Friday, June 12, 2009

Devotional 120609

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I was rushing to work because the alarm clock was not set correctly last night. Then I had meeting after meeting until 10:45 before I could spend time with the Lord in meditation. It does not mean my Lord was not with me before devotion. I was not able to focus on Him during the rush and meetings. I thanked the Lord for watching over me and granted me the wisdom to interact with people on different subject matters. Moreover, He used those experiences to shape me to become the kind of person He intends for me to be, and accomplish some tasks along the way.

"Come," he replied, "and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him" (John 1:39). "They spent that day with him." That is about all some of us would do, then we wake up to another day of actualities, self-interest arises and the abiding is gone. But it does not have to be like that. There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.

"You are Simon, you shall be called Cephas." God writes the new name on those places only in our lives where He has erased the pride and self-sufficiency and self-interest. Some of us have the new name in spots only, like spiritual measles on our skins. On the surface or in some sections we look all right. When we have our best spiritual mood on, you would think we were very “devoted or spiritual” saints; but don't look at us when we are not in that mood. The disciple is one who has the new name written all over him; self-interest and pride and self-sufficiency have been completely erased.

Pride is the deification of self, and to some of us today, it is not like the attitude of the Pharisee, but more like the Tax collector at Jesus time. To say, "Oh, I'm no saint," may sound like a humble expression, but it is unconscious blasphemy against God. It literally means that you defy God’s ability to make you a saint, "I am much too weak and hopeless; I am outside the reach of Christ’s Atonement." Humility before men may be unconscious blasphemy before God. Why are you not a saint? It is either that you do not want to be a saint, or that you do not believe God can make you one. It would be all right when you wished that God saved you and took you straight to heaven. That is just what He will do! "We will come to him, and abide with him." Make no conditions, let Jesus be everything, and He will take you home with Him not only for a day, but forever.

It is a great reminding from brother Chambers that we always have the tendency to fall into this temptation of blasphemy against God. We thought it was a humble expression or an honest recognition to say, “we can never be a saint, or never live like Christ.” But the more we make such proclamation, the more we nullify or deny God’s attributes that He is Almighty, All knowing and All loving. If it is hopeless for me to become like Christ, it means God cannot change me, He did not know how difficult it is for a person like me to change, and His love is not patient enough, not strong or tough enough, not forgiving enough and accepting enough for a hopeless case like me. Suddenly, you become much greater than God. Whatever God promises and commits to do in you will fail. You are much stronger than God.

Have mercy on us O Lord. We don’t mean to blasphemy against you, but we actually do when we remain self-centered or prideful in a negative sense. We are a saint because You want us to be a saint. We are Christ like because You desire us to be like Christ. This is Your eternal goal and agenda that we will become Your Masterpiece, “For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph 2:10). As we admire a great piece of art or painting, we actually admire the creativity, skill and ability of the artist. This is exactly what God’s workmanship in us for. Just as Apostle Paul said in 1 Tim 1:15b-16, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life,” we are God’s means to show both the world of angels and humans how capable and loving He is.

Humble before the Lord and give Him the freedom to do marvelous things in your life. No matter how hopeless you may be toward yourself. Let God do the impossible and incomprehensible thing in and through you. Amen?

Hope you have a blessed weekend, and please make time to attend the revival meetings. It is a rare opportunity to hear from three spiritual giants to share their insights on God’s Words.

Love you because of His presence,

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