Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It is a blessing to have beautiful sunshine in Burlingame; this gives me a lot of incentives to go to work from my foggy home in Daly City. Everyday is a new privilege in serving God. People may come and go. But our Lord remains eternally. Praise the Lord!
"Blessed are the poor in spirit" (Matthew 5:3). The New Testament notices things which from our standards do not seem to count. "Blessed are the poor in spirit," literally should be - Blessed are the paupers or homeless - an exceedingly commonplace thing! The preaching of to-day is apt to emphasize strength of will, beauty of character - the things that are easily noticed. The phrase we hear so often, Decide for Christ, is an emphasis on something Our Lord never trusted. He never asks us to decide for Him, but to yield to Him - a very different thing. At the basis of Jesus Christ's Kingdom is the unaffected loveliness of the commonplace. The thing I am blessed in is my poverty. If I know I have no strength of will, no nobility of disposition, then Jesus says - Blessed are you, because it is through this poverty that I enter His Kingdom. I cannot enter His Kingdom as a good man or woman, I can only enter it as a complete pauper or very poor person.
The true character of the loveliness that tells for God is always unconscious. Conscious influence is arrogant and un-Christian. If I say - I wonder if I am of any use - I instantly disconnect my life with the Lord. "He that believes in me, out of him shall flow rivers of living water." If I question on the outflow of my life, I lose the touch of the Lord.
Which are the people who have influenced us most? Not the ones who thought they did, but those who had never imagined that they were influencing us. In the Christian life the hidden quality is never conscious, if it is conscious it ceases to have this unaffected loveliness which is the characteristic of the touch of Jesus. We always know when Jesus is at work because He produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring.
Genuine fruits came about unconsciously; the natural process of fruit bearing is hidden. You may have waited for your tree to bear fruits for years but see no result. Suddenly one day you see new fruits grow out from the tip of a branch so unexpectedly. You have no clue where it came from. This fruit just grows out from within the tree. In the same token, the Fruit of the Spirit grows out from a person who yields his or her life to Christ totally. Paul said, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). You may have your desire to bear certain type of Spiritual Fruit in life. It is the Holy Spirit that finally determines the kind of fruit He wants you to bear for His glory. We can’t decorate ourselves with godly beauty. Godly beauty is an outflow of a genuine godly life in Christ. You will not even aware of this quality in you until someone is blessed by this spiritual fruit they see in you. Therefore, we don’t focus on bearing fruit but abiding in Christ or obey the Word of God at all time. Have a blessed weekend to walk with the Lover of your soul.
Love you through Christ,