Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning from El Paso, Texas. It was wonderful to enjoy a retreat in a hotel room with internet access. I thought I would be in some kind of camp ground here. But they put me in a hotel near airport and transport me to a Day Camp at some club house instead. I will deliver 7 messages over this long weekend. And it was nice to have some quiet time in between to relax, read and meditate.
"I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word" (John 17:6). The disciple of Christ is one in whom the Holy Spirit has shaped this realization - "You are not your own." To say, "I am not my own" is to have reached a great point in spiritual nobility. The true nature of the life in the actual whirl is the deliberate giving up of myself to another in sovereign preference, and that other is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit explained the nature of Jesus to me in order to make me one with my Lord, not that I might go off as a showroom exhibit. Our Lord never sent any of the disciples out on the ground of what He had done for them. It was not until after the Resurrection, when the disciples had perceived by the power of the Holy Spirit Whom He was, that Jesus said "Go."
"If any man come to me and hate not . . . , he cannot be MY disciple," not, he cannot be good and upright, but, he cannot be one over whom Jesus writes the word "Mine." Any one of the relationships Our Lord mentions may be a competitive relationship. I may prefer to belong to my mother, or to my wife, or to myself; then, says Jesus, you cannot be My disciple. This does not mean I will not be saved, but it does mean that I cannot be "His."
Our Lord makes a disciple His own possession, He becomes responsible for him. "You shall be MY witnesses." The spirit that comes in is not that of doing anything for Jesus, but of being a perfect delight to Him. The secret of being His disciple is - I am His, and He is carrying out His enterprises through me.
“I am entirely His” is the ultimate goal of our Christian life. We are called to be His possession. We should be proud to be called His disciple or His children. We want to live a life fulfilling His plan or make Him happy. And this kind of life should be one that gives us great joy too; as a matter of fact, it is His joy in me just as our Lord said, “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:10-11). There is a great deal of fulfillment to find my destiny; this is to find my belonging to Him.
I still remember my prayer at the bank of Pearl River in Canton thirty some years ago. God miraculously saved me from a boat collision that killed hundreds of people; most of them were drown by the fast muddy river at the middle of night. Two sleeper boats carried two hundreds some passengers each collided with each other at the middle of night and sank immediately along with the sleepers. I was spared because tickets were sold out. At first I was very upset for not being able to get onboard; I was in tears of repentance and thanksgiving later. My prayer after I found out what had happened was that my life was no longer mine by His. From that point onward I commit my life to His possession. He has perfect freedom to do whatever with it. And I have so much joy and fulfillment ever since.
Let Him take over your life. Give yourself to your Lord Jesus more than you give to any human beings on earth, because only He can give you real fulfillment in life that nobody could ever give. Amen.
Love you in Christ,