It is good to be back after the time away connecting with what God is doing through the work of Asha Kiran Society in India and the Seymour family in Hokkaido in Japan. It was very encouraging to see how God is moving amongst the people that AKS has been working at reaching for almost 25 years through health, education and agricultural programs. Groups of believers are beginning to form and grow and witness for Jesus. The scriptures are being translated and used. The vision has expanded to reach out into another unreached people group in the area. AKS continue to value our prayer support and encouragement as they serve the Lord in a fairly difficult part of India.
Greg and Shireen send their greetings to everyone and are encouraged in their work. Whilst the living conditions are good, the work of penetrating the culture with the good news is not easy. It was great to meet faithful believers who are following the Lord, and also some who have come to faith recently and are enthusiastic in reaching out. They have many Christmas outreach programs which it would be great to pray for.
Today I trust we will all be challenged and encouraged to stand firm in our faith as we continue our studies in Philippians. Paul address some of the things that often hinder our perseverance and growth in the Lord – unresolved conflict with other believers, lack of joy, anxiety, and fixing our minds on the wrong things. One of the challenges he gives here is to make our requests known to God. This is the answer to the anxiety that so easily overtakes us, as we face many challenges, personally and as a group of followers of Jesus. Often these anxieties take on overwhelming proportions and we can descend into a sense of despair or hopelessness. Sometimes this is the result of relying on someone or something a lot less dependable than God. Lay your requests before God, Paul says. That’s what prayer is – expressing our dependence on Him.
Of course, we can have the opposite problem, where we become so self-sufficient and self-reliant that we don’t feel the need to rely on God, and prayer becomes something other than an expression of our dependence on God.
As the Christmas season revs up, let’s keep our eyes and our hearts on Jesus.