40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 32 – Creation

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1The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”  So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.  Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.  (Ezekiel 37:1 – 10)

Theme:  If not You, then Who?

As promised, today we will turn our attention to the role we should play in God’s mission of restoring the order He created.  Hopefully you were able to focus on God’s creation yesterday.  If you didn’t, today is just as good.  It’s never too late to stop and smell the roses or cherry blossoms if you are in Japan 😊. 

From the Bible and from creation we gain insights into God’s mission to restore order.  As soldiers in His army we too must be signed up to this mission.  When we share the gospel, live godly lives, and otherwise share God’s love with others we are participating in God’s mission.

As you think about creation today, reflect on the damage and disorder that sin has imposed.  Then ask yourself, am I playing my part in God’s mission to restore order? 

Our passage today may seem somewhat unrelated to the Discipline of Creation, but it is related.  You will find in the passage above, a beautiful example of the prophet Ezekiel partnering with God to address the disorder illustrated by dry bones.  This is the kind of partnership we should long for because there are so many dry bones around us, but by the power of our creator, those bones can live, and order can be restored.

Please read the passage above and answer the question below.

Question:

Where are the “chaotic” places that God has placed you to be his message and messenger of order?

5 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 32 – Creation

  1. The first place of chaos is my own personal heart and mind. God invites me into a relationship to know Him and his Word. Reminding me to speak His words over my life to bring order to my chaos.

    Then I think of my job and those I come in contact with. At times, too much of the time, I allow that chaos to stifle the peace I have in Him. Lord give me courage and strength to bring Your peace, through my prayers, action and countenance to my team, peers and leaders.

  2. Where are the “chaotic” places that God has placed you to be his message and messenger of order?

    I’ve lived in many countries for my husband’s work and I’m not sure if I am messenger of order in some chaotic places God has placed me. What I’m certain , I did my best in each country I’ve lived to share God’s love and faithfulness in me by sharing the Gospel and God’s gift of salvation. I don’t have power to implement rules for order , but I was just happy incorporating my faith and love for God in an activity I do in the country where my husband is posted. For example in Islamabad, Pakistan after the Protestant International church of Islamabad was bombed in 2002, when I got fully recovered from collapsed lung and many more injuries in my left leg and shoulder, I opened my house to be the venue for worship and prayer meeting on Sundays since we cannot go to our church for a year or so. It took some years for our church to be fixed. So while waiting, I worship and had fellowship with some members of my church at our home in Islamabad. It continued until the last year of our assignment in Pakistan. The church was renovated by Korean missionaries later on. I was no longer in Pakistan at the time.

    In other places I’ve lived, such as Bronxville, NY, Budapest, Hungary, Lake Oswego Oregon, Port of Spain, T&T, Muscat,Oman , Philippines, and of course Yokohama, Japan, I always try to share the gospel to many people I encounter. If I’m in official parties for my husband’s work, I take the opportunity to meet new friends and later invite them at my home for lunch or afternoon tea and then, from there I can establish groups which could help me organize events/ programs that can be used to reach out, or help the needy , or simply share God’s word. Like in my 50th bday party in T&T, I asked my ladies bible study and fellowship group to sing with me the song “ Your grace is enough,” such a meaningful Christian worship song, and some of them made speeches describing how God blesses our friendship , and also talking about God’s love and faithfulness. I also organized a fashion show with wide variety of clothes/ costumes representing different countries and cultures.
    Praying before and after the event and playing Christian songs as the background while the event is going on, have helped me create an atmosphere where message of God’s love can be felt or seen. Those small events were the ones I used for others to hear about Jesus’ love and gift of salvation. I make it a point to invite diverse people/ friends with different backgrounds and beliefs. I think when assigned abroad, I enjoy not only representing Japan being a wife of Japanese diplomat, but I also enjoy representing my ever present, and loving friend Christ, Jesus.

    Here in Japan I reach out to non believers by inviting to church or at my home some friends from the gym or my students from the English classes where I am teaching. I’ve done this a lot in the past when Covid 19 was not yet shutting down the whole world.
    So my way of sending message of order is actually, indirect way. From those events I hold, by introducing my very close Christian friends to my non believer friends, they could somehow see how we relate to each other, and sense the joy we have that comes from above …they can see that the order in my life is from the Real Life Giver…Jesus Christ. As much as possible, I always include Him in the events I organized in many countries I’ve lived. I remember there was one Japanese friend of mine I met in the Japanese Community of Islamabad became Christian and was baptized later in Japan, it all started at my home when I invited her for afternoon tea. Then later she also attended our bible study and Sunday worship service. She started becoming interested in God’s word and the rest was Holy Spirit’s work. I guess when she became Christian, she found out later that in life, the one who makes everything in order and beautiful is the God I introduced her.

    May I also say, that there were also challenges I experienced along the way. I also encountered some people who
    were not happy or just feel uncomfortable even just by hearing the name Jesus. When that happens, I guess prayer is the best response.

  3. The “chaotic” places that God has placed me to be his message and messenger of order are not necessarily as climactic as others but it is of the same utmost significance.

    Though we do not see it, we are in a war beyond our comprehension/world (Ephesians 6:12), so in a way we are all amidst Chaos. I believe living today and being a follower is a challenge in itself. Starting with the fight everyday to not be influenced by the culture. It is a daily commitment and humbling to get out of our own way and let God have his, with us.

    If we are honest, if we are not careful there are so many different things, small or big that may have a negative or positive influence on our role as messengers, such as the company we keep, our habits, etc. If we deem that we are followers, God without a doubt place us in uncomfortable (chaotic) and challenging situations, because those are where he is most glorified.

    The most challenging for me thus far in my life has been being God’s message in most of my workplaces and environments where it is not popular and the culture does not align with God’s prescription.

    It is an honor to hold this position, in being his message/messenger. I pray that we never loose hope and feed off of not only His strength but also the strength of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

  4. The “chaotic” places for me to be His message and messenger are wherever I find myself in this troubled, sin sick world, be it on my job or on the mission field or in my community or in my country. In fact, realistically, the first place for my being an effective messenger is at home, then graduating to other places.

  5. My home,Hopefully next week I will see what happens as I have planted a seed.

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