Friday, September 11, 2009

Devotional 110909

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Thank God for a beautiful Friday. I am excited for an abundant weekend ahead of me; I will speak at a mission conference tonight, perform a wedding tomorrow, preach two sermons on Sunday and fly to Oregon immediately after church. Thank God for giving me opportunity and strength to serve Him, but I covet your prayers for me too.

"If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet" (John 13:14). Ministering as opportunity surrounds us does not mean selecting our surroundings, it means being very selectively God's in any haphazard surroundings which He engineers for us. The characteristics we manifest in our immediate surroundings are indications of what we will be like in other surroundings.

The things that Jesus did were of the most basic and common practice; this is an indication that it takes all God's power in me to do the most commonplace things in His way. Can I use a towel as He did? Towels and dishes and sandals, all the ordinary disgusting things of our lives, reveal more quickly than anything what we are made of. It takes God Almighty Incarnate in us to do the meanest duty as it ought to be done.

"I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you." Watch the kind of people God brings around you, and you will be humiliated to find that this is His way of revealing to you the kind of person you have been to Him. Now, He says, exhibit to that one exactly what I have shown to you.

"Oh," you say, "I will do all that when I get out into the foreign field." To talk in this way is like trying to prepare the weapons of war in the trenches - you will be killed while you are doing it.

We have to go the "second mile" with God. Some of us get played out in the first ten yards, because God compels us to go where we cannot see the way, and we say - "I will wait till I get nearer the big crisis." If we do not do the running steadily in the little ways, we shall do nothing in the crisis.

I like the way Mother Teresa put it, “God does not ask us to do great things. He asks us to do small things with great love.” This is exactly what she did in India. She took some dying people from the street, cleaned them and fed them until they eventually died with human dignity. She did not do it because she wanted Media attention or to aim at the Nobel Prize. She did it because she felt that this was a calling from God to do little things with great love from above. She recognized that no human love could sustain such kind of tedious and lowly service for the poorest of the poor; even family members forsake these dying elderly as useless junk or garbage on the street. She knew she needed the power of God’s love daily. That’s why she required her nuns to spend two hours in prayer and meditation each morning before they labored for the poor each day. She knew she could not do without the divine love to perform such tedious and dirty jobs. She might not have preached or communicated her faith to these dying people, mostly elderly. She just did what she felt called by God to do in India.

We might not have such calling to serve the poor in foreign places. But we can always do some lowly mundane work at home or in church for others. It is a spiritual issue instead of a cultural issue. Yes, in our culture it is not a common practice to wash other people’s feet. It could be cleaning after dinner or help wash other people’s car. I always remember how one of our elders in Chinatown helped clean the sidewalk of the church every Sunday morning before people came to church. He was an English professor at Stanford University but he humbly served the Body of Christ in a quiet manner. Moreover, he would bring food to his elderly neighbors when they were sick besides visiting needy church members. God received him home shortly after he had retired from work.

I thank God for many servant leaders’ examples that He put in my life. These people’s testimonies are precious to God because they were truly channels of His blessings to mankind. It is this kind of lifestyle that makes us light and salt of the world that God has intended for us to live.

Love you as a servant of Christ,

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