Monday, March 9, 2009

Devotional 090309

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I was very touched to read the letter from one of our missionaries in Cambodia. He Learnt about the financial difficulty of the Headquarters that we have to cut 10% of staff salary and cancel all traveling and promotional expenses in this year. He and his family decided to give 10% from their own limited allowance on the field to support us. They already lived a very simple lifestyle in the mission’s field. Yet they wanted to provide for our needs in the headquarters. Even though their giving of $150 does not help much in terms of our deficit ($10,000 per month), their gesture of love touched all of us in the team. They did what the church of Macedonia did to help the need of Jerusalem, “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will” (2 Cor 8:2-5). The beauty of His love through this missionary family shines so bright in this darkest days of global economic tsunami. Let's don't dwell in our worry but focus on the riches of our Heavenly Father and boldly give ourselves to serve Him in whatever way He leads. Praise the Lord!

"You do not want to leave too, do you?" (John 6:67) It is indeed a penetrating question. Our Lord's words come home most when He talks in the most simple way. We know Who Jesus is, but in spite of that He says - "You do not want to leave too, do you?" We have to maintain a venturing attitude toward Him all the time.

"From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him." They went back from walking with Jesus, not into sin, but they relapsed into their self-reliance mode. Many today may be working very hard for Jesus Christ, but they do not walk with Him. The very one thing that God wants us to remain steadfast is to be one with Jesus Christ. After sanctification the discipline of our spiritual life should be along this line. If God gives a clear and emphatic realization to your soul of what He wants, do not try to keep yourself in that relationship by any particular method, but live a natural life of absolute dependence on Jesus Christ. Never try to live the life with God on any other line than God's line, and that line is absolute devotion to Him. The certainty that I do not know, or admitting our ignorance and inadequacy - is the secret of walking with Jesus.

God will use different ‘method’ to nurture our relationship with Him. As our Creator, our Heavenly Father knows us better than any one on earth. The educated believers may prefer a more philosophical approach in their walk with Christ, while the uneducated may prefer something tangible or experiential and simple. The main focus remains the same though the methods may vary – and that is abidance in Christ. Our Holy Spirit will speak the same message to the heart of each believer in different ways. Therefore, we don’t judge or impose our spiritual discipline to others as though it is the only way to walk with Christ. The discipline is God’s assignment to you, so you just follow with obedient heart. You may share your spiritual experience with others so that they will learn to listen and obey. But let God do the ultimate guidance.

After hearing what Christ had prepared him the kind of death by which he would glorify God, Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them, so he asked, "Lord, what about him?" Pay attention to how our Lord answered Peter, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me" (John 2122). In another word, focus on your own lesson of faith and follow Christ. Don’t expect others to follow Christ in the same way as you do. Don’t ask God why you don’t have a ‘comfortable or luxurious’ Christian walk with Christ than others. God holds each of His children accountable to the kind of life He has given to them. You just follow Christ. And let God deal with others the way He knows how.

Love you in Christ,

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