Monday, January 5, 2009

Devotional 050109

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Our Heavenly Father is good. He is a good Father/teacher. As a Creator, He knows each of our needs in terms of our growth as a person. He will not shape us uniformly but individually. Therefore, we cannot compare ourselves with others as though God is not fair in dealing with us than to others. He has individual plan for each one of us. He has special purpose in shaping us the way we are. And He will use us in according to the way He designs us to be, as long as we are willing to submit ourselves to His hand. God knows how fragile and weak we are when comes to fulfilling His Master Plan for mankind. Thus, He sent the Holy Spirit to be our Teacher/Encourager. Before Jesus empowered the disciples with the Holy Spirit, He said to them, "Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later" (John 13:36). It is true that the disciples would not be able to follow Jesus into martyrdom at that time – an ultimate self-denial, simply because it is beyond human nature. But when our Lord knew that we were ready for greater challenge after He bestowed His Spirit unto us, He would issue another call to us just like He did to Peter, "And when He had spoken this (the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God), He said to Peter, 'Follow Me!'" (John 21:19)

Three years before, Jesus had said to Peter, "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" (John 13:36) At that time, Peter had followed easily because the fascination of Jesus was upon him, he did not need the Holy Spirit to help him to do it. Then he came to the place where he denied Jesus, and his heart broke. Then he received the Holy Spirit, and now Jesus says again - "Follow me." There is no figure in front now saving the Lord Jesus Christ. The first "Follow Me" had nothing mystical in it; it was an external following. But now it is a following in internal martyrdom when Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go” (John 21:18).

Between these times Peter had denied Jesus with oaths and curses, he had come to the end of himself and all his self-sufficiency, there was not one strand of himself he would ever rely upon again, and in his destitution he was in a fit condition to receive an impartation from the risen Lord. "He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit…’" No matter what changes God has formed in you, never rely upon them; build only on a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the Spirit He gives.

All our vows and resolutions end in denial because we have no power to carry them out. When we have come to the end of ourselves, not in imagination but really, we are able to receive the Holy Spirit. " Receive the Holy Spirit " - the idea is that of invasion. There is only one lodestar in the life now, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let’s not underestimate the role and power of our Holy Spirit within each one of us. He dwells in us for the purpose to empower our will and being in following Christ and to do His Will. Confess to Him of how much and how often we have ignored His presence. Surrender our will to Him so that He can shape us into the new being that He intended for us to be. May you continue to grow more like Him in the year to come.

Love you by the strength of our Holy Spirit,

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