Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Devotional 141008

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Even though my body was tired after a long phone conference last night, my spirit rejoiced in me for the gifts of life from above. Everyday is a new creation that our Creator God will design new lessons to make us more like Christ. When I focus on Him and His words, I will intentionally invite the Holy Spirit to shape me each day. The devotional journal of Oswald Chambers gave me a good start this morning. I have made some modifications on his wordings to reflect my perception of His inspirations to me. If you want to read his original journal, please go to www.myutmost.org.
The basis of missionary appeals is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the world. We have a tendency to look upon Our Lord as One Who assists us in our enterprises for God. But instead our Lord puts Himself as the absolute sovereign supreme Lord over His disciples. He does not say the world will be lost if we do not go; He simply says: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations." In another word, the disciples were called to go on the revelation of Christ’s sovereignty because He said in previous verse, “All authority in Heaven and earth has been given to me” (Matt 28:18). Then they were charged to teach and preach out of a living experience that they had with Christ.
"Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him…" (Matt 28:16-17a). If I want to know the universal sovereignty of Christ, I must know Him for myself, and how to get alone with Him; I must obey His words and take time to worship Him, the Being Whose Name I bear. "Come to Me" is the place to meet Jesus. Are you weary and heavy laden? How many missionaries and servants of God are! We banish those marvelous words of the universal Sovereign Lord of the world to something unimportant or secondary; but they are the words of Jesus to His disciples.
"Therefore go and make disciples. . . ." Go simply means to live. Jesus gave us the description of how to go in Acts 1:8. Jesus did not say - Go into Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, but, "You will be my witnesses" in all these places. He undertakes to establish the ‘goings’ as wherever His disciples conduct their lives.
And when Jesus said, "If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you. . . " He showed His disciples how to keep going in their personal lives. Where we are going is unimportant or secondary; God engineers the goings because He is the Sovereign Lord.
"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death" (Phil 1:20). That is Paul’s attitude of how to keep going till he was gone. With this kind of attitude, it really does not matter of what we do or where we go as a servant of God. I know of some missionary candidates ‘locked in’ to a country or place where they felt call from God to serve; they refused to go to other places even though God did not open door for them on that particular place. Their attitude seems to say: “I will stay put until God puts me to the place where I feel like going.” But Paul’s attitude was to go wherever the Holy Spirit led him. Paul’s original plan was to go East to Asia, but the Holy Spirit changed his course to head West, and he obeyed. I believe this is the attitude that we all should learn.
The basic challenge or calling for all of us is to abide in Him and obey His words. If we hold on to this kind of lifestyle, we will make ourselves available to God to use us in wherever He will send or place us in the world. It is far most important to ‘work’ on the relationship with our Sovereign Lord than to work on church projects or our enterprises for God in the world. Amen?
Love you because His love abides in us,

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