Monday, February 23, 2009

Devotional 230209

Dear brothers and sisters,

Good morning. I thank God for giving me shelter in rainstorm. It is truly His grace that we have a place call home. I don’t feel like going anywhere in this kind of unsettled weather. It is nice to have a break to stay home after a weekend of preaching marathon to spend time with the Lord in meditation. There is nothing better than to abide in the presence of Christ. No matter where you are, you may enjoy the stillness of His presence by turning to Christ too. Our sweet Holy Spirit may direct your attention to some attributes of God, or remind you of the Words of God that are relevant to your life situation. He may remind you of the sermon that you heard yesterday. Or He may point you back to your favorite scriptures that mean so much to you. Whatever He may do, let the Holy Spirit work in and through you today. Indeed, our God desires to walk and talk with you. When we have the assurance of His presence in our lives, we will have inner strength to become the kind of servant that God desires us to become.

"The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). Paul's idea of service is the same as Our Lord's: "I am among you as He that serves;" "ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake." We have the idea that a man called to the ministry is called to be a different kind of being from other men. According to Jesus Christ, he is called to be the "door-mat" of other men; their spiritual leader, but never their superior. "I know how to be abased," says Paul. This is Paul's idea of service - "I will spend myself to the last flow away for you; you may give me praise or give me blame, it will make no difference." So long as there is a human being who does not know Jesus Christ, I am his debtor to serve him until he does. The mainspring of Paul's service is not love for men, but love for Jesus Christ. If we are devoted to the cause of humanity, we shall soon be crushed and broken-hearted, for we shall often meet with more ingratitude from men than we would from a dog; but if our motive is love to God, no ingratitude can hinder us from serving our fellow men.
Paul's realization of how Jesus Christ had dealt with him is the secret of his determination to serve others. "I was before a perjurer, a blasphemer, an injurious person" - no matter how men may treat me, they will never treat me with the spite and hatred with which I treated Jesus Christ. When we realize that Jesus Christ has served us to the end of our meanness, our selfishness, and sin, nothing that we meet with from others can exhaust our determination to serve men for His sake.

There is so much I need to learn from this kind of servant attitude. None wants to be despised or rejected by those you serve and care for. You expect some kind of ‘appreciation’ or ‘acknowledgement’ but not hateful response. However, this is not what our Lord prepared us to do. He leaves us a higher standard of a servant leader, which is to serve and love even your enemy. This world will take Christian’s love for granted, just like we take God’s love for granted. Moreover, we even refuse to obey His Words from time to time, though we acknowledge the price He had paid on the cross for our abundant life in Christ. Our Lord continues to serve and love us regardless. Have mercy on me O Lord. Help me to become the kind of servant you want me to be. And continue to mold my attitude for your glory. Amen.

Your servant in Christ,

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