Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Devotional 170309

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Thank you for praying for my trip to El Paso. If you have seen my pictures that I had posted on my blog yesterday, you will find that I had opportunity to minister unto two different groups: a Mexican Cumberland Presbyterian Church and a Chinese church at El Paso. Our Presbytery held our meeting in the Mexican church there, at which I had opportunity to report to the mission committee of our Presbytery regarding my work at GOI. And on Sunday I was invited to preach at the only Chinese Church in town. This is a very unique experience to preach a bilingual sermon on Sunday. I did a lot of such sermon at wedding or funeral, but not on Sunday. I thanked God for giving me strength and health to serve as His channel of blessings. Please continue to pray for this church as they continue to grow and reach out to Chinese and non-Chinese for Christ. On Saturday, my host brought me to White Sand National Park in New Mexico. It was like miles of white sands coming from no where that cover the valley. It was truly an incredible site.

"So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it" (2 Corinthians 5:9). It is a difficult work to keep this main ambition in front of us. It means holding one's self to the high ideal year in and year out, not being ambitious to win souls or to establish churches or to have revivals, but being ambitious only to "please Him." It is not lack of spiritual experience that leads to failure, but lack of laboring to keep the ideal goal right. Once a week at least take stock before God and see whether you are keeping your life up to the standard He wishes. Paul is like a musician who does not pay attention to the approval of the audience, only if he can catch the look of approval from his Master.

Any ambition which is in the tiniest degree away from this central one of being "pleasing unto God" may end in our being castaways. Learn to discern where the ambition leads, and you will see why it is so necessary to live facing the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says, "I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize" (1 Cor. 9:27).

I have to learn to relate everything to the master ambition, and to maintain it without end. My worth to God in public is what I am in private. Is my main ambition to please Him and be acceptable to Him, or is it something less, no matter how noble? This is a question that we need to constantly ask ourselves. We may be chasing success after success, like a dog chasing after its own tail. It is an endless and meaningless activity. We need to put a stop on this kind of pursue in life by focusing on the most fundamental question, “am I doing this to please God or for my own pride?” By setting a high goal in mind, our work will become a service to please our Maker and Savior.

Love you in Christ,

Ps. Please continue to pray for me as I am still recovering from my illness.

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