Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Devotional 151008

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. We are a new creation in Christ not because of what we have done but what Christ has done for us on the cross. We come back to this core conviction everyday, and renew our dependence on Him and His atonement for our sins and weaknesses, so that we can find strength to be a new creation for His glory. None of us can boast of our own perfection or holiness. Our sinful nature is totally vulnerable to temptations or Satan’s attack. We have no strength to fight against the evil force around us; it is futile to resist Satan by our own strength or will power. Christ is our shield and our source of power. We normally will seek help from Him when we fall flat on our face, or come to our dead end street in life – Through it we understand what Apostle Paul said in 2 Cor 12:9b-10, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul was not talking about some deliberate sins that he had committed, but the unfavorable circumstances or his own incapability to stand against Satan’ attack in his life. It is out of this realization that Paul bore witness for the saving Grace of Christ all over his world.
In general, we are all called to be a missionary – to bear witnesses for the gospel of Christ. And the key to the missionary message is the forgiveness of Christ Jesus. Take any phase of Christ's work - the healing phase, the saving and sanctifying phase; there is nothing limitless about those. Only "The Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world! " is limitless. The missionary message is the limitless significance of Jesus Christ as of His forgiveness for our sins, and a missionary is one who is totally soaked into this revelation: “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).
The key to the missionary message is the salvation aspect of Christ's life, not His kindness and His goodness, and His revealing of the Fatherhood of God; the great limitless significance is that He came to forgive our sins. The missionary message is not patriotic, it bears no discrimination against any nations and individuals; it is for the whole world. When the Holy Spirit comes in He does not consider whether I possessed any special gifts, He brings me into union with the Lord Jesus.
A missionary is one who is in union with his Lord and Master; he is not to proclaim his own point of view, but to proclaim the Lamb of God. It is easier to belong to a charismatic group, which tells what Jesus Christ has done for me, easier to become a devotee to Divine healing, or to a special type of sanctification, or to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Paul did not say - "Woe is unto me, if I do not preach what Christ has done for me," but - "Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel." This is the Gospel - "The Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world!"
Let’s not forget to drink from Christ's fountain of love (forgiveness of our sins) each day. Without His forgiveness we are nothing (worthlessness) and we can do nothing (hopelessness). But in Him we find new self-worth and new strength because He said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9a).
Love you because of His grace,

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