Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I came down with either a bad cold or flu and confined myself at home today. It is God’s grace to give me a break from my busy routine and really rest. Yesterday we lost 2 superstars in Hollywood. It was sad to see how this King of Pop suddenly died. According to the news, he was planning to do his last concert cruise in England. Many of his fans in England were anticipating seeing their “King” at his last performance. But when God said times up, nobody can protest. It made me think of what Apostle James said in his letter, “Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that"” (Jam 4:13-15). Yes. We may plan for our future and we should do so for being a good steward. But we also need to recognize the fact that the result may not happen to the way we anticipate. Learn to submit ourselves to His hands and do whatever God pleases for us to do today. That’s why James added at the end, “Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (v. 17 RSV). Let’s seize this moment to live out the kind of person that God wants us to live. Amen?
"As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain" (2 Corinthians 6:1). The grace you had yesterday will not do for to-day. Grace is the overflowing favor of God; you can always consider it is there to draw upon. "In much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses" - that is where the test for patience comes. Are you failing the grace of God there? Are you saying - Oh, well, I won't count this time? It is not a question of praying and asking God to help you; it is taking the grace of God now. We make prayer the preparation for work; it is never that in the Bible. Prayer is the exercise of drawing on the grace of God. Don't say - I will endure or handle this until I can get away and pray. Pray now; draw on the grace of God in the moment of need. Prayer is the most practical thing to do; it is not the reflex action of devotion. Prayer is the last thing in which we learn to draw on God's grace.
"In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors" - in all these things manifest a drawing upon the grace of God that will make you a marvel to yourself and to others. Draw now, not presently. The one word in the spiritual vocabulary is Now. Let circumstances bring you where they will, keep drawing on the grace of God in every conceivable condition you may be in. One of the greatest proofs that you are drawing on the grace of God is that you can be humiliated without manifesting the slightest trace of anything but His grace.
"Having nothing . . ." Never reserve anything. Pour out the best you have, and always be poor. Never be diplomatic and careful about the treasure God gives. This is poverty triumphant. Our Lord said in His Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:3). The one who is poor in the spirit learns to rely on the grace of God at all time. They recognize the limitation of mankind and the unlimited power of God. They seek to humble himself before His grace.
This devotional from Oswald Chamber came at a good time. I certainly need the grace of God to heal me and strengthen me. Sickness humbles our pride and ego. It makes us realize that we are not god or immortal after all. We learn to let God be God, and we faithfully do our part in His Kingdom.
Love you by His grace,