Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Devotional 300909

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. What a wonderful day to be in His service! By God’s grace, I am recovering from my fatigue and rashes. Thank so much for many of your prayers. We thank God for giving us the authority to pray and rebuke Satan. Yes, our fresh may be weak and fragile, but the power of the Holy Spirit is always available within us for our usage, so that we can make impact and resist temptations in the world. Amen?

"Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church" (Colossians 1:24). We make up our calls out of our own spiritual consecration, but when we get right with God He brushes all these aside, and connect us with a painful process that we never dreamed of, and for one radiant flashing moment we suddenly see what He is after, and we say - "Here am I, send me."

This call has nothing to do with personal sanctification, but to make us become broken bread and poured-out wine. God can never make us wine if we refuse the fingers He uses to crush us with. How blessed I am if God would only use His own fingers, to make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way! But when He uses someone whom we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, and makes those as our crushers, we object. We must never choose the scene of our own martyrdom. If ever we are going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed; you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.

I wonder what kind of finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you, and you have been like a marble and escaped? You are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you, the wine would have been remarkably bitter. To be a set apart for God’s use means that the elements of our natural life are broken by the presence of God providentially in His service. We have to be adjusted into God before we can be broken bread in His hands. Keep right with God and let Him do what He likes, and you will find that He is producing the kind of bread and wine that will benefit His other children.

This is a difficult lesson in life but a spiritual reality. We will do whatever to escape from the “crushing” of God; we want to find an easy way to be His servant, or we don’t want to face the calling to be His servant at all. That may be the reason why we welcome the word “layman” as though we can avoid God’s finger and thumb. But the author of Hebrews reminded us, “The Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons” (Heb 12:6-8). Our two folded calling in Christ is clear: God loves you and want to make you a channel of His love to others. This is consistent with His calling for Abraham, and the Greatest Commandment affirmed by our Lord Jesus. You have no choice to be His children without His discipline. This is inconsistent to God’s nature and His commitment to us. If this is the case, some of you may regret to become His children, because you don’t want to suffer under God’s hands, right? However, there are only two choices in front of you: you can either suffer the discipline in God’s hands to become His noble vessel, or suffer the abuse in Satan’s hands to become his evil victim and partner. Remember. God has given you freedom to make your choice, but you don’t have freedom to choose the consequence.

Don’t play with evil fire lest you will be badly burnt. It is always better to be a fool in Christ than to be smart in sins. Our Lord Jesus used the parable of Wise Builder in His Sermon on the Mount (Matt 7:24-29) to remind us of our life investment. Whatever we build or invest in life will be tested by storm and rain. If you build or invest your life on firm foundation, you will survive the testing, if not you will suffer significant lost. Paul echoed with similar warning that our lives will be tested by fire. He said, “If any man builds on this foundation (Jesus Christ) using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Cor 3:12-15). Therefore, invest your best to build on your relationship with Christ, through whom you will find the greatest rewards both earthly and heavenly.

Love you according to His Plan,

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