Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I am about to depart for Irvine to visit my daughter and son-in-law. Therefore you may not receive devotional from me until Wednesday. I pray that you will draw close to the Lord as you always do. Taking a "devotional break" is as important as taking a lunch break. Don’t underestimate the vitality of building a strong relationship with God just as building a strong relationship with your family or your loved one. It means a lot to you on earth as it is in heaven.
"If serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15). Will is the whole man active. I cannot give up my will, I must exercise it. I must will to obey, and I must will to receive God's Spirit. When God gives a vision of truth it is never a question of what He will do, but of what we will do. The Lord has been putting before us all some big propositions, and the best thing to do is to remember what you did when you were touched by God before - the time when you were saved, or first saw Jesus, or realized some truth. It was easy then to yield allegiance to God; recall those moments now as the Spirit of God brings before you some new proposition.
"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve." It is a deliberate calculation, not something into which you drift easily; and everything else is on hold until you decide. The proposition is between you and God; do not confer with flesh and blood about it. With every new proposition other people get more and more "out of it," that is where the strain comes. God allows the opinion of His saints to matter to you, and yet you are brought more and more out of the certainty that others understand the step you are taking. You have no business to find out where God is leading, the only thing God will explain to you is Himself.
Profess to Him - 'I will be loyal.' Immediately you choose to be loyal to Jesus Christ, you are a witness against yourself. Don't consult other Christians, but profess before Him - I will serve You, Lord. Will to be loyal - and give other people credit for being loyal too.
Satan likes to attack our will. He will start with our mind by giving us some reason to doubt our relationship with God or justify our defiance of His commands. This kind of evil scheme began on day one when Eve saw the forbidden fruit. "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Once Eve accepted this evil justification, she changed her mind and decided to go against God’s will. Satan does not need to do much but to inject a counter proposal to please your flesh or your ego. When you are presented with an option between serving God or mammon, I hope you will choose to remain loyal to Christ.
You don’t want to wait until you face death or in your dying bed before you consider your loyalty to Christ. Some reporters described Michael Jackson’s funeral as a spiritual revival event. I guess it was because there were a lot of spiritual songs being sung by Michael’s friends to create that spiritual atmosphere. But I wondered to myself what Christ really meant to the singers when they sang about the love of Jesus and the glory of Christ. Unfortunately, many Christians will only think about the relationship with God when they face death or in funeral. They missed the opportunities to live for Christ while they are still vibrant and healthy. I pray that Michael’s death will truly remind many people that life is in the hand of God. Let's take advantage of the moment of today to live out our loyalty to our Creator God by doing His will.
Love you as He commands,