Thursday, January 15, 2009

Devotional 150109

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Good morning. Praise God for this wonderful day. Praise God for the way He creates us that we can feel the fresh air, sunshine, smell the fragrance of nature, appreciate the beauty that He designed for us to enjoy…However all these wonderful things on earth will become strangely dim when compare to the glory and beauty of the Lord. If we are fascinated by the wonder of His earthly creation, I believe we have yet explored the wonder of His spiritual realm. Even if God allows us to perceive His eternal glory like the way John experienced and talked about in Revelation, we will become speechless or beyond words to describe. Many Christians throughout centuries shared the same experience; they could not find the right word or vocabulary to describe what they saw in prayer or in the spiritual realm. Even when they tried, they took the risk to be perceived as cult or deviated teaching. They were similar to those “after-life or near death” experiences that many found it hard to describe.

We shouldn’t demand any extraordinary experiences from the Lord even though we desire to enter the glory of the Lord. This is the gift from God. Do you remember how the Lord replied to two disciples who requested to sit next to Him in His Kingdom? "You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said to them. "Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?" "We can," they answered. Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father" (Matt 20:22-23). In the same token, it is God who has perfect wisdom to grant His gifts to us according to His will. We can only ask ourselves to imitate Christ on earth and desire to emerge into Him like fish desires to enter into ocean daily.

When he explained the meaning of baptism to the Corinthians, Paul said, "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection" (Romans 6:4-5). No one enters into the experience of entire sanctification without going through a "white funeral" - the burial of the old life. If there has never been this crisis of death, sanctification is nothing more than a vision. There must be a "white funeral," - a death that has only one resurrection - a resurrection into the life of Jesus Christ. Nothing can upset such a life; it is one with God for one purpose, to be a witness to Him.

Have you come to your last days really? You have come to them often in sentiment, but have you come to them really? You cannot go to your funeral in excitement, or die in excitement. Death means you stop being. Do you agree with God that you stop being the striving, earnest kind of Christian you have been? We skirt the cemetery and all the time refuse to go to death. It is not striving to go to death, it is dying - "baptized into His death."

Have you had your "white funeral," or are you sacredly playing the fool with your soul? Is there a place in your life marked as the last day, a place to which the memory goes back with a chastened and extraordinarily grateful remembrance - "Yes, it was then, at that 'white funeral,' that I made an agreement with God."

"This is the will of God, even your sanctification." When you realize what the will of God is, you will enter into sanctification as naturally as can be. Are you willing to go through that "white funeral" now? Do you agree with Him that this is your last day on earth? The moment of agreement depends upon you.

Let’s remind one another to abide in Him at all time, and put our old self to death, so that the resurrection power of Christ will transform us into the kind of being He desires.

Love you by the power of His resurrection,

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