Thursday, January 8, 2009

Devotional 080109

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. What a wonderful morning we have! It is indeed a day worth living because of the new purpose we found in Christ. We don’t just survive for another day without knowing what it is for. We wake up to a new day with this new purpose of giving our best to His highest call. I don’t know what God may have prepared for me to encounter today. I just venture out with the determination to live my life to the fullest in accordance to the purpose that God has designed. The devotional of Oswald Chambers reminded us of what it means to give ourselves as living sacrifice each day.

"When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son…" (Genesis 22:9-10). This incident is a picture of the common mistake we make in thinking that the final thing God wants of us is the sacrifice of death. What God wants is the sacrifice through death which enables us to do what Jesus did, viz., sacrifice our lives. Not - I am willing to go to death with Christ, but - I am willing to be identified with His death so that I may sacrifice my life to God. We seem to think that God wants us to give up things! God purified Abraham from this blunder, and the same discipline goes on in our lives. God nowhere tells us to give up things for the sake of giving them up. He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having - viz., life with Himself. It is a question of loosening the bands that hinder the life, and immediately those bands are loosened by identification with the death of Jesus, we enter into a relationship with God whereby we can sacrifice our lives to Him.

It is of no value to God to give Him your life for death. He wants you to be a "living sacrifice," to let Him have all your powers that have been saved and sanctified through Jesus. This is the thing that is acceptable to God. Paul said, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom 12:1-2). A living sacrifice is a renewed value system or priority in our daily life. We don’t just give up everything for Christ, without living our life fully for His purpose.

May you enjoy this day that the Lord has made for you…and let your Holy Spirit to renew your thought, your feeling and your desires. So that you may fully experience this new and abundant life that He has designed for you.

Love you in Christ,

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