On a mission reaching out to “outsiders”, “rejected” and “depressed”

Philippians 2:1 – So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,

Japan is known to be a stressful nation.

Japanese society has a long standing social problem with suicide and there are more disturbing issues people won’t want to talk about easily in public –

 

hikikomori ひきこもり or 引き籠り

 

A deep rooted cause has to be –

 

Excessive demands and expectation some of which preternatural

 

For example a school girl was forced to dye her hair black to conform to her school policy and ideology insisting that black hair is unique to being Japanese.

But she was born with natural dark brown hair!

Such preternatural demands and expectations is driving people crazy and causing unnecessary stress and depression.

Human behavior should not be defined by “Japanese-ness

Foreigners in Japan who are subjected to “Japanese-ness” are even ostracized, condemned and separated.

People have been driven to isolation, depression and loneliness.

This is no good.

 

We are created by God

 

Acts 17:28 – for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

 

In Christ Jesus we are who we are regardless of skin color and nationalities.

We need to overcome discrimination and prejudice with the words and promises of God

Japanese themselves have become victim of their own enforced homogeneous policies and ideology and this has made things even more difficult for foreigners.

People should not be judged by their skin colors and nationalities.

 

(Leviticus 19:33-34) – “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

 

(Hebrews 13:2) – Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

 

We need to promote a society of grace, welcoming and encouragement

We need to embrace the will of God and reach out to foreigners and outsiders.

It is very shocking to hear of government official wanting to implement apartheid in Japan!

Japanese author Ayako Sono, a former adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposed –

“Let Them In – But Keep a Distance” – “People can carry out business and research together, and socialize together, but they should live apart,” she wrote.

What is she thinking?

What is even more shocking is this person who embraces apartheid is supposing a Christian!

As long as lawmakers and policy holders have that kind of mentality, this is no good!

 

We need to return to the words and teachings of Jesus Christ that promotes real peaceful community living through acceptance and grace according to the will of God.

 

Galatians 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

 

Galatians 5:6 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

 

Colossians 3:11– Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

 

The way to effective Gospel outreach and to ensure permanent fruits that will remains is to train and equip locals to be outward looking, reaching beyond their own race and nationalities, breaking their own social norms which contradict the words and promises of God.

Mission outreach must avoid any platform to exclusiveness for a certain race and negligence to the lost, the outcast and the pilgrims.

 

In-His-Service

David Z

Jesus the savior of the world

John 4:42 – They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”

The Gospel of John chapter 4 recorded an interesting event how Jesus reaches out to people.

It was one of the rare incidents where Jesus explicitly acknowledged He is the Messiah

 

Messiah means Savior

 

John 4:25-26 – The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

What made the event even more interesting was that it all happened in an environment shrouded in racism discrimination.

There were “social norms” forbidding that conversation between Jesus and the woman at the well.

 

Jews had no dealings with Samaritans

 

John 4:9 – The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

Jesus broke with social norm in reaching out to the Samaritan woman

The same Samaritan woman having received her blessing from Jesus reaches out to her community

 

Good news multiply fast

 

All her neighbors and friends came to hear Jesus!

Fast forward to Acts 10, it was this same Jesus who instructed Peter to reach out to non-Jews

By Acts 11.26 … Paul and Barnabas were reaching out to an international community

 

Jesus is the Messiah the Savior of the world

 

Some people in Asia think Jesus is a westerner religion…but such idea is misleading

Jesus himself rebuked the Jews for not praying for the nations and reaching out to their neighbors

 

Jesus is international!

 

Humanity was created by God

What nationality was Adam?

What race were Adam and Eve?

When God address people, His main concern is, if you have faith hope and trust in Him

God relates to people through faith hope and trust

Regardless of color and nationalities, God is calling all of us to receive His salvation plan through Jesus

 

Last week we’ve been hit by typhoon in Osaka

Typhoon don’t choose nationalities or color

Everyone on this land was affected

And in times of difficulties we ask for help

Who do pray to?

Who do we place our faith and trust?

 

In this time of writing, a huge typhoon is heading for Hong Kong, and a hurricane is heading to Carolinas (U.S)

Natural disaster can bring loss of material things

We may even loss friends and family members, but Jesus came to give us the gift of eternal life

Yes there is life after death and if we choose Jesus we receive eternal life

 

John 11:25 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live

 

In Jesus we trust

In-His-Service

David Z