Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Devotional 210109

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. God is so real to us if we seek to follow Him. He cares for us more than we cares for our children. Sometimes, we may spoil our children because of our love. Our love is so limited and fragile simply because we are finite human being. But our Heavenly Father is infinite. He controls our future and He knows what is best for our well being. He gives and takes away what will benefit us the most. The more we have assurance of His love for us, the more we may let go and give Him the freedom to do His job. That’s why Paul testify out of experience, “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil 4:11-13). No matter what may happen to us in life, we are content to know that our Heavenly Father will care for us, and He will give us the best for our well being because He is love.

On our part, what we need to focus is to nurture our love for Him each day. God said, "I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown" (Jeremiah 2:2). Am I as spontaneously passionate to God as I used to be, or am I only expecting God to be passionate to me? Am I full of the little things that cheer His heart over me, or am I complaining because things are going hardly with me? There is no joy in the soul that has forgotten what God treasures. It is a great thing to think that Jesus Christ has need of me, like the way He requested the Samaritan woman at the well - "Give Me water to drink." How much kindness have I shown Him this past week? Have I been kind to His reputation in my life?

God is saying to His people – “You are not in love with Me now, but I remember the time when you were…I remember . . .how as bride you loved me." Am I as full of the extravagance of love to Jesus Christ as I was in the beginning, when I went out of my way to prove my devotion to Him? Does He find me recalling the time when I did not care for anything but Himself? Am I there now, or have I become wise over loving Him? Am I so in love with Him that I take no account of where I go? Or am I watching for the respect due to me; weighing how much service I ought to give?

If, as I recall what God remembers about me, I find He is not what He used to be to me, let it produce shame and humiliation, because that shame will bring the godly sorrow that works repentance. As sinful human being, we will avoid shame and humiliation at all cost. This tendency will only drive us toward hypocritical behavior. Instead, God wants us to honestly confess our sins and recognize our weaknesses, so that we will be open to God’s cleansing and empowerment in our lives. I believe the word of God for the Church of Laodicea also applies to us today, “I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent” (Rev. 3:18-19).

How blessed we are to be His children! He cares and He disciplines. Amen.

Love you in Christ,Lawrence

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