Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Devotional 210709

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I did not know why I was so sleepy this morning. I need to seek Him for more strength to face the challenge of today. Life is full of excitement. There are so much potential in us to be utilized for the blessing of others and our own fulfillment. The main thing is to focus; do one thing at a time. Prioritization is to identify the things that we need to accomplish in life in according to their importance. Make sure I don’t exhaust myself in doing just the urgent things but not the important things, or spinning the wheel on things without significant values.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3). Beware of placing Our Lord as a Teacher first. If Jesus Christ is a Teacher only, then all He can do is to torture me by erecting a standard I cannot attain. What is the use of presenting me with an ideal I cannot possibly come near? I am happier without knowing it. What is the good of telling me to be what I never can be - to be pure in heart, to do more than my duty, to be perfectly devoted to God? I must know Jesus Christ as Savior before His teaching has any meaning for me other than that of an ideal, which leads to despair. But when I am born again of the Spirit of God, I know that Jesus Christ did not come to teach only: He came to make me what He teaches I should be. The Redemption means that Jesus Christ can put into any man the disposition that ruled His own life, and all the standards God gives are based on that disposition.

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount produces despair in the natural man - the very thing Jesus means it to do. As long as we have a self-righteous, conceited notion that we can carry out Our Lord's teaching, God will allow us to go on until we break our ignorance over some obstacle, then we are willing to come to Him as paupers and receive from Him. "Blessed are the paupers in spirit," that is the first principle in the Kingdom of God. The bedrock in Jesus Christ's kingdom is poverty, not possession; not decisions for Jesus Christ, but a sense of absolute futility or inadequacy - I cannot begin to do it. Then Jesus says - Blessed are you! That is the entrance, and it does take us a long while to believe we are poor! The knowledge of our own poverty brings us to the moral frontier where Jesus Christ works.

The problem with Christians today is similar to the Church of Laodicea. Jesus warned us of this church, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see” (Revelation 3:15-18). Jesus was referring to the hot spring of Laodicea. A hot spring is full of minerals that are good for healing purpose when it is hot. And when a hot spring completely cool down, with all the minerals settle down on the riverbed, the water becomes drinkable. A lukewarm hot spring is definitely useless; it cannot be used for healing or drinking. If a person drinks a lukewarm hot spring will vomit. That’s how our Lord Jesus describes a lukewarm church or Christian; it is useless in the Kingdom of God. And it will only make people vomit.

When God puts you in a inadequate situation, He wants you to realize how pitiful and poor you are, so that you would seek God for real satisfaction; to quench your thirst or feed your hunger. If you still feel that you are capable to run your life or independent from God, you will never be able to experience the joy of the Kingdom of God.

Love you by the power of His love,

No comments: