Friday, July 31, 2009

Devotional 310709

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. God is always at work in our lives no matter where you are. I was glad to receive news from two brothers who are away from us in Los Angeles and Macau. They both are doing well and have settled down in their own apartments. Our newly wedded is enjoying their honeymoon with books. And our young pastor is living in a two bedrooms apartment feeling homesick. I am sure our Lord has blessings and lessons for both of them in days to come. I am enjoying my quiet time at home for my no pay leave. There are always a lot of works to do at home besides running errand. I need to prepare sermon for tonight and this Sunday as well.

"Let your endurance be a finished product, so that you may be finished and complete, with never a defect" (James 1:4, MOFFATT). Many of us are all right in the main, but there are some domains in which we are sloppy. It is not a question of sin, but of the odds and ends of our carnal life which are apt to make us sloppy. Carelessness or sloppiness is an insult to the Holy Spirit. There should be nothing sloppy, whether it is in the way we eat and drink, or in the way we worship God.

Not only must our relationship to God be right, but the external expression of that relationship must be right too. Ultimately God will let nothing escape, every detail is under His scrutiny. In numberless ways God will bring us back to the same point over and over again. He never tires of bringing us to the one point until we learn the lesson, because He is producing the finished product. It may be a question of impulse, and again and again, with the most persistent patience, God has brought us back to the one particular point; or it may be mental wool-gathering or independent individuality. God is trying to impress upon us the one thing that is not entirely right.

We have been having a wonderful time this Session over the revelation of God's Redemption, our hearts are perfect towards Him; His wonderful work in us makes us know that in the main we are right with Him. "Now," says the Spirit, through James, "let your endurance be a finished product." Watch the careless bits - "Oh, that will have to do for now." Whatever it is, God will point it out with persistence until we are entirely His.

God deserves the best from us. Look at all the details in His creation. Even a little insect is carefully created for a certain function. Therefore, He expects perfection from us even though He knows we can never become perfect. Our post-modern culture uplifts carefree clothing or lifestyle but not sloppy on the presentations (matching colors and style from head to toe). Wedding for example is getting more sophisticated and expensive; young couples don’t mind to invest a lot of money and time to one day celebration. But they are sloppy or carefree on their daily habits in up keeping their marriage afterward. God expects us to approach perfection from inside out. With His gentle voice and loving methods, our God will put us through different lessons in helping us to grow out of our sloppiness in life.

As fellow members of His Body, we learn to hold each other accountable in dealing with our sloppiness. Of course, we need to do it in a tactful way and loving motive. We don’t use a teasing or harsh manner to point out other’s sloppy habit. We learn to remind others in private and sincere manner. And make sure we ask others to remind you when they see your sloppiness. By doing so, we are functioning truly like a body, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Cor 12:26-27). God will make you perfect. And He will perfect you through your Body life with other brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, don’t run away when you find it difficult to be under scrutiny or to change yourself to interact with “strangers,” see it as a way God wants to grow you from your sloppy lifestyle.

Love you in Christ,

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