Monday, August 24, 2009

Devotional 240809

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I thank God for a wonderful weekend to be with my family. We had some quality time to talk and share throughout the trip. I wished we had more time to spend with one another, especially with my son and two foster children. Today I am on call for my Jury Duty, and need to help my foster kid move back to Berkeley again. See if I will become the ‘chosen’ juror.

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?" (Matthew 7:9) The illustration of prayer that Our Lord uses here is that of a good child asking for a good thing. We talk about prayer as if God heard us regardless of the fact of our relationship to Him, like His general grace for all: “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). Never say it is not God's will to give you what you ask, don't sit down and faint, but find out the reason, turn up the indicator. Are you rightly related to your wife, to your husband, to your children, to your fellow-students - are you a "good child" there? "0 Lord, I have been bad-tempered and cross the line, but I do want spiritual blessing." You cannot have it; you will have to do without until you come into the attitude of a good child.

We mistake disobedience for devotion; arguing with God for abandonment. We will not look at the indicator. Have I been asking God to give me money for something I want when there is something I have not paid for? Have I been asking God for liberty while I am withholding it from someone who belongs to me? I have not forgiven someone his trespasses; I have not been kind to him; I have not been living as God's child among my relatives and friends. Make sure you don’t forget the golden rule, “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (7:12).

I am a child of God only by regeneration, and as a child of God I am good only as I walk in the light. Prayer with most of us is turned into religious boredom; it is a matter of emotion, mystical communion with God. Spiritually we are all good at producing fogs. If we turn up the indicator, we will see very clearly what is wrong - that friendship, that debt, that temper of mind. It is no use praying unless we are living as children of God. Then, Jesus says - "Everyone that asks receives."

In prayer, God speaks and reminds us of what we need to shape up in life. We seldom pay attention to what God has to say through prayer, but focus only on what we want from Him; we don’t really ask for Him but ask for the things we desire apart from Him. Once we seriously focus on Him for a few seconds, His words will penetrate into our hearts and make us remember, reflect or repent. We can either ignore Him by moving on our lives without Him, or we pause and interact with Him in an intimate way. This is how we nurture our relationship with God or how we walk with Christ each day. Our heavenly Father is always watching over us and waiting to interact with us. He will not force His way in but wait for our invitation. Our way of inviting Christ into our live is by focusing on Him or worshipping Him. Have mercy on us O Lord. We too used to do our own things and make our own decisions without seeking you at all. Help us to be Christ-conscious. Remind us to invite you to take control of our lives from time to time, because this is the way we receive blessings from you. Amen.

Love you in Christ,

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