Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Devotional 220709

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I am not as fatigue as yesterday, even though I had the same amount of sleep. I need to spend more time to stay focus on the Lord and nourish my hope (not my worry) in Him. He is the one who cares not only my daily walk with Him but every other details of my life. He is the ultimate CEO at my work; He is the real Owner of my house; He is the personal Trainer of my life, He is my true Soul mate or Lover of my soul. He will indeed watch over me day in and day out. Praise the Lord!

"It is God's will that you should be sanctified" (1 Thessalonians 4:3a). In sanctification God has to deal with us on the death side as well as on the life side. Many of us spend so much time in the place of death that we get gloomy. There is always a battle royal before sanctification, always something that tugs with resentment against the demands of Jesus Christ. Immediately the Spirit of God begins to show us what sanctification means, the struggle begins. "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26).

The Spirit of God in the process of sanctification will strip me until I am nothing but "myself," that is the place of death. Am I willing to be "myself" and nothing more? Am I willing to be with no friends, no father, no brother, no self-interest - simply ready for death for Christ? That is the condition of sanctification. No wonder Jesus said: "I came not to send peace, but a sword." This is where the battle comes, and where so many of us faint. We refuse to be identified with the death of Jesus on this point. "But it is so harsh," we may protest; "He cannot wish me to do that." Our Lord is harsh; and He does wish us to do that for our sanctification.

Am I willing to reduce myself simply to "me," determinedly to strip myself of all that my friends think of me, of all I think of myself, and to hand that simple naked self over to God? Immediately, He will sanctify me wholly, and my life will be free from earnestness in connection with every thing but God.

When I pray - "Lord, show me what sanctification means for me," He will show me. It means being made one with Jesus. Sanctification is not something Jesus Christ puts into me: it is Himself who lives in me. Just as Paul said, “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30). Once we invite Jesus into our house, He expects us to move out all the “precious” things that we have collected or stored from within, and give room for Him to be the new Master. When a groom receives his new bride into his house, he must be willing to change his former lifestyle and allow his wife to have a say in “house cleaning.” If a groom does not treasure his bride more than all his collections in the house, he is not ready to get married.

Many people don’t mind to enjoy “courtship” with Christ or God once a week or 1 hour a day. But when it means costing their lifestyle or their treasures to live with Christ, they will definitely hesitate. They don’t want to have serious commitment to this relationship. They just like to have a little dosage of “spirituality” to make them feel good about themselves. Unfortunately you cannot buy 15 minutes of Christianity whenever you feel like it. Just as you cannot buy 15 minutes of “marriage;” there is only prostitution but not marriage you can buy in such manner. To follow Christ involves a lifetime 24/7 commitments. You ‘cannot’ be His disciples if you are not willing to strip away all your earthly relational attachments; this kind of sanctification process will surely take a lifetime to realize and grow. Let’s encourage one another toward this calling to be the true follower of Christ.

Love you because of Christ,

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