1 Timothy 2:5 神は唯一です。また、神と人との間の仲介者は唯一です。それは人としてのキリスト・イエスです。

Several people have come at me recently with “There's only one God, isn't there,” meaning that all religions are the same. This verse is the answer to that. Totally disregarding the fact that Buddhism is originally atheistic and Shinto and Hinduism are polytheistic, even the other monotheistic religions, Islam and Judaism, do not recognize Jesus as the Christ, the only mediator between God and man. Anyone who says all religions lead to the same place is sadly ignorant. Christians are regularly called narrow, bigoted, or worse for insisting that Jesus is the only way to the Father, but that is the explicit claim Jesus made for Himself (John 14:6). Sadly, many Christians today, at least in America, are very shaky on this fundamental tenant of their faith. Of course, the devil does all he can to attack that conviction and assurance, but that's all the more reason we need to be clear and stand firm in Scriptural truth.


It takes wisdom and anointing in communicating this to people who are genuinely seeking God but are confused by the false religions around them, in particular in their own families and homes. It is a very hard thing for someone in a family that is religious, on the surface at least, to come out clearly and say, “I am following a different religion.” To do so is clearly stating, “Your religion is wrong.” That's why apostasy from Islam is punishable by death. Even if don't have to deal with evangelism to Muslims, we should be faithful in prayer for those who do. In Japan we do have to deal with people for whom ancestor worship is seen as a fundamental part of who they are, and renouncing ancestor worship is seen as renouncing the family. We cannot back down on this point, but we must speak the truth with both understanding and love.


Father, many of the people around us do not cling to Jesus Christ alone. Some are social Christians, some are irreligious, and some are active in religions that don't acknowledge Christ. Help us communicate Your love and grace to these people, not saying they are OK as they are, but not coming across as holier-than-thou either. We can't do that in our own wisdom and strength, so we ask You to do it through us, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!




第1テサロニケ 2:17- 3:13

S: 第1テサロニケ 3:12-13 私たちがあなたがたを愛しているように、あなたがたの互いの間の愛を、またすべての人に対する愛を増させ、満ちあふれさせてきださいますように。また、あなたがたの心を強め、私たちの主イエスがご自分のすべての聖徒とともに再び来られるとき、私たちの父なる神の御前で、聖く、責められるところのない者としてくださいますように。

O: This seems a little long as a passage to write on, but I feel these two verses are very closely related. Verse 13 speaks of being strengthened so that we will be holy and blameless when the Lord comes back, but that isn't going to happen without the love spoken of in verse 12, as the whole NT makes clear. Christian love pervades every part of our lives, because God Himself is love. As Paul wrote so clearly in 1 Corinthians 13, without love all of our other activities are meaningless. As John said, (1 John 4:20), we cannot love God while hating our brother. Such love isn't weak at all. It strives for the best, rather than for short-term tranquility. Praying for love to increase is pastoral prayer of the highest order.


A: As a pastor I need to keep this in sharp focus. I need to let the Lord examine my heart for obstacles to His love filling and flowing through me, and when He points them out, repent and get rid of them. I need to encourage the believers to do the same, and help them understand what God's love is like, flowing not only from God to them, but also from them back to God and to one another. My love for them needs to be strong enough and clear enough to be a model and an example of how their love should be. I must remember that is beyond my ability; it is God's love, and He's got to work it in me. However, I must choose to cooperate fully with Him in His love, which is what I need to teach the believers to do as well.


P: Father, we have so little understanding of love! I understand why You chose Greek as the language of the NT, because it has four words to express what we lump together in one. I can't change the Japanese and English languages; help me grasp Your love in my spirit, and communicate it in the same way. May my words, attitudes and actions be filled and motivated by Your love, for the blessing of all I encounter and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

P: 父よ。私たちは愛について少ししか分かっていません。なぜ新約聖書にギリシヤ語を選ばれたのかが理解できます。長たらしい語句の組み合わせではなく、4 語で表現できるのですから。私に日本語と英語を変えることはできませんが、私の霊にあるあなたの愛が分かり、同じように、人に伝えていけますように。私の言葉、行いがあなたの愛で満たされ、私の出会う全てに祝福となりますように。あなたのご栄光のために。感謝します。神様を賛美します!



第1テサロニケ 2:1-16

S: 第1テサロニケ 2:11-12 また、ご承知のとおり、私たちは父がその子どもに対してするように、あなたがたひとりひとりに、ご自身の御国と栄光とに召してくださる神にふさわしく歩むように勧めをし、慰めを与え、おごそかに命じました。

O: Every pastor should be able to make this statement in all honesty. Just as no human father is perfect, so there are no perfect pastors. However, just as there are rebellious children, in the same way there are rebellious church members. The sincere pastor needs to remember the words of Jesus: “If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.” (John 15:20) Those who speak for God find that people respond to them as they are actually responding to God. Pastors are human and fallible and must not forget that, but at the same time they should not take the things that are said to and about them, either good or bad, too personally. Compliments should be received with thanks to God, because He is the one who enables us to be faithful, and insults should be received with mercy for the one saying them, because they are setting themselves against God. Criticisms need to be heard and evaluated carefully, because God certainly uses human instruments in His correcting, pruning work in our lives, but again the motive and the substance of the criticism may be rebellion against what God is trying to do in that person's life.

O: この発言は全ての牧師正直にできるべきです。父親として完全な人はいないように、完全な牧師もいません。しかし、反抗的な子供がいるのと同じく反抗的な教会員もいます。誠実な牧師は「もし彼らが私の言葉を守ったなら、あなたがたの言葉をも守ります。」(ヨハネ15:20)というイエスの言葉を覚えているべきでしょう。神様のために語るならば、聞く人もきっと神様の言葉として反応します。牧師とて人間であり、過ちを犯します。しかし、言われたことをそのまま真に受けずともよいことを覚えておきたいものです。それが個人的に良いことでも悪いことであってもです。不平は神に感謝しながら聞き入れるべきです。神様だけが私たちを誠実にしてくださる唯一の方だからです。侮辱は憐れみを持って受けるべきです。なぜなら侮辱は神に対して逆らうことだからです。批判は聞き入れ、細かく見てみる必要があります。神様が人間を用いて、正しくし、生きるために余分な物を切り取ってくださるからです。しかし、批判の動機や中味を見ると、神様のなさろうとすることに反抗しているのかもしれません。

A: This is a lesson I have been learning the hard way. I am coming to a much better appreciation of what God said to Ezekiel: “I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint.” (Ezekiel 3:9) I need to respond like Isaiah: “ Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.” (Isaiah 50:7) I need to be sure that my allegiance and obedience are firmly in God, and let Him take care of the consequences. I must not let circumstances harden my heart, toward God or toward people, but I also must make God my refuge, and not take things personally unless God says to do so.

A: 辛い思いをして学んだ教訓です。神がエゼキエルに語った「私はあなたの額を、火打石よりも堅い金剛石のようにする。」(エゼキエル3:9)の言葉の意味がよく分かるようになりました。私はイザヤの「しかし、神である主は、私を助ける。それゆえ、私は侮辱されなかった。それゆえ、私は顔を火打石のようにし、恥を見てはならないと知った。」(イザヤ50:7)のように応えたいと思います。私は神に忠誠で従順なことを確信し、この状況を神様に委ねます。この状態で私の心が神に対しても人に対しても頑なにならないようにします。ただ神を私の避け所とし、神様のおっしゃるようにしていきます。

P: Father, thank You for all You have been bringing me through. Thank You for the various people You have brought alongside to encourage us. Thank You for Your anointing yesterday and all You enabled me to say. Thank You for my growing awareness of how wounding some words may be, particularly when they are accurate. Help me keep from wounding unnecessarily; may I always speak the truth in love. Help me be true to You in every detail, whatever the response of those around me might be. May I indeed be as a loving father to those in my charge, urging and encouraging them to live lives worthy of their place as Your children, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!



第1テサロニケ 1:1-10

S: 第1テサロニケ 1:2-3 私たちは、いつもあなたがたすべてのために神に感謝し、祈りのときにあなたがたを覚え、絶えず、私たちの父なる神の御前に、あなたがたの信仰の働き、愛の労苦、主イエス・キリストへの望みの忍耐を思い起こしています。

O: It is hardly surprising that Paul would be thankful to God for such spiritual children as this. These believers were operating in the three eternal verities mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:13: faith, love, and hope. What is most interesting about this passage is the effect these things had on their lives. Faith prompted work, doing the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:12) in obedience to the One in whom they believed. Love prompted labor, allowing God to love those around them through them, bringing them to do things that might otherwise have seemed too difficult. Hope prompted patient endurance, not complaining about circumstances but remembering that they had a reward waiting for them that would make every difficulty vanish into insignificance because it was so glorious. Any pastor would be thrilled to have a flock that lived like that!

O: パウロが、霊的な子供のことで神に感謝しているのは驚くことではありません。ここに出てくる信者たちは1コリント13:13に書いてある三つの基本を実行した人たちです。つまり、信仰、愛、希望です。この節で興味深いのは、この教えが彼らの生き方に与えた影響です。聖徒に奉仕の働きができたのは信仰があったからです。(エペソ4:12)信じているただお一人の方のために従ったからです。愛があったから働けたのです。彼らへの愛を受け入れたからです。そうでなければ彼らの奉仕はとても困難なものに見えたことでしょう。希望があれば忍耐が生まれます。状況に不平をこぼすことはありません。与えられる報酬を持ち望んでいれば、小さな問題は霧消してしまいます。栄光に比べれば取るに足りません。そういった生き方を群れにしてほしいと、どんな牧師も望んでいます。

A: Before I go accusing my flock, I need to examine my own life to see if this is the way I am living. This isn't the sort of thing that comes about by lectures! I need to encourage their faith, strive to open their eyes to the love God pours out on them, and help them understand the magnificence of the hope to which we are called. In some ways I perhaps haven't asked enough of them, because faith and love, at any rate, grow by exercise. As I was hearing recently in a message by Mike Servello, I need to call them to fasting and prayer, to help them realign their sight, their priorities and put Jesus first. I will be doing that in this morning's message, but I need to do it with God's words in God's way, or it will degenerate into an attempt at works-based righteousness, which is no righteousness at all. I am in the middle of experiencing the difficulty of a program of fasting and prayer, and I need to not take it lightly, for myself or for my flock, but rather let the Holy Spirit work His purposes in it.

A: 群れを非難する前に私自身、自分の生き方を顧みる必要があるでしょう。これは講義などで理解できるものではないのです!信者の信仰を勇気づけ、目が開き神様の愛に気付かせ、希望の素晴らしさを分かってもらえるようにしていきます。希望のために私たちは召されているのですから。どうやら私は信者にあまり尋ねてこなかったようです。と言うのも信仰も愛も実行することで成長するものだからです。Mike Servelloのメッセージを最近聞いていて、信者の視点を合わせるために、信者がイエスを第一に、断食と祈りを優先して行うよう呼びかけるべきだと感じています。今朝のメッセージでそのことを話すつもりですが、神様の方法で神様の言葉で伝えたいと思います。さもなくば真の義とならず空しい試みに終わってしまうでしょう。私自身、断食と祈りの大変さのただ中にあります。私のためにも、信者のためにも、軽んじることなく、ただ神様の目的が成就するために聖霊様に働いて頂きたいと望んでいます。

P: Father, thank You for what You are doing and for what You are allowing me to experience. Two days of just water has been surprisingly difficult, particularly considering that this isn't the first time I've done this by any means. Thank You for the idea of sports drink this morning to balance my electrolytes, and for the calf cramps that prompted it. Keep me from operating in pride in any way; rather let me listen to You in obedience in every area, focusing on You and doing Your will in Your way on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!




コロサイ 3:18- 4:6

S: コロサイ 4:5-6 部外の人に対して賢明にふるまい、機会を十分に生かして用いなさい。あなたがたのことばが、いつも親切で、塩味のきいたものであるようにしなさい。そうすれば、ひとりひとりに対する答え方がわかります。

O: Here we have a clear expression of what has been called lifestyle evangelism. If every Christian lived this way, the world would be evangelized very quickly! This is the same thing Peter was talking about in 1 Peter 3:15. If we are living with Jesus as Lord, His hope and peace and joy are going to be evident, and God is going to give us opportunities to tell people about it. We are not to overlook those opportunities, but each time respond to people with gentle, “tasty” words. Platitudes and canned presentations don't really cut it, but honest expressions of the grace and love and power of God are remarkably persuasive. Many people draw back because they think they don't know how to evangelize, but Paul says that if we will keep in mind being kind and interesting, we'll know what to say in each opportunity we are given.

O: 生き方を通しての伝道をはっきりと教えている箇所です。もしすべてのクリスチャンがここに書かれているように振る舞うならば、この世界には伝道がもっと急速に広まるでしょう。同様のことをペテロが1ペテロ3:15で述べています。イエスを主として生きるならば、イエスにある希望、平安、喜びがあるのは明らかです。人々にイエスを告げ知らせる機会となるでしょう。こうした機会を見逃さないようにしましょう。そして機会を与えられるたびに「塩味のきいた」言葉で人に応えるようにしましょう。ありきたりで型にはまった言い方ではうまくいきません。ただ神様の恵み、愛、力を誠実に伝えることの方がはるかに説得力を持っています。多くの人が伝道の仕方を知らないために、たじろぎますが、いつも親切で塩味を聞かせるように心しておくならば、与えれた伝道の機会にどのように言うべきかが分かるのだとパウロは教えています。

A: I can't say that my “success rate” at evangelism has been very high, but I do know that my hesitation to evangelize dropped to a minor fraction of what it once was after I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. That is just one more reason to desire and seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit! I desire that every believer be filled and overflowing with the Spirit, but that certainly isn't something I can accomplish by my own will or effort. I need to do all I can to let the believers know what a blessed thing it is so that they will desire and seek it, but this is very much a case of “you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.” I need to pray for each believer to desire and receive the baptism and continual filling of the Holy Spirit, for many reasons but certainly including effective evangelism, to bring many people into the Family of God.


P: Father, thank You for this reminder especially when I am in a season of particular prayer. Everyone being filled with Your Spirit would indeed take care of virtually all of the problems any church is facing! Guide my prayers today so that I may line up more and more fully with Your will, for me and for this church. May Your name be hallowed and Your kingdom come as Your will is done, right here as perfectly as it is in heaven, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!



コロサイ 3:1-17

S: コロサイ 3:13 互いに忍び合い、だれかがほかの人に不満を抱くことがあっても、互いに赦し合いなさい。主があなたがたを赦してくださったように、あなたがたもそうしなさい。

O: This passage as a whole is so loaded with good stuff that I had some trouble choosing a verse, but this one indeed speaks to me most strongly. The fact of the matter is, the Church is made up of human beings, and as such we are imperfect and generate friction. That in itself is part of God's plan, because such friction knocks off the rough places in our hearts and makes us more like Christ, as it says in Proverbs 27:17. Problems arise when we fail to understand that process and hold grudges against one another. As I have said many times from the pulpit, when we really understand how the Lord has forgiven us, forgiving each other becomes much easier. However, we must understand that this whole forgiveness business isn't optional. Refusing to forgive is rebellion against God, and the consequences are grave. The Japanese in this verse really gets down to where the rubber hits the road when it says, “If one person is dissatisfied with another.” Somehow we understand the need for forgiveness better with big things, when often it is the accumulation of little things that destroys relationships. As keeps coming up in these readings on “in Christ,” there is a big difference between permitting and forgiving. There are many things that aren't OK, but we still need to forgive them.

O: この章全体がよい内容を含んでいるので、一節を選ぶのが難しかったのですが、その中でここに書いている御言葉が強く私の心に響きました。実際、教会とは不完全で摩擦を生み出す人間の集まりです。箴言27:17に書かれているように、私たちの心にある不快な部分を消し、よりキリストに似た者にされるのですから、これも神様の御計画の一部なのでしょう。その過程が理解できず、互いに悪意を持っていると問題が生じます。説教で何度も教えてきたことですが、主がどれほど私たちを赦して下さったかを真に理解できれば、互いに赦し合うことははるかにたやすくなります。しかし、それにもやはり、赦すことは任意でないことを心しておくべきでしょう。赦さずにいることは神への反逆であり、その結果は深刻です。今日の御言葉の日本語「だれかがほかの人に不満を抱くことがあっても」は、まさにその意味の凝縮した表現です。しばしば些細なことの積み重ねで関係が壊れてしまうのですが、大きな事でなら、尚更赦さなくてはいけません。「キリストの内に」の聖書日課をしていると許しと赦しの意味の大きな違いを思います。許可を与えるべきでないことは沢山あるのですが、人を赦すことはせねばなりません。

A: In immediate terms, I've got to practice forgiving those who won't forgive me. A little bit of self-examination reveals many hurts and slights, and I've got to apply the forgiveness that I have received in Christ to each one of those. The more serious I get about prayer and intercession, the more specific and comprehensive I must be in forgiving. I cannot directly change anyone, but I can choose to forgive, and that will change me in ways that are pleasing to God. As a Christian and as a pastor, this is one of my biggest issues. Salvation itself is a matter of recognizing our need and God's provision, and accepting God's forgiveness. The life of faith is a matter of applying that forgiveness in all the details of life. I strive to help the believers understand that, but it cannot be done without the power of the Holy Spirit.

A: 目下の問題として、私を赦そうとしない人たちを赦すことをせねばなりません。自己評価を少ししただけでも、多くの人を傷つけ、軽視していたことに気づきます。キリストの内に頂いたのと同じ赦しで、互いに赦し合うべきなのです。祈りととりなしを懸命にすればするほど、私がより具体的に広範に赦さなくてはならないことが分かります。私が人を変えることなどできませんが、赦す選択ならできます。神様を喜ばせる選です。それによって私も多くの点で変えられます。クリスチャンとして牧師として、これは私の抱える最大の問題の一つです。救い自体は神の計画であり、人が認めることであり、神の赦しをいただくことです。信仰ある生き方とは赦しのこころを暮らしのあらゆる部分に応用することなのです。これを信者に分かってもらうことは本当に大変ですが、聖霊様の力がないとできないことなのです。

P: Father, thank You for doing all things well. Thank You for loving and forgiving me, and for making that same forgiveness available to everyone around me. Help me be an open channel for that forgiveness to flow, so that eyes may be opened, wounds may be healed, and people set free to receive and delight in Your full salvation, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

P: 父よ。全てに働いてくださって有難うございます。私を愛し赦して下さって有難うございます。同じように私が周囲の人を赦せることを感謝します。私があなたの赦しを溢れさせ,流し出し、皆の目が開かれますように。傷が癒されますように。人々が解放され、あなたの救いを頂き喜んでいられますように。あなたのご栄光のために。有難うございます。ハレルヤ!



