Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Devotional 191108

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Our international Board meeting will start tomorrow. And right after the two days meeting, I will depart for Malaysia for our Youth Missions Conference. Praise God that we have close to 1000 people participate in this 4 days retreat/conference. This journey will also include other stops in Asia. Hope that you will remember me in your prayer. I may not be able to write my journal in the next couple of days. I pray that you will continue to stay close to the Lord for your own well being.
Jesus said, “When the Holy Spirit comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned” (John 16:8). Very few of us know anything about conviction of guilt by the Holy Spirit; we know the experience of being disturbed because of having done wrong things; but conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit blots out every relationship on earth and leaves one relationship only - "Against You, and You only, have I sinned!" When a man is convicted of sin in this way, he knows with every power of his conscience that God dare not forgive him; if God did forgive him, the man would have a stronger sense of justice than God (as though God makes a wrong thing right). God does forgive, but it cost the rending of His heart in the Death of Christ (He made His Son pay the price for our sins) to enable Him to do so. The great miracle of the grace of God is that He forgives sin, and it is the death of Jesus Christ alone that enables the Divine nature to forgive and to remain true to itself in doing so. It is shallow nonsense to say that God forgives us because He is love. When we have been convicted of sin we will never say this again. The love of God means Calvary (where Jesus died for our sins), and nothing less; the love of God is spelt on the Cross and nowhere else. The only ground on which God can forgive me is through the Cross of my Lord (someone has to pay the price for sins). There, His conscience is satisfied (God cannot violate the law by proclaiming sin as innocent. His forgiveness must involve the price of sin – which is death).
Forgiveness means not merely that I am saved from hell and made right for heaven (no man would accept forgiveness on such a level); forgiveness means that I am forgiven into a recreated relationship (with the One whom you have sinned against), into identification with God in Christ. The miracle of Redemption is that God turns me, the unholy one, into the standard of Himself, the Holy One, by putting into me a new disposition or nature, the nature of Jesus Christ. God sees us as a holy child because of Christ. Therefore we should get used to this new nature of Christ when we prepare to spend eternity with Him.
Confession is not a one-time event or magic word for us to gain eternal life. It is a constant realization of how our own nature is in the way of God’s plan for our lives. We have the nature or disposition of Christ in us. The Holy Spirit will testify for us in the spiritual realm (against Satan’s persecution) that we are indeed the children of God because of the death of Christ on our behalf. And He will also convict us of our fears and worries because their root problem may be the remnant of our self-centeredness and faithlessness. We need to confess our sins to God whenever the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins, and renew our relationship with Him by abiding ourselves in Christ even more. God loves us. He knows our weaknesses. He will help, but He cannot help us to do our part in terms of dealing with our deep-rooted sins. He cannot make us love Him nor abiding in Him. He gave us this free will, and He expects us to exercise this free will to abide in Him each day. You will experience His power and help when you walk with Him whole-heartedly today.
Love you with this recreated relationship in Christ,

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