Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Devotional 250309

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. The Spring like weather finally arrived. How beautiful the Nature has become; green trees, blue sky and colorful wide flowers are outside of my window. I finally set my foot on the hiking trail outside of my office yesterday. I surprised my coworker for initiating the walk after lunch. It was only 20 minutes walk from the park nearby along the Bay. The weather was fine and the scenic trail was gorgeous. I hope to use it more often for my meditation and prayer walk. This exercise is definitely good for both my physical and spiritual health. Please pray for me that I will be a good steward of God’s resources for my life.

The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete” (John 3:29). Goodness and purity ought never to attract other’s attention to themselves, they ought simply to be magnets to draw to Jesus Christ. If my holiness is not drawing towards Him, it is not holiness of the right order, but an influence that will awaken inappropriate affection that lead souls away from the Truth of God. A beautiful saint may be a hindrance if he does not present Jesus Christ but only what Christ has done for him. He will leave the impression - "What a fine character that man is!" That is not being a true friend of the Bridegroom; I am increasing all the time, but He is not.

In order to maintain this friendship and loyalty to the Bridegroom, we have to be more careful of our moral and vital relationship to Him than of any other thing, even of obedience. Sometimes there is nothing to obey; the only thing to do is to maintain a vital connection with Jesus Christ, to see that nothing interferes with that intimate relationship with Him. Only occasionally do we have to obey. When a crisis arises we have to find out what God's will is, but the greater part of the life is not conscious obedience but the maintenance of this relationship - being the friend of the Bridegroom. Christian work may be a means of detouring the soul's concentration on Jesus Christ. Instead of being friends of the Bridegroom, we may try to play God, and may work against Him while we use His weapons.

I appreciate Chamber’s insight on the priority of our relationship with the Bridegroom. It reminded me of the story of The Prodigal Son in Luke 15. We usually paid attention to how the father loved his prodigal son even though he wasted all his money. But the story ends with the older son who was furious of what his father did to his brother. This older brother was obedient and faithful to his father. But he lacked compassion for his brother. I believe this big brother symbolizes the religious leaders and Pharisees of Jesus’ time. They were obedient to the Law in every single detail. Yet they forgot the fact that their Law Giver was a God of relationship and compassion. Since God is a God of relationship, He will treasure our relationship with Him each day. God wants our obedience derives from our intimate relationship with Him. We don’t use our obedience to show off; to make people appreciate how godly and devoted we are. If this is the case, then we are increasing but He is not. Have mercy on us O Lord. Help us to stay focus on our Bridegroom; listen to Him and rejoice with Him each day.

Love you because the Bridegroom loves you,

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