コロサイ 2:6-23

S: コロサイ 2:6-7 あなたがたは、このように主キリスト・イエスを受け入れたのですから、彼にあって歩みなさい。キリストの中に根ざし、また建てられ、また、教えられたとおり信仰を堅くし、あふれるばかり感謝しなさい。

O: This whole passage is deep and worthy of considerable meditation and assimilation. (Though I mis-typed it in the printed Scripture list as 2:2-23.) It touches on several important facets of Christian faith and practice. However, all of those can be summarized as they are in these two verses. Just as in this church's Scripture for the year (Ephesians 5:8), we are urged to walk out our faith and not leave it as theoretical philosophy. Being rooted in Christ means to study Him through the Bible, to meditate on Him and make Him the basis for every decision and action. Being built up in Him means receiving all that God has done and provided for us in Christ: guidance, healing, deliverance, faith, hope, love, joy, and all the rest. We need to let our faith be strengthened through exercise, and not yield to the many pressures to weaken or even abandon it. And the last point is an important one: we need to be thankful. Forgetting to express thanks to God and to the people around us allows thankfulness itself to cool, and that can be devastating to our appreciation and enjoyment of life, not to mention our relationships with those toward whom we should be thankful.

O: 熟考し心に取り入れるのに相応しい内容を含んだ章です。(聖書日課では間違って2:2~23と書いてしまっていました。)クリスチャン信仰と慣行に大切な側面を教えてくれている節です。全文に書かれていることは上述の二節に集約できるでしょう。教会の今年の聖句に似ていますね。(エペソ5:8)つまり、私たちは信仰によって歩むべきで、神学的哲学の領域によるべきではないということです。キリストに根づくこととは聖書を通してキリストを学ぶことであり、イエスについて思いを馳せ、行いを決める基盤とすべきことです。キリストのうちに建て上げられる事の意味は、キリストを通して神様の準備されたことを頂くことです。導き、癒し、解放、信仰、希望、合い、喜びなどです。信仰は実行によって強められます。プレッシャーに負け、信仰が弱まり、失くすべきではありません。大切なのはこの御言葉の最後にある「感謝しなさい」の箇所です。神様や周囲の人への感謝の心を忘れると、感謝する思いが冷え切り、さらに人生を喜び、大切に思うことができなくなります。当然、本来は感謝すべき人に対しても、感謝の心を失くしてしまうでしょう。

A: As Paul said about himself, (1 Corinthians 9:27) I need to be careful that I don't teach others and then fail to follow through myself. I feel like I don't express appreciation enough to those around me, and that has generated a number of problems. I need to see to it that I overflow with thankfulness, just as this says. I see so many people who effectively cage themselves in by failing to recognize and be thankful for the blessings that are poured out on them. A sense of entitlement can wreck our appreciation for life itself, because we take everything for granted. If our attitude is, of course people are nice to me, then we are easily offended by real and even imagined slights. If our attitude is, of course I have nice food and clothing and luxuries, then we are always dissatisfied and forever chasing more. I do better at this sometimes than at other times, and I need to keep watch over my heart. As a pastor I need to lead by admonition, encouragement and example, so that everyone in the church may come into the joyful life of thankfulness that God intends.

A: パウロが自身について話しているように(1コリント9:27)、人に教えず私自身が落伍することのないように気をつけているべきでしょう。私は周囲の人に対して十分に感謝を表して来なかったような気がします。そのために沢山の問題が生じてきました。今日の御言葉にあるように、あふれるばかりの感謝を示していきたいと思っています。注がれている祝福に気づかず、感謝できないために、自らを檻に閉じ込めてしまっている人をあまりにも沢山、私は見てきました。全てを当たり前に思ってしまうと、特権さえも当然に思え、感謝する心を失わってしまいます。人は私によくしてくれますが態度次第で、私たちは現実にも些細なことへの思い込みに対してでも憤慨してしまいがちです。私は食事も着る物も贅沢品もそこそこに持っていますが、私たちはすぐに飽き足らなくなり、さらに欲しがってしまうものです。こうしたことに関して私はよく出来たり、時にそうでなかったりしますが、常に自分の心にしっかり留意しておかなくてはいけません。牧師として私は戒め、励まし、手本となりながら指導すべきです。そうすることで教会内の誰もが感謝に満ちた喜びある生き方ができるのです。それを神様は意図しておられるのです。

P: Father, forgive me for focusing on difficulties rather than on blessings. This is indeed something I have taught repeatedly from the pulpit, yet I'm far from perfect in it myself. Thank You for the snow yesterday that completely disrupted our anticipated schedule. Thank You for that reminder that we are in Your hands and shouldn't get too set on what we think we are going to do. Thank You for the playing in the snow we were able to do, and the good pictures I got. Guide me today in getting around and in accepting the schedule You have for me. May I indeed overflow with thankfulness today and each day, so that I won't miss anything of what You have for me and You will be glorified. Thank You. Praise God!




コロサイ 1:24- 2:5

S: コロサイ 1:28-29 私たちは、このキリストを宣べ伝え、知恵を尽くして、あらゆる人を戒め、あらゆる人を教えています。それは、すべての人を、キリストにある成人として立たせるためです。このために、私はまた、自分のうちうに力強く働くキリストの力によって、労苦しながら奮闘しています。

O: In several places Paul expresses his calling in concise form, and this example is very clear and to the point. I prefer the Japanese to the English here, because I think it is less confusing. In the first place, Paul used all the wisdom he had (not all the wisdom that exists) to admonish and teach everyone with whom he came in contact. I also like it very much that the Japanese expresses it that his goal was to “set people up as adults (mature people) in Christ.” When the English uses “perfect” there it invites all sorts of misunderstanding. The Lord had me speak on growth/maturity this past Sunday, and it is an issue of vital importance in the Church throughout the world. Immaturity robs so many people of the victory, peace and joy that God has for them! A second point of great importance here is that, whereas Paul was certainly putting a lot of effort into his work, it was the power of Christ, rather than Paul's personal power, that was getting the job done. “Presenting everyone mature in Christ” is certainly beyond the strength and ability of any human being!


A: Once again, this is highly applicable in my own life, because this is my own calling as well. I cannot force anyone to mature, but I can admonish and teach with all the wisdom God has placed in me, and that is what I intend to do. I have no strength for the task, but I know that Christ is in me by His Spirit, and He certainly has all the strength necessary. I must not be presumptuous, but neither should I despair, because it is the Body of Christ that is involved, and He has said that He will build His Church.

A: この御言葉も私自身も生き方に深く応用できるものです。私への召しそのものだからです。私の力で人の成熟を強制することなどできませんが、神から頂いた知恵を用いて諫め、教えることならできます。そしてそれこそがまさしく私のやりたいことです。私は働きのための強さを持ち合わせてはいません。しかし、聖霊によって私の内にキリストがおられ、必要な強さを与えてくださることを知っています。おこがましくあってはいけません。落胆してもいけません。キリストの体に関することです。キリストが御自身の教会を建てるとおっしゃっているのです。

P: Father, thank You again for Your plans and Your encouragement. Thank You for all You are taking us through. Thank You for the assurance that I am not off-track, nor are my labors in vain. Help me listen to You carefully and obey You accurately and fully, holding nothing back, so that all of Your plans may be fulfilled on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

P: 父よ、あなたの御計画と励ましに心から感謝します。私たちになさっている全てに感謝します。t私が道から逸れていないことの確信、働きが無駄でないことの確信を有難うございます。あなたの声に耳を澄まし、相応しく十分にあなたに従えますように。決してひるむことのありませんように。あなたの御計画が時宜にかなって成就できますように。あなたのご栄光のために。感謝します。ハレルヤ!



コロサイ 1:15-23

S: コロサイ 1:21-22 あなたがたも、かつては神を離れ、心において敵となって、悪い行いの中にあったのですが、今は神は、御子の肉のからだにおいて、しかしその死によって、あなたがたをご自分と和解させてくださいました。それはあなたがたを、聖く、傷なく、非難されるところのない者として御前に立たせてくださるためでした。

O: This certainly takes more words to say in Japanese than in English! That's yet another indication that the truths of the Gospel are hard to express and communicate in Japanese because the conceptual framework is often simply not there. However, that doesn't change the value of the Gospel, nor the imperative to communicate it to as many people as possible. This particular passage, if understood, is deeply comforting and encouraging, but for it to be so we have to acknowledge that we were enemies of God. That goes beyond understanding to the point of accepting responsibility and confessing guilt. Those aren't common qualities these days, with pop psychology excusing everything as being the result of external events or influences. Pop psychology will certainly never save anyone from eternal judgment! Excusing wrong actions isn't love, but neither is failure to forgive. That whole issue is a major problem in this culture because of the confusion, brought on by different Chinese characters that have the same reading in Japanese, between permitting and forgiving. If we don't acknowledge that our actions and attitudes are something God cannot excuse, then we can't accept His forgiveness. That statement is probably incomprehensible to most Japanese, certainly non-Christians and sadly, probably to a lot of Christians.

