Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Devotional 250209

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I deliberately came back to office a little bit earlier, so that I could spend more time with God in meditation. My schedule was really packed yesterday. I even thought I could spend time on my video project last night. But by the time I came home after I sent my friends to airport, it was almost 11 pm. Thus, I needed to recharge myself this morning by going back to the source of all strength. I learn it from our Lord Jesus who conducted himself in ministry in such manner: “That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:32-35). Only when we constantly return to the reservoir of love and strength, we will pretty soon burn out from within.

"If I love you more, will you love me less?" (2 Corinthians 12:15) Natural love expects some return, but Paul says - I do not care whether you love me or not, I am willing to destitute myself completely, not merely for your sakes, but that I may get you to God. "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich" (2 Cor 8:9). Paul's idea of service is exactly along that line - I do not care with what extravagance I spend myself, and I will do it gladly. It was a joyful thing to Paul.

The ecclesiastical idea of a servant of God is not Jesus Christ's idea. His idea is that we serve Him by being the servants of other men. Jesus Christ out-socialists the socialists. He says that in His Kingdom he that is greatest shall be the servant of all. The real test of the saint is not preaching the gospel, but washing disciples' feet, that is, doing the things that do not count in the actual estimate of men but count everything in the estimate of God. Paul delighted to spend himself out for God's interests in other people, and he did not care what it cost. We come in with our economical notions - "Suppose God wants me to go there - what about the salary? What about the climate? How shall I be looked after? A man must consider these things." All that is an indication that we are serving God with a reserve. The apostle Paul had no reserve. Paul focuses Jesus Christ's idea of a New Testament saint in his life, which is not one who proclaims the Gospel merely, but one who becomes broken bread and poured out wine in the hands of Jesus Christ for other lives. This is the kind of life that we should be after – to follow the footsteps of Christ.

What Oswald Chambers talked about is a basic attitude of Christian living. If we sincerely acquire this kind of lifestyle or attitude in life, we will become salt and light of the world. It is this kind of lifestyle that can turn the world upside down; it is not a short-term impact but a long term one. In his speech last night, the President encouraged parents of America to spend time with their children and contribute to their growth in education. I totally agreed. But more importantly, parents need to become role model for their children in terms of their attitude in life. This is a subtle impact that parents can make to their children. As a family of God, we need to become role model for one another. Yes, we will stumble and fall from time to time. But if we set this servant attitude of Christ as a goal before us, we will encourage each other along our journey of life: “…though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9). May God continue to mold me of my self-centered attitude that always become a foothold for Satan!

Love you in accordance to Christ,

No comments: