A taxi-Driving Pastor
Preaches the Gospel

4. New Life Being Renewed day by day
5. God living within us
6. The Life rejoicing always and giving thanks in all circumstances

4. New Life Being Renewed day by day

There are two educational and competent institutions for taxi drivers called " Taxi Center" in Tokyo and Osaka. Study and training are held there for new drivers. The newcomers have to pass the exam on road map after having finished the study and training in order to open the business as Taxi drivers with the business licence. It is said that the exam on roadmap became hard to pass in Tokyo, for complaints grew much recently about drivers' ignorance of the locality.

Well, if newcomers got the licence and began to drive with passengers proudly, they can not reach easily the destinations indicated by the passengers. Sometimes the worst case happens that both the driver and the passenger do not know the way to the place and get lost. As we can not learn how to drive only through books, so we can not learn the skill of Taxi driver on the desk.

It is the same with learning the Bible. It is possible to read through it without guidance of Church. But it is very hard and rare to get salvation by believing in Jesus Christ only through Bible reading. No body can be expected to keep and grow his faith for himself apart from Church.

The Bible is the letter to tell the Gospel (the Good News) from God to mankind. And this letter is committed to the Church. Therefore everyone needs the help and guidance of Church to become a disciple of Christ. And no one can understand the Bible correctly without the Holy Spirit and the New Life which are given to those who believe in Jesus.

"Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God" 1Cor 2:12

As babies grow up by the love and milk of their mothers, so the new life of Christian grow up by the love of the church and the word of God (Eph 4:13-16: 1Pet 2:2). As tottering babies learn to walk falling down and getting up repeatedly, so newly-born Christians are expected to grow up putting their faith into practice. If parents know the growth of their baby to have stopped, they will be grieved over it. In the same way, God will be grieved when He sees a Christian stop growing.

So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. 2Cor 4:16

5. God living within us

New Testament has several stories in which Jesus Christ and His disciples cast demons out of demon-possessors and restore them to normal state. There are many people who believe that there are no demons in the world and that demon-possessors are mental patients or mentally deranged persons having dual personalities or multiple personality disorder.Not a few of Christians in Japan think and believe so.

As invisible God and angels exist, so invisible demons actually exist.
One night I picked up a middle aged woman who looked like a mistress of a bar or tavern. She was surely a woman who told me her destination with womanly and tender voice. But having driven a while, I heard a deep and low male voice from back seat threatening and using abusive and foul languages against me. I knew intuitively the voice to be of a demon and bound it by the name of Jesus scolding it in my heart and soothing her in my saying and we reached the destination. Surprisingly apologizing with her former womanly and tender voice, she paid the fare and got down as if nothing had happened.

The Bible recognizes not only the existence of Satan, but also the reality of his reigning over the world. It tells as follows.
"We know that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one (Satan). (1John 5:19).
You may utter an objection against this verse that it is inconsistent with the other verse saying
"Not one of sparrows will fall to the ground apart from your Father." (Mat 10:29). No, these two verses do not contradict with each other. Satan works within the permission of God as Job of the Old Testament tells in the chapter 1-2. As Satan is a ruler of this present darkness (Eph 6:12), he rules the minds of people where sins are committed. The deeper people go into sin, the stronger the grip of Satan grows.

However Jesus destroyed the head of Satan through his death on the cross and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death (Heb 2:14-15). Therefore Satan is now completely powerless in the presence of Jesus Christ. So we Christians can cast out demons in the Name of Jesus and are given the authority to win over the power of sin by the faith in Him.

The trinity God lives within us and walks with us forever (John 14:23), the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth who is all-powerful and knows all things, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And He keep us, guide us, encourage us, warn us, and counsel us, as our friend and supporter (John 14:16-17). Jesus is called Immanuel as another name which means "God is with us" (Mat 1:23).

"Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?" (1Cor 6:19).

6. The Life rejoicing always and giving thanks in all circumstances

One day I picked up a middle- aged lady looking like a business woman. Soon after getting on, she began to complain, " The fare of Taxi in Japan is the most expensive in the world and in all prices of commodities in Japan" and said, "Take the shortest route". Many professional drivers know the loss and damage brought by the car accidents, so they make efforts to drive carefully. When I stopped in front of the red sign, she grumbled with a sigh saying, "You could have gone through the sign". We can easily imagine such a woman lives an unhappy life everyday scattering the poison of complaints and murmur both at home and at work.

I was born and brought up in Tokyo, but we came to here Awaji Island, where is the native place of my wife, in order to open up a new church here independently living on a pension. One of life styles of the Islanders which I am impressed with is that they exchange greetings each other saying " Thank you". When I go to the hot spring public bath, I see customers and front persons say each other "Thank you".And riding a bus, I see passengers say "Thank you" to the driver when they step off.

Being a Taxi driver, I said "Thank you" to passengers getting off. But there were few who said "Thank you" or "Thanks". If everyone has a humble and thankful spirit to serve others not only in business ,
but also at home, the world will become more comfortable to live in.

The Bible tells us, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you". 1Thess 5:16-18. For Christians the Paradise is not the place where they enter for the first time after death, the life of Paradise has already begun when they believed in the Lord Jesus.

Rome 8:28-30 is one of verses which give strength to us Christians and encourage us to live this heavenly lives on the earth, rejoicing always, praying without ceasing, giving thanks in all circumstances. It says,
"We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son".
That is to say, no matter what happens to us Christian, good things or bad things, they contribute to make us conformed to the image of Jesus who is holy, righteous, humble, and kind. So we can rejoice always and give thanks in all circumstances.

16 April 2006 Published

Christ-To-You Ministry @31church.net