O: 英語よりも日本語の方が語数が沢山あります。これもまた、日本語で福音の真実を表現し、伝えることの難しさを示すものです。骨格となる概念がしばしば日本語で表現できないからです。かと言ってそれで、福音の価値が変わるわけではありませんし、依然として多くの人に伝えなくてはいけません。理解できれば、この節が深い慰めと励ましであるのが分かるでしょう。その理解のためには、かつて私たちが神を離れた敵であったことを認めなくてはなりません。責任を受け入れ、罪を告白すると言う以上の意味合いを持っています。通俗の心理学では、全ては外界の出来事、影響を受けた結果なのだと教えています。そのために、もはや責任、罪の告白は薄れてしまっています。世俗的な心理学で、永遠の裁きから人を救うことなど決してできません。間違った行動を言い訳にするのは愛ではありません。そして赦さないことも愛ではありません。この国にある文化的な大きな問題は、漢字の同音異義語である「許し」と「赦し」の混乱から来ています。もし、私たちの行い、態度が神様に弁明できないものであるならば、それは神様からの赦しを頂けないことになります。こうした表現は恐らく殆どの日本人にとって理解しがたいものでしょう。特にノンクリスチャンにとっては、なおさらでしょう。さらに悲しいことに多くのクリスチャンにとってさえも、分かってもらえないのでしょう。

A: I've got to be realistic about the challenges that face me, but at the same time not despair. As an evangelist I have the tremendous disadvantage of never having been where my hearers are, spiritually, emotionally and culturally. That's why I've got to depend on the Holy Spirit in every detail, because there is no other hope of the message getting through to where it will really set people free. On a practical scale, the temptation to give up is never far away. I feel like the writer of Hebrews, who was teaching deep and important truths but found his hearers lacked the proper foundation. (Hebrews 5:11- 6:3) I need to raise up (or rather, God needs to raise up) Japanese believers as evangelists and pastors for there to be any efficiency in communicating the truth of the Gospel in this nation.

A: 私は直面している問題に現実的になるべきですが、落胆してもいけません。伝道者として私は大変不利な条件がありすぎるのです。聞く人が霊的、感情的、文化的に整えられていないのですから。だからこそ、あらゆる点で聖霊様に頼らざるを得ないのです。人々を解放するためのメッセージは、それ以外に望みがないからです。現実的には諦めてしまいたい思いがなくもありません。ヘブル書で、深く重要な教えをした人が、聞き手に神の言葉の初歩ができていないことを嘆く箇所があります。(ヘブル5:11~6:3)これが、私の今の心情です。私は、日本の信者を伝道者として、牧者として、この国に福音を伝えるために、私は立ち上がらせたい(神様が同じ思い)思いです。

P: Father, thank You for all that is going on and all You have been teaching me in these days. Thank You for the assurance that You have indeed called and appointed me to be a spokesman for You in Japan. Without that assurance I would have given up a long time ago! Help me continue to grow as a communicator, but keep me from deviating either from Your truth or from the commission You have given me. Help me keep my eyes on You and my ears tuned to You at all times, so that the Body of Christ in Japan may be built up according to Your plan, on Your schedule, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

P: 父よ。最近、私にこのことを学ぶ機会を与えてくださり有難うございます。あなたを日本に告げ知らせる広報官としての使命を私に与えてくださり有難うございます。その召しを確信しています。その確信がなかったら、もうとっくの昔に投げ出していたことでしょう。宣べ伝える者としてますます成長し、あなたの真実とあなたからの付託に堅く立ち、逸脱することのないようお守りください。常にあなたに目を向け、耳をすましていられますように。御計画通りに、時宜にかなって、日本でキリストの体が建て上げられますように。あなたのご栄光のために。感謝します。ハレルヤ!


コロサイ 1:1-14

S: コロサイ 1:9 絶えずあなたがたのために祈り求めています。どうか、あなたがたがあらゆる霊的な知恵と理解力によって、神のみこころに関する真の知識に満たされますように。

O: No one can force anyone else to gain wisdom and understanding. There is such a thing as impartation, but there must be an open heart to receive. That is one of many reasons prayer is vitally important. Information may be shared, but it often doesn't penetrate. Jesus' parable of the sower and the seed again comes to mind, with the seed that was scattered on the road and was quickly eaten by the birds. Anyone who is charged with communicating the truths of God must spend much time in prayer, and needs the support of others praying for him, so that the words that are spoken may penetrate the various layers of ignorance and preconception that will be encountered. We all have those areas of ignorance and preconception, so there is no room for pride in this area, and the help of the Holy Spirit is essential. Prayer and a humble spirit are prerequisites for effective communication of the truths of God.

O: 人が人に知恵と理解を与えることなどできません。教えることならできるでしょうが、それでも心を開かねば得ることはできません。祈りがとても重要な理由である所以です。情報は分かち合うべきですが,完全に心に沁み込まないことも往々にしてあります。イエスの種まきの喩えを、またしても思い出します。道に落ちた種がすぐに鳥に食べられたというあのくだりです。神の真実に与る者は誰しも祈りに多くの時間を費やすべきです。加えて、人の祈りにより支えてもらうべきです。そうすることで、御言葉が複雑に絡み合った無知と思い込みに沁み込んでいくでしょう。人はみな、無知と先入観を持っています。ですからプライドを持てる領域ではありません。ただ聖霊様の助けこそが不可欠なのです。祈りと謙虚な霊は、真実なる神と上手に思いを伝え合うための必須条件なのです。

A: I certainly deal with this constantly. A simple statement of objective fact can take several repetitions before it penetrates, especially if it is something the hearer hadn't previously imagined. Much more so the truths of God's kingdom! As Paul said, spiritual truths are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14) If I am to have any effectiveness in communicating the truth that is revealed to me, I've got to pray for the Spirit's operation in the hearts of my hearers. Otherwise, my words are easily misconstrued or simply not really heard in the first place. The other side of that is that I also need to pray for understanding of what is said to me. Words are dangerous things, laden with emotional baggage. Without the help of the Holy Spirit I have no hope of real communication in either direction.

A: いつも私はこの事を取り扱っています。対象となることを言葉にしてを数回繰り返し、心に沁み入るのです。聞いている人がそれまで思いもよらなかった事の場合ならなおさらです。神の御国そ真実ならなおさらそうです!パウロが霊的真実は霊的ばわきまえがある(1コリント2:14)とパウロは教えています。私に啓示された真実をきちんと伝えるのならば、聞く人の心に御霊が働いてくださるように祈らなくてはいけません。そうしないならば、私の言葉はすぐに曲解されるか、まず話を聞いてもらえないかのいずれかになるでしょう。さらに私に語られたことを理解できるように祈るべきです。言葉は危険性をはらんでいます。感情的な重荷を含んでいるのです。聖霊様の助けなくして、いずれの方向にせよ、私は真にコミュニケーションをとることができません。

P: Father, thank You for Your grace. We all need it! Help me spend the time in prayer that is called for, so that hearts and minds may be prepared to receive what You speak through me. Thank You for the rich, blessed service last night, for the hearts that were open and for how You spoke to those hearts. Thank You for the reminder that, weak and foolish though I am, You can, do, and will use me to pour Your gracious blessings out on those who have hearts to receive. I pray that we would all have the right attitude before You, which will generate the right attitude toward one another, so that all that You desire and intend may be accomplished in and through us, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!




ピリピ 4:10-23

S: ピリピ 4:11-13 私は、どんな境遇にあっても満ち足りることを学びました。私は、貧しさの中にいる道も知っており、豊かさの中にいる道も知っています。また、飽くことにも飢えることにも、富むことにも乏しいことにも、あらゆる境遇に対処する秘訣を心得ています。私は、私を強くしてくださる方によって、どんなことでもできるのです。

O: Probably few verses in the whole Bible have been taken out of context more consistently than verse 13. Paul isn't even beginning to say that “In Christ, I am Superman,” which is the way a lot of people try to read this verse. Rather, he is saying that Christ gives him endurance to deal with any situation. That certainly doesn't sound like Superman! This passage brings to mind Jesus' parable of the sower and the seeds (Matthew 13). Paul's heart was neither rocky nor choked with weeds; he could deal with hardship, persecution, temp­tation and distraction. We don't like to hear about such things, but they are part of life on this earth. The point is, unless we accept the strength God gives us, we can't hope to stand firm in the face of all that comes against us. Paul isn't being cocky, he's saying that God is faithful.

O: 聖書全体を通して13節ほど堅実で一貫した箇所は恐らくないでしょう。多くの人が、パウロは「キリストにあって私はスーパーマンだ」と言っているように捉えていますが、パウロ自身はそうは言っていません。どのような状況にあっても耐える力をキリストによって与えられたとパウロは伝えているのです。自分がスーパーマンだなどと言っているわけではありません。この個所はイエスの種まき人の喩えを思い出させます。(マタイ13)パウロの心が頑なだったり無秩序に苛立っていたわけでもありません。むしろ困難、迫害、誘惑、混乱の元を対処することができていました。勿論、私たちはそのようなことを好みませんが、確かにそれらもこの地上を構成する一部です。神様の力を頂かなければ、私たちに向かってくる敵に固く立ち直面することができません。それがここでのポイントです。パウロが横柄だったのはなく、ただ神様が真実な方であると教えているのです。

A: I too have been guilty of taking verse 13 out of context at times, but age and experience have given me a little wisdom, at any rate. I know there is nothing God will bring me to that He won't take me through, and I need to rest in that assurance. There are lots of things I'd rather not face, which is why heaven looks better all the time, but I know that God will not allow anything in my life that He cannot use for my good and His glory, if I will submit myself and my circumstances to Him. That is a message I try to communicate to others, but often they don't have the ears to hear it. We like miracles of deliverance, when sometimes God wants to do a miracle of endurance! We need to trust Him and give Him the praise, worship, and thanks He deserves.


P: Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me stay aware of this truth at all times so that I won't be whipped around by my emotional response to things. Help me also communicate this truth with patient persistence, not putting people down when they don't get it, but interceding for them with the grace that You have poured out on me. I pray that I and those You have placed in my care may all stand firm to the end, resisting the devil and destroying His works simply by not yielding to them, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!




ピリピ 4:2-9

S: ピリピ 4:2-3 ユウデアに勧め、スントケに勧めます。あなたがたは、主にあって一致してください。ほんとうに、真の協力者よ。あなたにも勧めます。彼女たちを助けてやってください。この人たちは、いのちの書に名のしるされているクレメンスや、そのほかの私の同労者たちとともに、福音を広めることで私に協力して戦ったのです。

O: I have certainly been aware that these verses existed, but I can't say I've ever been aware of God speaking to me through them before. What hits me most strongly is that the two women, whatever their disagreement, were without question saved, and had “fought the good fight” alongside Paul. One or both of them was wrong on some issue, but that didn't threaten their salvation. There are disagreements that touch on salvation, such as when someone wanders into rank heresy like universalism, but I would say the majority of disagreements in the Church aren't on that level at all. Our enemy the devil delights to take insignificant things and blow them up until they cause division, and we have to be on our guard against that. It is a sign of emotional and spiritual immaturity to be prickly about things, taking offense and being defensive, but none of us can claim perfect maturity. God allows things in our lives to point out areas in which we need to grow, so that we will more perfectly reflect Christ to the world around us.

O: この節のあることは知っていましたが、これまでこの御言葉を通して神様が私に語っておられるとは気がついていませんでした。最も強く心を打たれるのはここに出てくる二人の女性です。不一致があろうとも、彼女たちの救いは確かで、パウロと「協力して戦った」のです。二人の内のどちらか、あるいは二人ともに対して問題がなくはないのですが、それでも救いは確固としています。万人救済説に見られるような異端的思考を始め、救いに関しては反対の声がありますが、教会にある不一致の大半はそういったレベルから来ているものではないと思います。敵である悪魔が些細なことで人を攪拌し分裂を生じさせるのです。ですから心して気をつけていましょう。怒りやすかったり、傷つけたり、防衛的であったりするのは、情緒的、霊的に未熟なことを示すものです。もっとも完全に成熟し平穏でいられる人などいませんが。私たちに成長すべき点を神様を示してくださいます。周囲にキリストをより完全に映し出す者となるためにです。

A: This is certainly a current issue with me! I'm thankful for the degree to which God has enabled me to mature, but I still recognize defensiveness and irritability in various areas in myself. Yesterday was a good example, when I was out of sorts because of frustration with a computer-related problem. I don't like to not have the answers, and that can make me hard to live with. At the same time, as a pastor I need to work at helping the people under my care to mature, getting along with each other and reflecting Christ. I have no room for pride, but I have both authority and responsibility to deal with disagreements and frictions in the church, so that the works of the devil may be defeated and God may be glorified.


P: Father, this is certainly an area in which I know I have to rely on You! You have spoken to me several times about the authority You have given to me, but I have been very hesitant to exercise it and the flock has suffered as a result. I have been depending on my own wisdom, and since that is obviously inadequate, I have failed to act. Help me be submitted to You sufficiently for Your authority to flow through me with pinpoint accuracy, to extricate people from the traps of the devil and build up the Body of Christ, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

P: 父よ。これはあなたに頼るべき領域です。あなたが私に与えてくださった権威について数回、語ってくださいました。しかし、それでも私はその権威を行使するのをためらっています。その結果。群れが困っているのです。私は自分の知恵に頼っていました。そしてそれが不十分だったのは明白です。失敗しています。あなたの権威が私を通して行使され、的確に働くよう、あなたにしっかりと従うよう助けてください。悪魔の罠から人々を解放し、キリストの体を建て上げるためにです。あなたのご栄光のために。感謝します。神様を賛美します!


ピリピ 3:15- 4:1

S: ピリピ 4:1 そういうわけですから、私の愛し慕う兄弟たち、私の喜び、冠よ。どうか、このように主にあってしっかりと立ってください。私の愛する人たち。

O: Paul's admonitions, however strong, were always in love, desiring that people be strong in Christ. He had seen enough people fall away to break his heart, and he really didn't want to see any more of it. He was particularly close to the people of Philippi, for various reasons, and he earnestly wanted them to appropriate all that God had done for them in Christ.

O: パウロはいつも強く戒めていますが、いつも愛ある言葉です。人々がキリストにあって強められるように望みが込められています。パウロは多くの人が去り、そのため彼は心を痛めていました。もうこれ以上、人が去るのに耐えられませんでした。パウロはとりわけピリピの人と親しかったのですが、神がキリストにあって彼らのためになさったことに相応しい者とななることを心から望んでいたのです。

A: Once again I feel enormous empathy with Paul on this point. Over my years of ministry I have, sad to say, seen a number of people fall away, and I don't want any more to do so! In keeping with that, and actually in priority over it, I desire that the believers understand, believe, and rejoice in all that God has done for them in Christ. I see such ignorance in the Church as a whole of the basic tenets of faith, and I understand the dangers of that. As it says in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” I feel that I do better than some shepherds in teaching this flock, but there is still so much that I want the believers to appropriate and practice even here, and there seems to be even more need in the wider Church. I must not think for a moment that I can do it in my own strength, much less do it by myself, but I must be faithful with the flock that has been entrusted to me, depending fully on the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

A: ここでもまた、私はパウロに大きく共感してしまいます。私はミニストリーをもう何年もやっていますが、その間、残念なことに教会を去っていった人が多くいます。もうこれ以上、人が去るのを私は見たくないのです。それと並行して、いえ、それ以上に、神様がキリストを通してなさったことを信者に理解し、信じ、喜んで欲しいのです。教会内で個人的教義に基づき真理をないがしろにすると危険なことになります。ホセヤ4:6で「私の民は知識がないので滅ぼされる」と書かれているとおりです。私は群れに教えることでは、他の牧者よりよくやれていると思いますが、信者には神に相応しく、実行する者となってほしいのです。大きな教会ではもっとそうした必要があるようですが。私が自分の強さでできるなどと一瞬たりとも思ってはいけません。ましてや自力でやれるなど不可能です。ただ私にできるのは、群れに心から誠実に接し、信頼を築くことです。そのためには、勿論偉大な牧者、イエス・キリストに頼るのみです。

P: Father, thank You for the burden You have given me to see Your people in Japan appropriate what You have done for them in Christ. Thank You for the awareness that there is no way I can cause them to do that by my own effort. Help me be totally submitted to You, faithfully doing all that You show me and tell me to do, so that Your desires that You have shared with me may be fulfilled, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!



ピリピ 3:1-14

S: ピリピ 3:4, 7 ただし、私は、人間的なものにおいても頼むところがあります。もし、ほかの人が人間的なものに頼むところがあると思うなら、私は、それ以上です。しかし、私にとって得であったこのようなものをみな、私はキリストのゆえに、損と思うようになりました。

O: There will always be those who will apply humanistic, materialistic, or legalistic yardsticks to themselves and others. Paul's point in the passage as a whole is that such thinking is ultimately foolish. God in His wisdom gave Paul such credentials precisely so that he could stand firm against such foolishness, because if he had done so as a less “qualified” person, he would have been accused of jealousy or sour grapes. No one has anything God hasn't given him, and for everyone the only entry to God the Father is through Christ Jesus the son. The minute we start setting other things up as making someone more or less qualified for salvation or intimacy with God, we have forgotten His grace and are on very shaky ground indeed.

O: 人間的、物質的、法的な物差しに自身や人を当てはめる人はいつもいるでしょう。この節でのパウロの見方は、そうした考えは全く愚かであると教えています。神様の知恵がパウロにそのような特質を与え、愚かさに対して固く立つことができたのでした。もし、パウロが神からの「信任」を与えられていなかったとしたら、妬みと負け惜しみで責められていたことでしょう。全ては神から与えられたものですが、父なる神に近づく唯一の道は、御子キリスト・イエスを通してしかなされません。ですから誰かを何かに建て上げた途端に救いを受けることと神との交わりが弱まってしまい、神様の恵みを忘れ、土台から揺らぐことになるのです。

A: This is another area in which I feel a lot of empathy with Paul. All four of my grandparents were college graduates. One of my grandfathers was the highly respected pastor of a large church and the other was a seminary professor, founding the oldest continuing Missions Department in the world. My parents committed to foreign missions individually and didn't get married until they had been missionaries for a few years. My father had his PhD degree at age 23 and went on to found the University Department of a very highly respected school, being awarded by the emperor of Japan for that upon his death, and in the process started two solidly successful churches. I don't talk about that background very much because people often find it intimidating, and as Paul said, it is beside the point. Actually, I was blinded by that heritage to the point that I didn't really understand my personal need for a right relationship with God, until He so graciously tapped me on the shoulder and showed me a mirror. I am, and should be, profoundly grateful for the heritage I have, but taking personal pride in it, as though it made me “better” than others, would be the height of stupidity. I feel that to this point I have been a mediocre steward at best of such a heritage, and I have actually found it a hindrance at times in communicating the Gospel, because my thought patterns are so different from someone who wasn't raised in a faith environment. I need to submit myself and everyone else to Christ, recognizing that the ground is indeed level at the foot of the cross.

