Monday, November 3, 2008

Devotional 031108

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Thank God for the moist, fresh and cool autumn weather that we have this morning. Rain is truly a gift from above; without rain we can’t survive too long. A lot of time, we care more about our convenience in doing thing (dry road condition for smooth traffic) than our need for some important element for life. Earning money for financial convenience is not wrong. But if we let it dictate our relationship with God and with our loved ones, we will eventually suffer from losing the most important element of life. We may have financial freedom but we loss our quality of life; this is not the kind of life that God intended for us to live. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt 16:24-26) As we start a new week of service in wherever you are, we will start with the right perspective and priority about life and let the life of Christ shines through us.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). These words mean the breaking of my independence with my own hand and surrendering to the supremacy of the Lord Jesus. No one can do this for me; I must do it myself. God may bring me up to the point three hundred and sixty-five times a year, but He cannot put me through it. It means breaking the husk of my individual independence of God, and the emancipating of my personality into oneness with Himself, not for my own ideas, but for absolute loyalty to Jesus. There is no possibility of dispute when once I am there. Very few of us know anything about loyalty to Christ - "For My sake." It is that which makes the iron saint.
Has that break come? All the rest is religious deception. The one point to decide is - Will I give up, will I surrender to Jesus Christ, and make no conditions whatever as to how the break comes? I must be broken from my self-realization, and immediately that point is reached, the reality of the supernatural identification takes place at once, and the witness of the Spirit of God is unmistakable - "I have been crucified with Christ."
The passion of Christianity is that I deliberately sign away my own rights and become a bond-slave of Jesus Christ. Until I do that, I do not begin to be a saint.
One student a year who hears God's call would be sufficient for God to have called a Christian College or Bible school into existence. This school as an organization is not worth anything, it is not for academic accomplishment; it is for nothing else but for God to have His freedom to use lives. Is He going to have freedom to use us, or are we pre-occupied with our conception of what we are going to be?
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-realization or self-actualization is one of the highest form of needs to human life. Once our physical, security, love and belonging, and self-esteem needs are fulfilled, the highest need is self-actualization. This kind of observation of needs is not wrong. But when we want to become a genuine follower of Christ, we are challenged to abandon this kind of pursuit for needs in order to accomplish the abundant life that God intended for us to have. The hierarchy of needs validates a self-centered living (we have to meet those needs). A God-centered living, on a contrary, is not to focus the pursuit for my needs but for Christ; it is to abandon the effort to save myself or meet those needs. By crucifying ourselves to the cross (self denial), our lives become transformed and transcend from the obsessions or bondage of those needs; we can become truly free and fulfilled in Christ. So have a blessed day to abide in Him!
Love you hopefully not just out of my need for love :)

No comments: