very angry.” It took us a couple of months to carefully draft a business plan, to forward to investors who could contribute to the project. Unlike the fast draft that had my father’s story, the plan focussed exclusively on the business part removing anything that was drawing sympathy rather than contributors to the project. Meanwhile, I was convincing my brother to leave his job and go back home to take care of the land. We wrote a contract and promised to pay him a salary from my monthly earnings. At this point, I did not know how the project would go but my major aim was to get someone on the ground.
私の話を続けますと…私は7ヶ月以上もの間、自分のプロジェクトで重い計画を止めていましたが、夫に、この土地を適切に使用するために何かをしなければならないと言いました。というのも、事態はさらに悪化していたからです。土地が抵当に入れられていました 5章で起きたのと全く同じことが起きていました ネヘミヤは “とても怒っていました”。そして、数ヶ月かけて慎重にビジネスプランを作成し、このプロジェクトに貢献してくれる投資家に提出しました。父の話を盛り込んだ早い段階でのドラフトとは異なり、ビジネスの部分だけに焦点を当て、プロジェクトに貢献する人ではなく、同情を引くようなものは一切排除しました。一方、私は兄に、仕事を辞めて家に戻り、土地の面倒を見るよう説得していました。契約書を作成し、私の毎月の収入から給料を支払うことを約束しました。この時点では、プロジェクトがどのように進むかは分かりませんでしたが、私の主な目的は、誰かが現場に立つことでした。

Remember Nehemiah had to go close, leaving the luxurious life in the palace to go and rebuild the shattered walls in his country. You’ll never win the world until you get close to the arena of your need. You must enter the terrain that you are asking God to change. You’ll never accomplish anything much unless you get close to the situation. Yes, it’s a risk, it’s dangerous, but I dare you to believe that if God is calling you to a certain place, commit yourself to him, trust him, and get close to where you really want to change. The word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth. You must get close, that’s where burdens are lifted, that’s where burdens are given.

It took about two months after we completed the plan that after a serious period of prayer, thinking, and writing down the potential people I could approach, I finally gathered the courage to approach someone who without any complex procedures agreed to be an angel investor to the project. Before that, my brother had already left his job and gone home to take over the farm management. Threats, fears, and past experiences can put us in places where we underestimate people and don’t challenge them with our dreams. When God plants an idea in your mind to accomplish something for him, share it with others and trust the Holy Spirit to impress them with similar thoughts. You are not the only one through whom God is working. Often God uses one person to express the vision and others to turn it into a reality.

That one person could be you, a woman, or a man set at a certain time in history for a certain cause and a certain need. The major question is to ask yourself “How dear are they to you? How passionately do you long to see something happen in the city that you love, in the city that you so much care for? Will you be one of those who will say, Lord, let me be a person who will change my city for the glory of God? God is not calling you to bear the heartache of the whole world, not even your whole community. It is only in the heart of God where there is an aggregate of human suffering. What God does is to take those heartaches and struggles, break them down into bearable pieces, put some into your heart, some into my heart, and make them bearable burdens with individualized capacities. What’s that burden that he has given you to carry before this world?
その一人とは、あなたかもしれません。歴史上のある時期に、ある目的とある必要性のために設定された男性か女性かもしれません。大事なのは、「彼らはあなたにとってどれだけ大切なのか?自分が愛する街で、自分が大切にしている街で、何かが起こるのを見たいと、どれだけ情熱的に思っているか? あなたは、「主よ、私を神の栄光のために私の街を変える人にしてください」と言う人になりますか? 神はあなたに、全世界の、いや、あなたのコミュニティ全体の心の痛みを背負うように召されているわけではありません。人間の苦しみの集合体があるのは、神の心の中だけなのです。神がなさるのは、それらの心痛や苦悩を、耐えられるように分解し、あるものはあなたの心に、あるものは私の心に入れて、個々の能力で耐えられる重荷にすることです。あなたがこの世を前にして、背負うように与えられた重荷は何ですか?

You could be a missionary and sometimes find that burden hard to bear. It’s rather large and vast and yet that is what God has called you to do. To take the gospel into areas where you may not be understood or accepted. What is the burden you are willing to carry for God? Some of you may be blessed financially, and perhaps God is asking you to learn to give generously to the needy causes. Some of you may be blessed with extraordinary teaching capabilities – get involved in KBF ministries, teach, multiply, and mentor people. Perhaps, you have the gift of connecting with extraordinary people. Do not let those moments go by. Carry the burden that God has given you. Do not underestimate what you can do. Ask God what he wants you to do to change your nation, your city or do in your calling. You will never lighten the load until you feel the pressure in your own soul.

Benediction: Extract from 2 Chronicles 20:12-13: O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” This is what the LORD says to you: `Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.

祝祷: 第二歴代誌20:12-13より抜粋。私たちの神よ、あなたは彼らを裁かないのですか。私たちは、攻めてくるこの大軍に立ち向かう力がないからです。私たちは何をすべきかわかりませんが、私たちの目はあなたに向けられています。” これは主があなたに言われることです。この大軍のために恐れたり、落胆したりしてはならない。戦いはあなたのものではなく、神のものだからだ。あなたはこの戦いを戦う必要はない。自分の陣地を取り、しっかりと立って、主があなたに与える救いを見よ。恐れてはならない、落胆してはならない。主はあなたとともにおられる。

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