Friday, April 3, 2009

Devotional 030409

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Good morning. It is exuberance to engage the world with Christ. We know that God has a plan for each individual in this planet earth. And His plan is to have each one of us enjoy our lives with Him to the fullest. And the best way to do it is by ‘show and tell.’ Show the world how it is like to have an intimate relationship with Christ; to show how a life may be different from the one without Christ? Every religion on earth demonstrates the kind of ‘god’ that they believe. Every believer is a show case of their Bible, no matter whether they actually live according to the teaching of the Bible or not. Therefore, we are called to bear fruits for God. And the way to do it is to abide in Him each day. Our Lord Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing… You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last” (John 15:5, 16a). We are engaging a world that is overwhelmed by information. People can be lost to find God in the midst of different theology or messages about God that they can easily access on Internet. But they will definitely observe the lives of their neighbors or coworkers, who appear to have a different perspective on life and of ‘god,’ especially during this economic down time. They want to find out how their lives could be so peaceful and joyful when there is absolutely nothing in the world to call for them. You may spark off their interest, and God may use this curiosity to bring them closer to His love. Amen? Let’s look at our devotional reading of today…

"If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes" (Luke 19:42). Jesus had entered into Jerusalem in triumph, the city was stirred to its foundations; but a strange god was there, the pride of Pharisee; it was religious and upright, but a ‘white grave’ or ‘glorified hypocrisy.’

What is it that blinds me in this "my day"? Have I blinded by a strange god - not a disgusting monster, but a self-centered nature that rules me? More than once God has brought me face to face with the strange god that I thought I should have to yield, but I did not do it. I got through the crisis by the skin of my teeth and I find myself in the possession of the strange god still; I am blind to the things, which belong to my peace. It is an appalling thing that we can be in the place where the Spirit of God should be getting at us unhinderedly, but on the other hand, increases our condemnation in God's sight.

"If you had only known" - God goes directly to the heart, with the tears of Jesus behind. These words imply we deserve the blame; God holds us responsible for what we do not see. "Now it is hidden from your eyes " – it is because our attitude and nature have never been yielded to God. The unfathomable sadness and regret of the "might have been!" God never opens doors that have been closed. But He opens other doors for us, and He reminds us that there are doors, which we have shut because of our ignorance, doors that never should have been shut; and imaginations that never should have been too slow to discern His work. Therefore, never be afraid when God brings back the past. Let memory serves as a minister of God that brings us rebuke, discipline and sorrow. God will turn the regret of "might have been" into a wonderful lesson for the future.

This is a difficult reading from Chambers; not only the way he tried to express his insight from the passage, but the message itself is hard to comprehend. It reminds me of my old nature, blind spot or ‘strange god like the way Chamber described,” that could blind me from seeing the work of God around me. Sometimes we refused God’s open doors because we lacked of courage and faith. Sometimes we relentlessly sought the doors that God had closed because of our desires or ignorance. God allows us to make mistake provided that we learned from our mistake. Otherwise, we will be continuously blinded or fooled by our own nature or old self. Reflection is a way to deliver us from the bondage of this strange god hidden in our old self. We need to uncover them by looking back to our past and ask God to reveal to us how we had misinterpreted His will. Unfortunately, many Christians are too busy to engage in self-reflection or meditation. In another word, they seldom spend time with God but allow their “strange gods” to dictate their perspective or interpretation of God’s will for their lives. Our Holy Spirit determines to show us God’s open doors and closed doors. He will continuously help us understand God’s will because this is His Nature. What we need to do is to stop justifying our self-centeredness, and submit to the Word of God. By nurturing our desire and passion for God by abiding in Him each day, I believe we will be able to discern the leadership of God more effectively.

Hope you have a nice weekend to enjoy the presence and love of God.

Your brother in Christ,

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