Friday, July 17, 2009

Devotional 170709

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Thank God for giving us the resources to make life more comfortable and beautiful. We have the luxury in life that many people in this world do not have. We live in a world of choices. We can choose the kind of food or diet plan we prefer. We have luxury to choose the kind of car, house, clothes, shoes, hairstyle and furniture that we like. But in reality, many people do not share the same privilege in this world. Yes, the word “privilege” dawn on me while I was driving to work. Driving is a privilege that comes with responsibility; we must obey traffic laws. If we don’t our privilege of driving will be removed from us. In the same token, life is a privilege that comes with a responsibility we receive from God; we are to obey the principles that He spells out in the Bible. Otherwise, this privilege of life we enjoy so far will eventually be removed from us.

"When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power" (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).

Paul was a scholar and an orator of the first rank; he is not speaking out of hopeless humility; but saying that he would veil the power of God if, when he preached the gospel, he impressed people with his "excellency of speech." Belief in Jesus is a miracle produced only by the effectiveness of Redemption, not by impressiveness of speech, not by wooing and winning, but by the sheer unaided power of God. The creative power of the Redemption comes through the preaching of the Gospel, but never because of the personality of the preacher. The real fasting of the preacher is not from food, but rather from eloquence, from impressiveness and exquisite articulation, from everything that might hinder the gospel of God being presented. The preacher is there as the representative of God - "as though God did beseech you by us." He is there to present the Gospel of God. If it is only because of my preaching that people desire to be better, they will never get anywhere near Jesus Christ. Anything that flatters me in my preaching of the Gospel will end in making me a traitor to Jesus; I prevent the creative power of His Redemption from doing its work.

Our Lord Jesus said, “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself” (John 12:31-32). Our calling as followers of Christ is to lift up the name of our Lord Jesus, so that all men will be drawn to Him but not to us. We have a tendency as human being to draw people’s attention to ourselves to entertain our pride or self-centeredness. We feel good when people want to listen to our teaching or preaching. But when people focus their attention on us, they would have missed the real source of transformation and redemption in Christ. The line is so thin that we preacher can easily stumble by our own ego without we even aware of it. Have mercy on us O Lord! Constantly remind us of our sinful nature lest we would stumble others in our service to you. We have nothing to boast because ability and power, if we have any, are gifts from above. They are given to us for the purpose to lift up the name of Christ and His cross.

May God strengthen your walk with Him today! May your life continue to shine for Him, and the good deeds of your life will bring glory to our Heavenly Father!

Love you by His goodness,

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