Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Devotional 010409

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Thank God for another beautiful day. As I watched the Nature, it reminded me that the work of the Holy Spirit might not be visible by human eyesight just as I couldn’t really see how the wind blew. I saw waving trees and flying flags, which showed me the direction and strength of wind. Our Lord Jesus used similar illustration to explain to Nicodemus concerning the work of the Spirit, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). We don’t exactly know how the Spirit works in our world today. But when we see many people who have dedicated their lives to serve God in global missions, we know the Spirit is moving Chinese churches toward the direction of cross-cultural missions. It is about time for Chinese Christians worldwide to answer this mission call. It is time for Christian professionals to seriously consider how they can become bi-vocational missionaries to serve God overseas. Let’s begin with intercession for one another toward this direction.

"He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will...Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us" (Romans 8:27, 34). Do we need any more argument than this to become intercessors - that Christ "is also interceding for us;" that the Holy Spirit " intercedes for the saints "? Are we living in such a vital relationship to our fellow men that we do the work of intercession as the Spirit-taught children of God? Begin with the circumstances we are in - our homes, our workplace, our country, and the present crisis as it touches us and others - are these things crushing us? Are they pushing us out of the presence of God and leaving us no time for worship? Then let us call a halt, and get into such living relationship with God that our relationship to others may be maintained on the line of intercession whereby God works His marvels.

Beware of outstripping God by your very longing to do His will. We run ahead of Him in a thousand and one activities, consequently we get so burdened with persons and with difficulties that we do not worship God, we do not intercede. If once the burden and the pressure come upon us and we are not in the worshipping attitude, it will produce not only hardness toward God but despair in our own souls. God continually introduces us to people for whom we have no similarity, and unless we are worshipping God, the most natural thing to do is to treat them heartlessly, to give them a text like the poke of a spear, or leave them with a rapped-out counsel of God and go. A heartless Christian must be a terrible grief to Our Lord.

Are we in the direct line of the intercession of our Lord and of the Holy Spirit? Chamber’s message is a challenge for myself. I need to dedicate more time to intercede for those people that God has put in my heart; I need to spend more time to pray for those missionary applicants. Many of them are in the process of discerning God’s guidance; applying visa, or doing fundraising. They are at the crossroad of not knowing when and where they should proceed. They may be anxious, frustrated, confused and worry. They certainly need our prayers for them. Will you draw close to the Lord in worship and listen attentively of His prayer for these brothers and sisters, and pray accordingly for them?

Love you in the family of God,

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