Monday, June 15, 2009

Devotional 150609

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It is good to have a special no pay leave to rest and spend with the Lord. If you follow my blog, you know I had a busy weekend. I was tired and my voice exhausted after preaching in two services, fellowshiped with some brothers and sisters over a long lunch, and led worship at the revival meeting. I do need time to recuperate from all these excitements (excitement is exhausting too!) but my heart is filled with joy of thanksgiving, and recalling all my great experiences…

"Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love" (2 Peter 1:5-7). Through the promises of God, “you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires,” says Peter (v.4), now focus your attention to form habits, give diligence, and concentrate. "Add" means literally put on something new to your life. No man is born either naturally or supernaturally with character, he has to build up character. Nor are we born with habits; we have to form habits on the basis of the new life God has put into us. We are not meant to be illuminated versions, but the common stuff of ordinary life exhibiting the marvel of the grace of God. Hard work is the hallmark of character. The great hindrance in spiritual life is that we will look for big things to do. But "Jesus took a towel . . . and began to wash the disciples' feet."

There are times when there is no enlightenment and no thrill, but just the daily routine and common task. Routine is God's way of saving us between our times of inspiration. Do not expect God always to give you His thrilling experience, but learn to live in the field of hard work by the power of God.

It is the "adding" that is difficult. We say we do not expect God to carry us to heaven on flowery beds of ease, and yet we act as if we did! The tiniest detail in which I obey has all the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it. If I do my duty, not for duty's sake, but because I believe God is engineering my circumstances, then at the very point of my obedience the whole superb grace of God is mine through the Atonement.

In your “boring routine” of life, God is at work in a mysterious and quiet way. He used those to build up your character, provided that you choose to respond or react to God’s engineered circumstances in God’s way. To those of us in full time ministry, this temptation of seeking to do the great things for God is very common. Since we answered His call to serve God, of course, we expect to do the extraordinary things for Him. We expect to receive extraordinary power from Him. We expect to receive special insight from Him everyday. Even church members would assume that we, ministers, should have special line with God. God will give us more insight and feeding, so that we become leaders in the faith community. I don’t know about other full time workers, I don’t feel like we have special line with God, though we may be more conscious of God’s movement in our lives and in others. But it does not mean our lives are always “high or thrill” everyday. We have dull moment, frustrating and boring time like everybody. We go through similar training from God. That’s why we need to encourage each others. Let’s cheer each other up to pursue holiness and godly characters for His glory.

Love you in according to His training manual,

No comments: