Monday, March 23, 2009

Devotional 230309

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It is such a gorgeous day outside of my window. But weather can fool us; it may look sunny and warm from indoor, but as soon as you step out it is cold and windy. The world may fool us in a similar way. By looking from a distance or observing other people’s lives, we may conclude that pursuing materialistic wealth is a good thing in life. But as soon as you enter the process of seeking worldly pleasures and earthly goods, you will find that they are not as good as what you expect. On a contrary, the more you seek them the more they weight you down and enslave you. You’d better watch out!

Yes, we still need to go into the world even though the weather is not as pleasant as it looks. But we will prepare and equip ourselves better when we step out of the house. Our daily walk with the Lord will give us a better picture of what the world is like, and remind us to prepare for the challenges that we will face each day in this world. God does not want us to detach from the world. He wants us to engage the people in our world. He wants to impact those people through us. The more we are honest before God, the clearer He shows us what weaknesses we need to deal with in our own lives, so that we can become holy vessel for His use to bless the people in our world.

"You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?" (1 Corinthians 3:3) No natural man knows anything about carnality. The flesh lusting against the Spirit that came in at regeneration, and the Spirit lusting against the flesh, produces carnality. "Walk in the Spirit," says Paul, "and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh"; and carnality will disappear.

Are you contentious, easily troubled about trifles? "Oh, but no one who is a Christian ever is!" Paul says they are, he connects these things with carnality. Is there a truth in the Bible that instantly awakens anger in you? That is a proof that you are still a carnal person. If sanctification is being worked out, there is no trace of that spirit left.

If the Spirit of God detects anything in you that is wrong, He does not ask you to put it right; He asks you to accept the light, and He will put it right. A child of the light confesses instantly and stands transparent before God; a child of the darkness says - "Oh, I can explain that away." When once the light breaks and the conviction of wrong comes, be a child of the light, and confess, and God will deal with what is wrong; if you justify yourself, you prove yourself to be a child of the darkness.

What is the proof that carnality has gone? Never deceive yourself; when carnality is gone it is the most real thing imaginable. God will see that you have any number of opportunities to prove to yourself the marvel of His grace. The practical test is the only proof. "Why," you say, "If this had happened before, there would have been the spirit of resentment!" You will never cease to be the most amazed person on earth at what God has done for you on the inside.

God will continue His cleansing work in our lives. He will shape our faith. He will open our eyes to spiritual reality in this world. He will humble us to work with others. He will make us repent of our sins. He will renew our values of life. He will make us a blessing to the brothers and sisters in our fellowship. He will reassure us of His love each day. Praise the Lord!

Love you because of His cleansing work,

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