A:ここでもパウロに共感を覚える箇所です。私の祖父、祖母4人ともが大学を出ています。祖父の一人は大きな教会の高名な牧師でした。もう一人の祖父は神学校の教授で、最古のMissions Departmentの創設者です。現存する団体です。両親とも海外宣教に献身し、宣教数年後して結婚しました。父は博士号を23歳で取得し、大変優秀な大学の学部を創設しました。死去に際しては日本天皇より表彰を受けています。そうした過程で確固として成功した二つの教会を始めました。私はこうした背景をあまり語りません。と言うのも、人はしばしば驚いてしまうからです。そしてそれは確かにパウロが言うように的外れなことだからです。私は先祖から受け継いだもののために神様との正しい関係が必要なことに気がつきませんでした。それがようやくできたのは、恵み深い神様が私の肩をつついて鏡を見るように教えてくださった時でした。確かに先祖からの遺産を心から深く感謝すべきでしたが、そうした自慢は、つい自分は人よりも”秀でている”と思わせてしまうものです。何と愚かな高慢だったことでしょうか。今は普通の牧者なのだ思えるようになり、受け継いだものが福音を伝える妨げになっているとさえ思えるようになりました。信仰を持たない環境に育った人と私の思考パターンがあまりにも違いすぎるからです。十字架に足元にある土台がしっかりと平坦であることを心し、私自身をキリストに捧げていきます。

P: Father, thank You for Your incredible graciousness toward me. Help me not take that lightly, but walk in gratitude and obedience. Like Paul, keep me from ever thinking I have “arrived” in any sense of the word, until I am before Your throne indeed. May I never “coast,” but rather be diligent in my obedience on every level, so that all of Your purposes for me may be fulfilled for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

P: 父よ。私への信じられないほどの恵みを感謝します。そのことを軽んじることなく、感謝と従順さで歩めますように。パウロのように、私もまた、あなたの御座の御前に出るまでは、どんな意味合いでも「到達した」などと思うことのありませんように。「楽にやれる」などと思うことのありませんように。むしろ、どの段階においてもあなたに従いながら勤勉でありますように。あなたが私に持っておられる御意志が成就しますように。あなたのご栄光のために。感謝します。ハレルヤ!


ピリピ 2:12-30

S: ピリピ 2:12-13

O: Verse 13 has long been a favorite of mine, but even though I learned it in English, which grammatically links it to verse 12, I didn't make that connection in my thinking. Verse 12 tells us to strive toward our salvation with fear and trembling. By itself, that statement might do damage to our assurance of salvation! However, Paul's point is not that we have to do it ourselves, it is that we should willingly cooperate with what God is doing in and through us. To me the Japanese for verse 13 lacks the punch the English has, but I don't know how to improve it. What it is saying is that God generates both the desire and the follow-through in us so that we are enabled to do His will. For any genuine Christian, that is good news indeed!

O: 13節は長い間、私の好きな箇所です。英語で覚えたのですが、文法的に見て12節と繋がっています。もっとも私の考えではそうではありませんが。12節では恐れおののいて自分の救いに励めとあります。ここだけを見ると、このは表現は救いの確信を危うくさせるものです!しかし、パウロが言いたかったのは、自分たちによる救いではなく、進んで神様のなさることに協力し共に努めることでした。日本語の13節は、私には英語表現ほどのパンチが聞いていないように思えますが、仕方がないことでしょう。ここでの教えは、神は望みと達成を私たちの内に生み出してくださるということです。そうすることで御心を行えるでしょう。真のクリスチャンにとって耳新しく素晴らしい知らせです!

A: I have long been comforted by verse 13 and have made it part of my faith declarations, but I need to do better in communicating it to other believers. So many believers lose hope of ever becoming really Christ-like, not realizing that the very desire to become Christ-like is a gift and work of God. I say it often, but I need to get through to them that the Holy Spirit is faithful to point out specific areas in which we need to repent, but He never issues blanket condemnations; those come only from the devil. The devil is the author of every statement like “You're hopeless.” God is the author of hope, not despair. I need to deliver the message of hope to every believer so that they will be able to stand against the devil, in obedience to God.

A: 13節には長い間、心を慰められましたし、私の信仰の支えの一部とも言えるでしょう。この御言葉を他の信者と、もっと伝え合いたいと思います。キリストに似た者となる希望を多くの信者が失くしてしまっています。キリストに似た者となりたいと願うのは、神の働きと賜物であることに気がついていないのです。そのことを私は、しばしば教えているのですが、真実な方である聖霊様が私たちの悔い改めるべき点を示して下さること、決して罪定めばかりの方ではないことを、人に分かってもらわねばなりません。こうした誤った考えは悪魔から来ているのです。「お前なんてもう絶望的さ」といった考えを植え込むのは悪魔の仕業です。希望を与えてくださる方は神です。失望をお与えになることはありません。希望のメッセージを信者一人ひとりに私は伝えていきます。信者が悪魔に立ち向かい、神様に従って行けるようにするためです。

P: Father, help me remember this not only for myself but also for the members of the flock. Help me be faithful in my ministry to them, but trust You with them at the same time. Help me remember that I can't generate motivation and follow-through in them; I can only admonish and encourage. Help me remember that today with those I will be with. They are probably more disappointed with themselves that I am disappointed with them! Show me how to be the encouragement they need, so that they may rejoice to welcome Your work in them, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

P:  父よ。私のためだけでなく、群れのためにも、この教えを覚えていられますように。ミニストリーが心から誠実に行えますように。彼らをあなたに託しきることができますように。信者にモチベーションを持たせ、実行させる力が私にないことを覚えているように助けてください。ただ私にできるのは、諌め、勇気づけていくことのみです。今日も一日、そのことを心していられるように助けてください。私が彼らに落胆するよりも、恐らく、さらに彼らは自身に落胆するでしょうから!彼らに必要な励ましを示してください。彼らがあなたを心に受け入れ喜べるためにです。あなたのご栄光のために。感謝します。神様を賛美します!



ピリピ 2:1-11

S: ピリピ 2:1 こういうわけですから、もしキリストにあって励ましがあり、愛の慰めがあり、御霊の交わりがあり、愛情とあわれみがあるなら、

O: Paul is building up a rock-solid argument here by making a list of things that every believer in Christ should have. The result is a check list by which we can evaluate our own spiritual condition. Paul is pleading for unity among believers, which was a problem then as it is now. When there is a lack of unity, each party needs to do an honest self-evaluation of the areas Paul lists here. Sometimes dis-unity arises from envy or jealousy, but that can happen only when we have a distorted view of ourselves. Paul addresses that as “encouragement in Christ.” Sometimes it arises from emotional wounds. Paul touches on that with “the comfort of [Christ's] love.” Sometimes it simply comes from failing to listen to God, which is of course dealt with by the fellowship of the Spirit. And tenderness and compassion are of course valuable qualities in any interpersonal relationship. The point is, when we fail to have unity, it means that one or more parties is failing to appropriate blessings that are freely available to every believer. We can't change each other but we can deal with ourselves, by honest self-evaluation and humility before God.

O: パウロはここでクリスチャンなら誰でも心しているべき項目を列挙しながら、ゆるぎない道理を述べています。私たち自身の霊的状態を知るためにチェックできるでしょう。パウロは信者間の一致を訴えています。一致は過去、現在もある問題です。一致ができていないなら、パウロがここで述べていることを各自、自己査定してみるとよいでしょう。妬みた嫉妬から不一致が生じることがありますが、自分自身に対して歪んだ見方をしている時にのみ起こることもあります。パウロはそれを「キリストにある励まし」と呼んでいます。時に心の傷から生じることもあります。パウロはそれを「キリストの愛の慰め」であると言っています。単に、神様の声に耳を貸さないことから生じることもあります。これは勿論、御霊の交わりで行われることです。優しさや憐れみ人との関わりで大切なものです。不一致があれば、本来は全ての信者に自由に与えられるはずの正しい祝福を受け取れない人たちがでてきます。私たちは互いを変えることはできませんが、自分自身を取り扱うことならできるはずです。そのために自己吟味をし神様の御前にへりくだっていましょう。

A: This is certainly applicable! I need God's wisdom and the anointing of the Spirit to communicate it to the believers. We are learning and growing in various ways in the process of all that is going on, and that is God's purpose in allowing it. My personality and gifting make me feel like I ought to be able to proclaim the truth and that would take care of everything, but people are far more complex than that. I need patience and inspiration to present the truth to people in various ways so that each person will be able to appropriate and apply it according to their own personality and gifting. I should know by now that a one-size-fits-all mindset does not work in pastoral ministry!


P: Father, it seems there are some lessons I have great difficulty really applying. Thank You for Your patience. Help me exercise that same patience toward the members of my flock. Thank You that I am finally learning that I can't do this by myself, and thank You for the help and encouragement that You send my way. Thank You for the person who came Sunday and, without knowing anything in advance, spoke Your truth clearly to various people. I pray that truth would work the deliverance and healing that You intend. May we as individuals and as a body be transformed into the likeness of Your Son indeed, as a demonstration of Your salvation to all who see us, drawing many more into Your kingdom, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!



ピリピ 1:12-26

S: ピリピ 1:21 私にとっては、生きることはキリスト、死ぬことも益です。

O: This one short verse has enormous impact, precisely because it flies in the face of how everyone lives apart from Christ. Anyone who has not bonded with Christ in repentance and salvation is focused on themselves, and their goal is to live as long as possible and get as much as possible in the process. Anyone who, like Paul, has discovered God's infinite riches of grace and glory in Christ Jesus, knows that everything on this earth put together can't begin to compare with what God has prepared for us. Paul was far from suicidal, but he knew that when his time on earth was over he had a “crown of righteousness” prepared for him, as he wrote Timothy shortly before he was martyred. (2 Timothy 4:8) An active Christian will not seek death, but they aren't afraid of it.

