Daily Topic for July 28, 2007

Heb. 3:13
"Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."

How easy it is to be caught up in sin’s deception, thereby losing the joy Jesus has promised us. One of sin’s most enticing deceptions is the insistent call to look out for our own interests first. In contrast, God’s Word tells us that when we seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness, He will take care of us. We need daily encouragement, and a major purpose of this daily devotional guide is to encourage each of us to adopt as our own God’s concern for the salvation of all peoples. To know of their need and of God’s love and to do nothing is to become hardened in our hearts.

Dear Father, please make our hearts sensitive to Your love, not only toward us but for those who still do not know about Jesus.

-Ainu (Ay-Noo) People of Japan

“I’m Ainu, not Japanese!” said Masao, a college-aged young man to a tourist in a park in Sapporo, Japan. Masao then smiled and continued doing the Ainu bear dance in his bear costume. A mixed crowd of Japanese and Western tourists watched. Some of them dropped coins in a nearby basket, money Masao would use to pay for books and tuition at the local university. Others snapped their cameras.

Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido Prefecture, is the largest city in northern Japan. There are 20,000 Ainu living in Hokkaido, many of them in Sapporo. Almost none of them are pure-blooded Ainu. Only a few hundred of them speak the Ainu language, and the rest speak only Japanese. The Ainu language is related to some Native American languages. In recent years community leaders have revived the Ainu culture and religion. That religion involves worshiping sacred animals such as the bear. A new generation of youth is starting to think of themselves as ethnically Ainu.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray that Japan’s Ainu minority will find their identity in Jesus Christ, and not in Ainu culture. Ask God to raise up faithful workers who will take the gospel to this once forgotten people group. Pray that they will soon be able to worship the King of Kings in their Ainu language.-WK

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