Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Thanks for your prayer. The itchiness did not come as frequent and serious. I hope this is a sign of recovery even though my doctor appointment is on Friday afternoon. Thanks to many of your concerns; some of you recommended me medicine that was once helpful to you. Some of you remembered me in your prayer. I was really embraced by the love of God through you. How blessed I am to have a community of loving brothers and sisters like you! And it is good to know that you really read my devotional. Praise the Lord!
"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you; leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift" (Matthew 5:23, 24) It is easy to imagine that we will get to a place where we are complete and ready, but preparation is not suddenly accomplished, it is a process steadily maintained. It is dangerous to get into a settled state of experience. It is preparation and preparation.
The sense of sacrifice appeals readily to a young Christian. Humanly speaking, the one thing that attracts to Jesus Christ is our sense of the heroic, and the scrutiny of Our Lord's words suddenly brings this tide of enthusiasm to the test. "First be reconciled to your brother." The "go" of preparation is to let the word of God scrutinize. The sense of heroic sacrifice is not good enough. The thing the Holy Spirit is detecting in you is the disposition that will never work in His service. No one but God can detect that disposition in you. Have you anything to hide from God? If you have, then let God search you with His light. If there is sin, confess it, not admit it. Are you willing to obey your Lord and Master whatever the humiliation to your right to yourself may be?
Never discard a conviction. If it is important enough for the Spirit of God to have brought it to your mind, it is that thing He is detecting. You were looking for a great thing to give up. God is telling you of some tiny thing; but at the back of it there lies the central stronghold of stubbornness: I will not give up my right to myself - the thing God intends you to give up if ever you are going to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Devotional reflection, therefore, is to give God a chance to whisper to your ear and soul, the very thing that you need to deal with or remove in life. It may be your ‘blind’ self. It may be the hidden problem or sin that has been buried deep under your ‘busyness.’ Many people use busyness to run away from main issue in life. If you have marriage problem, you use busyness to escape from it. You stay in your office late and spend less time at home because you don’t want to face it. Busyness does not make your marriage problem disappear. It will only prolong your suffering and make your marriage worse. In the same token, many people bury their addiction problem with busyness. They keep themselves busy with work, family and church activities in order to escape from dealing with the problem. Unfortunately the problem will not go away and you continue to indulge yourself in your addiction as though it is okay, because it does not affect your daily ‘performance’ at home and your ‘productivity’ at work. You only allow your problem to eat you up and deteriorate your integrity. One day, you are totally clueless when you find your family and your life completely fall apart. Calm down from your busyness and start listening to God again. Let the Holy Spirit speak directly to your soul and confess your sins. Take God’s word seriously and start applying to your life right away. Only by doing so, you can experience real freedom in Christ and genuinely live abundantly.
Love you in His abundance,