Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Devotional 230909

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. The itchy rashes on my skin continued to bother me. Please remember me in your prayers. It affected my sleep and my focus at work. Hopefully I will find time to consult a doctor this week. I am extremely busy with a packed weekend of teaching ministry.

"Behold, we go up to Jerusalem" (Luke 18:31). In the natural life our ambitions alter as we develop; in the Christian life the goal is given at the beginning, the beginning and the end are the same, that is Our Lord Himself. We start with Christ and we end with Him - "until we all attain to the stature of the manhood of Christ Jesus," not to our idea of what the Christian life should be. The aim of the missionary is to do God's will, not to be useful, not to win the heathen; he is useful and he does win the heathen, but that is not his aim. His aim is to do the will of his Lord.

In Our Lord's life Jerusalem was the place where He reached the climax of His Father's will upon the Cross, and unless we go with Jesus there we will have no companionship with Him. Nothing ever discouraged Our Lord on His way to Jerusalem. He never hurried through certain villages where He was persecuted, or lingered in others where He was blessed. Neither gratitude nor ingratitude turned Our Lord one hair's breadth away from His purpose to go up to Jerusalem.

"The disciple is not above his Master." The same things will happen to us on our way to our Jerusalem. There will be the works of God manifested through us, people will get blessed, and one or two will show gratitude and the rest will show gross ingratitude, but nothing must deflect us from going up to our Jerusalem.

"There they crucified Him." That is what happened when Our Lord reached Jerusalem, and that happening is the gateway to our salvation. The saints do not end in crucifixion: by the Lord's grace they end in glory. In the meantime our watchword is - I, too, go up to Jerusalem.

Our Lord Jesus demonstrated to us what a mission minded or purpose driven life is about. He was very focus. Nothing would deflect our Lord from the most important mission that He was sent to do. His discernment of the timing and plan of His Heavenly Father played a major part in His life. Therefore he needs to stay focus with the Command center. It just like the special police task force needs to stay connected with each other and especially with the command center in order to proceed with a mission. If a member is disconnected, he or she will be in dangerous position to get hurt by enemy. We are engaging in spiritual warfare with evil force. If we don’t stay connected with our Command Center who knows the movement of our enemy from above (better than satellite spy camera), we will operate in the dark facing unknown attacked from our enemy. We need to stay focus on our life mission, and stay connected with our Lord Jesus, who knows the enemy’s strategy and movement. He cares about His land troop on earth, even though casualty could occur. He wants His church to operate like the US Marin’s slogan: “No Marin is left behind in the battle field.” Team spirit and support are extremely important for soldiers in the battle field. This is something lacking in the spiritual land troop of God. As a result, casualty becomes very high. The drop out rate of church membership is increasing in the last few decades, especially in Europe and North America. If we allow this phenomenon to continues, many believe that Muslims will soon become majority in population in Europe; birth rate among Muslims is much faster than Caucasians, and in general, Muslims have stronger ‘group identity’ as a religious/cultural group than the ‘individualization of Western culture.’ This is a reality we need to face and learn to stay connected with God and each others even more. Have mercy on us O Lord!

Love you as a fellow troop member,

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