Dear San Lo Community, an update for the week of May 21, 2017…
Thank you Pastor Brian for the message from Exodus 33:12-23, “Standing in the Gap.” Prayer is essential in the life of a believer to stay on course, be strengthened to face the challenges of the day, and to realize we can’t live for Christ on our own. We need help to combat the daily spiritual battles. Prayer is vital in the life of a believer, particularly intercessory prayer, intervening, or standing in the gap between God and someone. It is a specific type of prayer that God desires for all of His people. How do God’s people stand in the gap through prayer?
1) We pray that His promises are REMEMBERED. (vv.12-13) Moses said to the Lord, “ See, You say to me, bring up this people...this nation is Your people.” Moses is saying to God, “Remember you asked me to lead your people to the land you promised them, a land flowing with milk and honey? You commanded me to guide your people to a place you promised them.” It almost seemed like Moses was calling God out to fulfill His promises. God is the ultimate Promise Keeper and never breaks His word but Moses in this prayer thought it necessary to recall God’s promise to Israel. We know God doesn’t need to be reminded but many times we need to remind ourselves and others of God’s promises, especially during challenging times. If you are a follower of Christ there are also spiritual battles we face in a world that doesn’t receive God. Spiritual attacks are real and it can be a very lonely place, full of discouragement, and defeat. We need to “Stand in the Gap” and pray for those who are struggling with everyday responsibilities and spiritual attacks. We should pray that God’s promises are remembered. God wants you to pray for the discouraged or defeated person. When you pray for someone, you are like Moses, talking to God for a person in need. His Word is good and He is with us, always present.
2) We pray that His presence is REALIZED. (vv.14-19) After Moses pleads with God, He tells Moses in verses 14 and 17, “My presence shall go with you and... I will do this thing of which you have spoken.” Why should we ask God to be present when He is everywhere all the time? I believe the answer is found in verse 19, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” God assured Moses that He would go with them in verses 14 and 17. I believe God responded to Moses in this way because Moses showed grace and compassion to Israel. This verse reminds me that we get to know God more intimately when we love others in the same way God loves us. Similarly, when we pray for God’s presence to be realized in someone’s life, we ourselves are more aware of God’s presence in our own lives. God desires His people to stand in the gap though prayer because He wants us to know Him intimately. God is present when you come alongside someone and pray with them. Seeking God’s presence reminds us that God does not abandon His people. For those who do not know Jesus, asking God to be with them may be the most significant thing you’ll do because it may lead to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. When you pray for others to recall God’s promises and realize His presence, you are standing in the gap for those God has placed on your heart.
3) We pray that His glory is REVEALED. (vv.20-23) “You cannot see My face but stand on the rock and My glory will pass and you will see what I will show you lest you die.” God’s glory is so great that He cannot expose all of it to anyone. God’s glory is defined though the characteristics of God that are attributed to God alone. The greater we comprehend God’s attributes, the further we understand God’s glory. God’s glory is revealed through His Word that tells us He is faithful even when we’re not. Romans 3:3, “Even, when some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God.” Hebrews 13:5 says, “God will never desert you, nor will forsake you.” These two verses remind us that God is faithful and He will never leave us. For me this brings a sense of unexplainable peace in uncertain times. God’s glory is revealed by His faithfulness when we doubt Him. Other times His glory is shown during trying times by His never ending presence that brings the “peace of God that surpasses all comprehension,” (Phil 4:7). Whatever the circumstance, see God’s glory in times of distress. I know many of you have prayed for our family when we went through challenging times. You stood in the gap for us and I believe God’s glory was revealed as we experienced His faithfulness and presence. For the follower of Christ, seek God’s glory in every situation and thank Him for the person who is standing in the gap for you as you stand in the gap for others.
Why does God desire for His people to stand in the gap for one another? Everybody needs help. It is especially challenging for the follower of Christ to live faithfully in this world. Often there are no words that can describe our afflictions. Christians need to step up and step in to pray that our friends would REMEMBER God’s promises, REALIZE God’s presence, and see God’s glory REVEALED.
San Lo has been supporting Mitsu and Karen Nakamura since March 2001 and we have been blessed partnering with them as they serve with Japan Campus Crusade for Christ in Tokyo, Japan. Mitsu has completed a 5 year term as JCCC’s National Coordinator with their leadership team and now continues to train and equip fellow staff workers and continues to translate Josh McDowell’s, Evidence That Demands a Verdict. Karen serves through Mom’s in Prayer and is implementing staff development cycles to nurture care and growth for the CCC missionaries. They are very grateful for our partnership with them in Japan through the years.
5/28 One Service Missions Moment – Morry & Sandy Mori (Kumomoto)
5/28 Joint Fellowship Hour canceled as we had the Mother’s Day potluck
6/2 7:11pm B.A.M.
6/3 8:30am Mission Prayer
6/3 10am – 12pm Special Camp Team Building (English sanctuary)
6/4 both services Jondy Natividad – OAM sports ministry outreach in Japan
6/4 12:30pm Craft Day (November 11) 1st planning meeting (rm.0)
6/7 9:30pm Women’s Bible Study Praise Brunch – last meeting before summer break
6/9 5:30pm Little House potluck and fellowship time
6/9 6:00pm Youth Fellowship Graduation Party
6/16 7:00pm Jennifer and Brian Yun baby shower at the church
8/18 10:45am Missions Moment – Makoto & Amy
6/18 12:15pm Joint Father’s Day Potluck (Joint Fellowship Hour canceled for June 25)
6/24 9:30am Fong’s ministry breakfast
6/25 10:45am JEMS summer camp workers’ commissioning
6/29 7:00pm Wedding Shower for Benjamin Le and Lea Endo – At the church and all are invited
Have a great week in the blessings and grace of the Lord,
Stan, for SLZJCC