Thursday, October 30, 2008

Devotional 301008

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It is wonderful to know that finally we will have rain in our weather forecast. We sometimes take rain for granted until we are in a drought. Some scientists predicted California would become a desert because of the climate change, if we were not going to slow down the green house effect. No matter what tomorrow may bring, we are thankful for the needy rain that will fall on our plain.
Faith in antagonism to common sense is fanaticism, and common sense in antagonism to faith is rationalism. The life of faith brings the two into a right relation. Common sense is not faith, and faith is not common sense; they stand in the relation of the natural and the spiritual; of impulse and inspiration. Nothing Jesus Christ ever said is common sense, it is revelation sense, and it reaches the shores where common sense fails. Faith must be tried before the reality of faith is actual. "We know that all things work together for good," then no matter what happens, the alchemy (the attempt of turning metal into gold) of God's providence can always transform the ideal faith into actual reality. Faith always works on the personal level; God purposefully wants to ensure the 'ideal' faith is made real in His children.
For every detail of the common-sense life, there is a revelation fact of God whereby we can prove in practical experience what we believe God to be. Faith is a tremendously active principle, which always puts Jesus Christ first in our lives – “Lord, you have said so and so (like for instance, seek Ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness in Matthew 6:33), it sounds irrational to me, but I am going to venture on your word anyway.” To turn 'head knowledge' or rational faith into a personal possession always involves a struggle, not sometimes. God always brings us into circumstances in order to educate our faith, because the nature of faith is to make its object real. Until we know Jesus, God is a mere abstraction, we cannot have faith in Him; but immediately we hear Jesus say - "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9), we have something that is real, and faith is boundless. Faith is the whole man rightly related to God by the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. That’s why the Bible says, "Without faith it is impossible to please Him" (Hebrews 11:6).
I hope you learn to venture on His words each day. Obedience and faith are like two sides of the same coin. Obedience is an act of faith but not common sense. A lot of thing is seen irrational by the world. It doesn’t make sense. But we know it makes a lot of sense in the world of faith. And we know our act of faith – obedience is what Jesus expects from His true followers or a test of our genuine faith. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 7:21). We’d better watch out whether we behave what we claim to be as a child of God.
Love you in obedience to His word,

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