Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Devotional 010709

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. While I was driving to office, God prompted me to pray for some missionary candidates who are waiting for God’s provision either for financial support or for visa to enter the mission fields. We may be eager to send them to the needy fields. But our Lord of Harvest seemed to have another plan. Our Lord probably wants them to learn the lesson of waiting, which is not a pleasant experience for most people. Through waiting God nurtures our faith in Him. Apostle James said, “You know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:4). I guess God cares for our maturity in Him more than our completion of His work. Praise the Lord!

"I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny" (Matthew 5:26). There is no heaven with a little corner of hell in it. God is determined to make you pure and holy and right; He will not allow you to escape for one moment from the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit. He urged you to come to judgment right away when He convicted you, but you did not; the inevitable process began to work and now you are in prison, and you will only get out when you have paid the uttermost penalty. "Is this a God of mercy, and of love?" you say. Seen from God's side, it is a glorious ministry of love. God is going to bring you out pure and spotless and undefiled; but He wants you to recognize your true nature - the nature of seeking your right to yourself. The moment you are willing that God should alter your nature, His recreating forces will begin to work. The moment you realize God's purpose, which is to get you rightly related to Himself and then to your fellow men, He will utilize the last limit of the universe to help you take the right road. Decide it now - "Yes, Lord, I will write that email to-night"; "I will be reconciled to that person now."

These messages of Jesus Christ are for the will and the conscience, not for the head. If you dispute the Sermon on the Mount with your head, you will neglect the appeal to your heart.

"I wonder why I don't go on with God?" Are you paying your debts from God's standpoint? Do now what you will have to do some day. Every moral call has an "ought" behind it.

In another word, it is not an option or suggestion to live according to God’s standard. If you don’t, your life will be in jeopardy – you will be paying for your judgment. Your judgment may not be eternal condemnation. You will certainly pay for the consequence of your rebellion. Don’t hesitate to follow God’s purpose for your life and experience His saving grace on a daily basis. Just as Paul said in his letter to the Philippians, “My dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence (at church or fellowship), but now much more in my absence (at workplace or home)--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (2:12-13). As we “determine” to do His will and walk His way, the Holy Spirit will empower us to do accordingly. If we fail, we go back to God and confess our inadequacy to Him. Then, stand up and count on His grace to start all over again. This is how toddlers learn to walk; this is how Christians learn to live.

Love you with His joy,

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