O: 短い節ながら大きなインパクトのある御言葉です。キリストから離れている人に公然と反対する考えだからです。悔い改めと救いによってキリストと繋がっていない人は、自分にだけ目を向けます。そうした人の目的は、ただできるだけ長く生き、生きている間、できるだけ多くのことをすることにあります。パウロのように、キリスト・イエスにある無限の豊かな恵みと栄光を知った人ならばだれでも、この世のすべてを合わせても、神様が私たちにご用意されたものに比べる事はできないとわかっています。パウロは自滅的であるどころか、この地上での終わりの時に「義の栄冠」が用意されていることを知っていました。殉教する前にテモテに宛てた手紙を見るとそれが分かります。(2テモテ4:8)能動的なクリスチャンは死を求めるものではありませんが、しかし恐れることもしません。

A: The longer I live on earth, the more attractive heaven becomes! This verse becomes a truer and truer expression of my own feelings. It's not that I don't enjoy living, quite the contrary, but the closer I get to God the better I understand how insignificant all of this is compared to Him, and at times I just cry out to be with Him. That's perhaps one reason why God allows our bodies to wear out with age: so we won't get too comfortable in them to the point that we can't bear to leave! My personal point of focus, however, needs to be on the first half of this verse: “to live is Christ.” I have certainly tasted that, and yesterday's message about living as children of light dealt with this very issue. I need to live in such fellowship with Christ by His Spirit that He is manifested more and more through me. I am not Christ, but I am His ambassador, in a sense His surrogate, and my obedience to Him needs to be complete.

A: この地上で長く生きるほど、ますます天が恋しくなります!今日の御言葉こそ、私の感情をそのまま伝えるものです。生きることを楽しんでいないのではなく、実際はその逆で、神に近づけば近づくほどに、神様に比べるとこの世の全てが小さなことに思えてくるのです。神様のそばにいたいと切望してしまうほどです。人の肉体が年齢とともに老化するのはそうしたことが理由なのでしょう。ですから老化の状態ではあまり快適ではないでしょうし、去ることも耐えられないことではないことでしょう。私は個人的にこの節の後半の「生きることはキリスト」に焦点を合わせていきます。もうすでに素晴らしさを知っており、光の子供と言う昨日のメッセージはこの御言葉と大きく関連しています。私を通してますます明らかにされる御霊のよってキリストとそうした交わりを持ちながら生きていきます。私はキリストではありません。キリストに遣わされた大使です。つまりある意味で代理と言えるでしょう。ですからイエスに対して完全に服従していかねばなりません。

P: Father, You know better than I do how incomplete my obedience is at this point. Help me not draw back from anything You speak to or ask of me. Thank You for all You are doing in me and in this church. Help me trust You more completely with all of it, allowing You to work out Your perfect plan and not trying to figure out how You're going to do it. Thank You for everyone who was present in the two services yesterday, and for Your faithfulness in speaking through the testimonies and the message. I pray for those who chose not to be present for whatever reason, that they too would hear what You are saying to them and that we would all commit to the growth that You intend for us on every level, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

P: 父よ。今の時点で、私の従順がいかに不完全であるか、あなたは私より御存じです。あなたの語りかけ、願いから、私がひるむことのありませんように。私とこの教会にしてくださっている全てに感謝します。もっと十分にあなたを信頼し、あなたの完璧な御計画が成就しますように。私が自分で分かろうとしませんように。昨日、二度の礼拝に来てくれた人に感謝します。メッセージと証しを通して、あなたの真実が述べられたことを感謝します。理由がどうであれ、顔を出さなかった人達のために祈ります。彼らもまたあなたの語りかけに耳を澄ましますように。そしてあなたの意図されたように、あらゆるレベルで、皆が成長していけるように助けてください。有難うございます。ハレルヤ!


ピリピ 1:1-11

S: ピリピ 1:9-11 私は祈っています。あなたがたの愛が真の知識とあらゆる識別力によって、いよいよ豊かになり、あなたがたが、真にすぐれたものを見分けることができるようになりますように。またあなたがたが、キリストに日には純真で非難されるところがなく、イエス・キリストによって与えられる義の実に満たされている者となり、神の御栄と誉れが現されますように。

O: That's a mouthful, but it's all the result of accurate, discerning love. We only begin to understand all the power and implications of the love God has for us, which He enables us to have for Him and for one another. Paul's relationship with the people in Philippi was excellent, abounding in love in all the right ways, so Paul prayed that their love would do in and through them all that God intended. Problems in and among churches would largely evaporate if Christians understood and practiced God's love for them. Despite the popular expression, true love is not blind. On the contrary, it is very discerning, and becomes all the more powerful for that. It does not love because the loved one is perfect; it recognizes the imperfections and loves anyway. (All of this makes so much more sense when we're thinking in terms of agape, God's unconditional love, as opposed to romantic or emotional love.) True love indeed “covers over a multitude of sins,” (1 Peter 4:8), not in the sense of excusing them or simply hiding them, but in the sense of atoning for them, just as God's love in Christ atoned for all our sins.

O: 長い文ですが要点を含んでいます。正しく、愛ある識別から来ているみ言葉です。神様の私たちへの愛とすべての力が分かり始め、それによって神様と互いの人々を思うことが可能になります。ピリピでの人々とのパウロの関係は素晴らしいものでした。愛に満ち、正しいものでした。パウロは彼らの愛が神様の意図通りに働くように祈りました。クリスチャンが神の愛を知り、実行するならば、教会内の問題は霧散するでしょう。よくある表現とは異なり、真の愛とは盲目ではないのです。それどころか、大変な識別力がつき、それだけにますます力強くなります。愛される人が完全だから愛するのではありません。不完全であっても愛するのです。(恋愛感情の愛ととは異なり、神の無条件の愛デアルアガペの語を考えると、この意味がよく掴めるでしょう。)真の愛は実に「多くの罪をおおう」(1ペテロ4:8)のであって、口実にしたり隠したりするものではありません。しかし、贖いに関しては、キリストにある神様の愛によって、私たち全ての罪が購われたのです。

A: Looking at it this way, I understand that love is a lifetime journey. I have indeed grown in love, but I certainly haven't arrived at the terminus! As I preach at every wedding I perform, we can't generate this kind of love ourselves; we've got to receive it from God and allow it to operate in and through us. I must not preach to others and fall short myself! I need to receive and exercise God's love for each person I interact with, most esecially the members of my flock. Such love is neither weak nor blind, as I said a minute ago, but it does everything in its power for the benefit of the one loved. Sometimes that means gentleness, sometimes it means strong correction. I am not to let my emotions (hurts, disappointments) control me, but rather let God clarify my vision and give me insight as to how to apply His love and grace to each person in my care.


P: Father, this is obviously completely above and beyond my natural ability; You've got to do it in and through me. That is what I pray for, with the assurance that I can indeed do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Thank You. Hallelujah! 




エペソ 6:10-20

S: エペソ 6:19 また、私が口を開くとき、語るべきことばが与えられ、福音の奥義を大胆に知らせることができるように私のためにも祈ってください。

O: Paul's major ministry was through words, so he didn't hesitate to ask for prayer support in that area. Each person's ministry is different, so each person needs such support in different ways. Paul had no thought of being above the need for such support, and no Christian should think they are below the right to ask for and receive it. Prayer is a mystery, but it is also one of the highest privileges and responsibilities of the believer. From a strictly human viewpoint it violates logic that we would be able to influence events simply by talking to God about them, particularly considering the size of the universe and our size relative to all of that. However, the Bible and experience both proclaim that the Creator does listen in love to such as we are. That said, if we limit our prayers to personal concerns we miss out on what I see as the greater part of the mystery of prayer. When we petition God on behalf of others it is called intercession, and that is one of the highest ministries. Intercession allows us to participate directly in the plans and purposes of God, and what could be more glorious than that?

O: パウロは言葉によってミニストリーをしました。そのために祈りによる支えをためらいませんでした。ミニストリーは人によって異なります。人によって違った方法での支えが必要でしょう。パウロは祈り以上に必要な支えはないと考えていました。そしてクリスチャンであるならば、支えを求め受ける事を念頭におくべきです。祈りとは不思議なものですが、信者にとっては最高の特権と責任の一つです。人間的に厳密に見ると、私たちが神様に語り、物事に影響を与えるなんて論理的ではありません。この大宇宙の大きさと人の大きさを考えると特にそうです。しかし、創造主は愛をもって私たちの祈りを聞いてくださっていることは、聖書や経験によって明らかです。もし、個人的なことにばかり祈っているならば、祈りの不可思議さの素晴らしさを見逃すことになるでしょう。人のために神様に祈ることを、とりなしと呼んでいますが、これこそ崇高なミニストリーの一つでしょう。とりなしによって、私たちは神様の御計画と目的に直接参加できるのです。こんなに栄光あることが他にあるでしょうか?

A: I have been on both the giving and the receiving ends of intercession, and I certainly know how vital it is. There was a period of about 10 years when we didn't have any organized prayer support for our work in Omura, and I just about shipwrecked, drifting aimlessly instead of moving forward. I need people praying for me! I have also had the great joy of seeing prayers answered that I have prayed for others. That said, I don't feel I intercede enough, and I hope to grow in that area this year. As a pastor I urgently desire that the believers discover the joy of intercession, but I don't feel I have been particularly successful in that area. I need wisdom in communicating both the privilege and the joy of intercession, making it clear that if our heart is in it, the Holy Spirit will take care of the details. People somehow think their prayers don't count, or something like that. I need to help them understand that God is an “equal opportunity listener,” so to speak, if our hearts are right before Him. I also need to help them understand better that our hearts get right before God by faith and repentance, and not by following a set of rules.

A: 私はとりなしの祈りをし、受けてきましたが、それがどれほど重要かをはっきり分かっています。約10年ほどの間、大村での私たちの働きのために組織だった祈りの支えがありませんでした。私はほとんど難破船のような状態で、前進できずに目的を失い漂流していたのです。私のための祈りが必要です!しかし、私が人のために祈ってきたことが答えられた時などは大変な喜びです。とりなしの祈りが不十分だと感じる時があります。今年はこの点で成長したいと望んでいます。牧師として私が火急に願っているのは、信者にとりなしの祈りの喜びを分かってもらうことです。もっとも私がとりなしの祈りが上手く出来ているとは感じていませんが。とりなしの祈りの特権と喜びを伝えられるように知恵を求めます。私たちが心からそうするならば、あとの細かいことは聖霊様がなさいます。人は自分の祈りなど大したことないと思っているようですが、神様の御前、正しい心であるならば、神様は「等しくみんなの祈りを聞いておられる方」である事を理解してもらいたいのです。さらに、規則に従うことによってではなく、信仰と悔い改めによって神様の御前、正しい思いであるべきことを、人に分かってもらえるように私は助けていきます。

P: Father, thank You for laying out a plan of teaching as I wrote just now. Help me follow through. Thank You that You had already made clear to me that the message on the 10th is to be on growth. This helps me understand how I am to proceed from there, in laying the foundation for the growth we need. Father, I ask that in this year we become a praying church indeed. I pray that each believer would be earnest in their private prayer, and also that they would come to understand the privilege and importance of corporate prayer as well, making the effort to gather for scheduled and special prayer meetings, so that we will line up with Your plan for us from the inside out, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!




エペソ 5:1-21

S: エペソ 5:1 ですから、愛されている子どもらしく、神にならう者となりなさい。

O: I think the English word used in the NIV here, “imitate,” opens the door for all sorts of misunderstanding, whereas the Japanese “learn by watching” is far clearer as to Paul's intent. The Bible does teach that in this world we are like Christ (1 John 4:17), and Jesus did what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19), but even there He said He could do nothing unless the Father was doing it. Those who twist this concept around get people thinking they can manipulate God, and that is dangerous heresy indeed. What Paul is saying here is that we are to examine our lives and see to it that we do what we see the Father doing, just as Jesus did. That doesn't make us “little gods,” it makes us live appropriately as God's children.


A: As a parent, I know what it is to desire that my children live appropriately to their status as my children. Being imperfect, there are some things I'm sure they have seen in me that I don't want them to copy, but on the whole I feel I have set an example that would not lead them wrong. The Japanese expression of a child “learning from watching their parent's back” paints a clear picture. I need to keep my eyes on God so that my words and actions will be more and more in line with Him. When I do that, I will be a better and better example for my spiritual children. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, I want people to follow my example as I follow the example of Christ. At the same time, I must keep it clear that the true example is Christ and not me, or people will be led astray by my imperfections and will be rootless when I'm gone. I must keep my personal focus and the focus of this church on Christ.


P: Father, the first day of a new calendar always feels like a big deal, when logic and Your Word say that all days are the same to You. Help me use this arbitrary division to renew my commitment and encourage the believers to do likewise, so that the next 365 days, and following, may be spent in closer fellowship and obedience to You. In the past year You showed me several areas in which I need to grow. Help me not back off from those, but rather make the effort it will take to follow through. May I indeed live like the “dearly loved child” You have created me to be, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!



哀歌 3:21-26

S: 哀歌 3:25-26 主はいつくしみ深い。主を待ち望むもの、主を求めるたましいに。主の救いを黙って待つのは良い。

O: We waste so much physical and emotional energy getting frantic about things only God can do. Many, many places in the Bible admonish us not to be anxious but to trust God. In the final analysis that is only logical, but we find it so difficult! Anxiety in one form or another is probably the major joy-killer operative in our lives. Life is certainly not what we would call optimal, and the Lord has assured me that things are not always as He wants them to be. However, the Japanese expression (which seems to be a good translation of a Hebrew phrase that appears many times in the OT) of “wait in hope” is an excellent plan of action. That's not to say that we are to be passive, simply accepting everything that is dumped on us, but it is to say that we must recognize that our salvation is from God, and not from our own efforts. Life on this earth is far from limitless, and whether long or short, its purpose is for us to find God and commit ourselves to Him. That done, we need to live in the assurance that our ultimate destiny is an eternity of glorious joy and peace with God in heaven. Compared to that, anything we might suffer on earth absolutely pales to insignificance.


A: I used to think I was a very un-anxious person, but I now realize I do get anxious over various things. I lose sleep trying to figure things out in my head, and that is the height of stupidity. I need to walk in obedient trust, doing as the Lord shows me to do, but not feeling like I've got to make things happen. Grandiose statements like, “I'm the captain of my destiny,” are true only in the sense that we are responsible for our choices and actions, and everything depends on whether we choose to follow God or not. I've got to be a good steward of the abilities and opportunities the Lord provides, but I've got to leave the results in His hands, or I will lose the peace and joy He intends.

A: 私は自分で、あまり心配しない方だと思っていました。しかし今、本当は様々なことを心配していることに気がつきました。物事を分かろうとして考え良く眠れません。それこそ愚かなことです。信頼し,従い、主が示されたように歩んでいくべきなのです。自分で物事の実現を図ろうとしないことです。「私こそが運命を指揮するのだ」といったような尊大さは、選択と行動の責任が実にあるようですが、全ては神に従うか否かにかかっていることです。主が与えた能力と機会を正しく用いるようにしましょう。しかし、その結果は神様の御手に委ねるべきです。さもなくば神様の意図された平安と喜びを失くしてしまうことでしょう。

P: Father, this has been a year of many challenges and a year of growth, for me and for the church. Thank You. Many challenges and much growth still await. Help me accept the challenges without thinking I have the solution apart from You. Help me not grumble or complain in the process (the “quietly” in this verse). Keep me from resigning myself to circumstances; help me rather wait in hope indeed, knowing that Your plans are good, acceptable and perfect. Thank You. Hallelujah!

P: お父様。私にとっても教会にとっても多くの困難と成長の年でした。感謝します。多くの問題と大きな成長が待ち構えています。あなたから離れて自力で私が解決するのだと思うことがありませんように。断代を受け入れられるように助けてください。その過程で不平を言ったり文句を言うことのありませんように。(ここでは「黙って」と言う語が使われています)状況から退くことのありませんように。むしろ希望を持って待っていられますように。あなたの御計画が良いもので、受け入れられ、完全なものであることを覚えいるように助けてください。有難うございます。ハレルヤ!


ルカ 2:41-52

S: ルカ 2:52 イエスはますます知恵が進み、背たけも大きくなり、神と人とに愛された。

O: For once the Japanese simply lacks the expression that most hits me about this passage. In English, “growing” is often applied much more broadly than in Japanese, so it is very natural to apply the one verb, grew, to wisdom, physical height, and relationships with God and with people. I first memorized this verse as a young child myself as my parents and other adults tried to get me to follow Jesus' example. The simple fact that Jesus had to grow underscores the reality that He became, on one level at least, a very ordinary human baby. If He had miraculously matured right out of the womb and started walking and talking immediately, something very precious would have been lost. God understands immaturity, and it isn't a sin. If we refuse to recognize our immaturity then it can lead us into all sorts of sins, but in itself it isn't sin, and we need to remember that and take comfort in it. God is going to grow us, just as He grew the boy Jesus, and we need to trust Him and enjoy the process.

O: この節で私の心を打った表現が日本語では欠けていました。英語での「成長する」の語は、しばしば日本語より広い意味に使われます。それで、この「成長する」の動詞が知恵、身長、そして神様と人との関係の成長にまで応用して使われているのは納得がいきます。イエスの例にならわせようと、私の両親と大人たちが私がまだ幼いころにこの節を暗唱させようとしました。イエスの成長の単純な事実は、あるレベルでは少なくともイエスが全く普通の赤ちゃんと変わらなかった事を示しています。もしイエスが母の胎から出て奇跡的にも、すぐに歩き話をしたというのなら、とても大切なことを見失うことになります。神様は未熟を分かっていてくださり、未成熟は罪ではありません。もし私たちが自分の未成熟を認めないなら、それはあらゆる類の罪に陥ることになるでしょう。しかし、そのこと自体が罪ではありません。心に留め慰めをもっていましょう。神様は私たちを成長させてくださっています。丁度、少年イエスを成長させられたようにです。ですから私たちは神を信頼し、その過程を楽しんでいましょう。

A: Looking back from the perspective of 61 years I can certainly see how immaturity got me into trouble many times, and at the same time I can see that I still have plenty of room to grow in various areas. Like everyone else, I've got to deal with the immaturity of others, and that in itself is an area in which I have more room to grow. As a pastor I must not condemn people for immaturity, but I must encourage and enable them to grow. Sometimes my efforts in that direction aren't well received! I need the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit in all my interactions, so that people will be enabled and not discouraged, affirmed and not disrespected.

A: 61年前の見方に振り返って見て、私が未成熟だったために何度も困難に遭ったことが、はっきりと分かります。そして様々な分野でまだ沢山、成長していかなくてはなりません。他の人と同じく、私も人の未熟さと関わらなくてはなりません。その分野もまた、ますます成長しなくてはいけません。牧師として人の未熟さを責めることはできません。ただ彼らが成長できるように励ますだけです。私のそうした努力もあまり受け入れてもらえません。私の関わりの全てに聖霊様の知恵と導きを求めます。それで人々が成長し、失望や軽視させられたりすることなく、確信を持っていられるためにです。

P: Father, You know how often I feel like telling people, Grow up! You have been amazingly patient with me when I have been slow to grow. Help me extend that same grace toward others. Help me remember how long it's taken me to get even as far as I am, and not put them down for failing to grow faster. At the same time, help me be a genuine encouragement to them to grow. Help me accept without excusing, and help me communicate that difference to those to whom I minister. The woman who called yesterday, offended that I had said she had lost a fight with the devil, is a good case in point. She wants to blame everything on “mental illness” and avoid all personal responsibility, and is offended that I won't accept that position. Help me be consistent in speaking Your truth in love, so that people will be encouraged and enabled to grow as You intend, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!