Daily Topic for August 08, 2006

James 2:9
"But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers."

Favoritism is an ugly word and an uglier practice. Do we who know Christ as Lord find ourselves in a position similar to that of Israel in Old Testament times? Knowing they were God’s favored people, they seemed also to believe they were God’s favorite people. For that reason, they felt little or no responsibility to share the blessings of Yahweh with other nations. If we share the gospel of Jesus Christ with our friends and neighbors only, we practice the most serious kind of favoritism-withholding the knowledge of God from those who have never heard.

Dear Father, we want to fulfill our responsibility to all peoples around the world. Teach us to share the gospel as well as our goods.

Soka Gakkai in Japan

The Soka Gakkai branch of Buddhism was founded in 1930, and by 1960 it went international. There are 10 million members in 163 nations. It is not ascetic, reclusive, nor passive.

In Japanese, Soka means “value creation” and Gakkai is “society.” It is a lay Buddhist association supporting the philosophy and teachings of Nichiren, a 13th-century Japanese Buddhist scholar. He brought a new perspective to the practice of Buddhism based on reciting the Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, meaning “Honor to the Lotus Sutra of the True Teaching,” a key text of Mahayana Buddhism. The Lotus Sutra urges people to practice wisdom. This wisdom is found in the mystical laws of the universe that will allow a follower to relieve suffering and bring joy to others. Wisdom is achieved through submitting ritual prayers to Buddha. Soka Gakkai adherents maintain that self-actualization comes through real effort and constructive engagement in helping others. This path of enlightenment is open to everyone, irrespective of class or gender. Nichiren teachings try to bring hope, courage, life force and wisdom, enabling followers to overcome the inevitable sufferings, and further to positively influence their families, communities and the world.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray that there will be believers prepared to discuss with these Soka Gakkai people the clear and vital teachings of God in the Bible that will lead them to the joy found in Jesus. Pray that they will find the teachings in God’s Word to be a great treasure.-PD

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