Saturday, October 31, 2009

Last session on Perspective course

Praise God for giving me strength to finish this 15 hours of training program on: Perspectives on the world Christian movement. It is a thorough teaching on our Christian mandate to make disciples of all nations. Pray that our young people is equipped to join the mission force in global evangelization.

Farewell to a great leader

Rev. Mark Cheng was a great leader in promoting global mission among Chinese Churches. He dedicated his whole life in mobilizing Chinese churches in supporting mission and sending missionaries to all over the world. He was 91 years old. He had indeed fought a good fight. His life had impacted many.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Devotional 301009

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It is a blessing to work in a very beautiful environment along the water front of the Bay. I enjoy the beauty of His creation and the indwelling of His presence. Nothing can compare the precious grace of God, who give us this new life in Christ. I can’t imagine how my life may become without this relationship with God. His presence is my wisdom and my strength, which gives me this inner joy and peace that surpasses all understanding. Praise the Lord!

"Without faith it is impossible to please Him" (Hebrews 11:6). Faith in antagonism to common sense is fanaticism, and common sense in antagonism to faith is rationalism. The life of faith brings the two into a right relation. Common sense is not faith, and faith is not common sense; they stand in the relation of the natural and the spiritual; of impulse and inspiration. Nothing Jesus Christ ever said is common sense, it is revelation sense, and it reaches the shores where common sense fails. Faith must be tried before the reality of faith is actual. "We know that all things work together for good," then no matter what happens, the alchemy of God's providence transfigures the ideal faith into actual reality. Faith always works on the personal line, the whole purpose of God being to see that the ideal faith is made real in His children.

For every detail of the common-sense life, there is a revelation fact of God whereby we can prove in practical experience what we believe God to be. Faith is a tremendously active principle which always puts Jesus Christ first – “Lord, you have said that seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33), it looks mad, but I am going to venture on your word.” To turn head faith into a personal possession is a fight always, not sometimes. God brings us into circumstances in order to educate our faith, because the nature of faith is to make its object real. Until we know Jesus, God is a mere abstraction, we can not have faith in Him; but immediately we hear Jesus say - "He that has seen Me has seen the Father," we have something that is real, and faith is boundless. Faith is the whole man rightly related to God by the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Some people said that faith is like our muscle. The more you use it the stronger it becomes. You cannot take a pill or eat special diet to grow muscle. You just have to exercise your muscle daily in order to grow it. In the same token, God in His design wants us to grow faith accordingly. Our experience with God grows when we exercise our faith to obey His words each day, no matter how irrational or illogical it may seem.

When I look back in my life, Loretta and I followed Matthew 6:33 as the anchor verse for our marriage and life. And indeed God provides us more than we can imagine as we seek Him first in our lives. God gave us abundant provisions to meet all our daily needs. He gave us two children and they grew up without lacking anything. We grow in Him each day as we continue to put Him first in our lives in whatever we do. I sincerely believe that God honors those who honor Him. I am not perfect, and I can’t say I honor Him in every aspect of my life. But I seek to grow toward this goal and press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me (Phil 3:12b). I encourage you to put Him first in your life and expereicne Him today...

Love you by faith in Christ,

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Devotional 291009

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. The wind subsides. The sun is warm and the bay is so beautiful! While I was listening to Scripture reading (Mandarin) along with my coffer, I didn’t feel the traffic jam at all. Yes, there were a lot of cars on South bound 101 to San Mateo Bridge. But when my focus was not on the traffic but on the Word of God, everything seemed so smooth and fast. It feels like having someone whom you love to talk to while you drive. And I believe this is the experience of walking with Christ.

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:.21). The modern view of the death of Jesus is that He died for our sins out of sympathy. The New Testament view is that He bore our sin not by sympathy, but by identification. He was made to be sin. Our sins are removed because of the death of Jesus, and the explanation of His death is His obedience to His Father, not His sympathy with us. We are acceptable with God not because we have obeyed, or because we have promised to give up things, but because of the death of Christ, and in no other way. We say that Jesus Christ came to reveal the Fatherhood of God, the loving-kindness of God; the New Testament says He came to bear away the sin of the world. The revelation of His Father is to those to whom He has been introduced as Savior. Jesus Christ never spoke of Himself to the world as one who revealed the Father, but as a stumbling block. Jesus said, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father” (see John 15:22- 24). Jesus proclamation, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9b) was only spoken to His disciples.

That Christ died for me, “therefore I go debt free” is never taught in the New Testament. What is taught in the New Testament is that "He died for all" (not - He died my death), and that by identification with His death I can be freed from sin, and have imparted to me His very righteousness. The substitution taught in the New Testament is twofold: "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." It is not Christ for me unless I am determined to have Christ formed in me.

In another word, the redemption of the cross is not effective on me if I do not identify with His death as the only way to be free from sin. The word identification is therefore the central idea of new creation in Christ. A new life is born from within me as I identify with the death of Christ for all sinners. In this way, as the life of Christ matures within me, the death of Christ becomes my daily reminder that "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” Galatians 2:20). This may sound too profound to us today. But it is how the earlier church and believers conducted their lives daily. We can never explain why the early church braved severe persecutions, and the threat of losing everything they treasured in life (including their family and loved ones), just to bear witness for Christ in their lives. To them, it was not them who died for Christ but Christ in them who died for all. The Body of Christ on earth will continue to brave persecutions for the sake of proclaiming the Good News to mankind. The Church does not sacrifice for the needs of mankind. The church sacrifices because of her obedience to Christ who lives in them and continues to offer Himself as living sacrifice for the salvation of all people.

Something for you to meditate and respond to your Master today…

Love you through Christ,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Devotional 281009

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Even though the traffic is bad and weather is windy, I feel secure by hiding in the loving arms of God the Father. He is our hiding place. We can always find perfect peace in Him. Praise the Lord! It is our Lord’s desire to give us this peace just as He promised us, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). Remain in the Lord wherever you are, and enjoy this wonderful gift that He gives.

"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life" (Romans 5:10). I am not saved by believing; I only realize that I am saved by believing. It is not repentance that saves me; repentance is the sign that I realize what God has done in Christ Jesus. The danger is to put the emphasis on the effect instead of on the cause. It is my obedience that puts me right with God, my consecration. Never! I am put right with God because prior to all, Christ died for me. When I turn to God and by faith accept what God reveals to me the gift that I can accept, instantly the astonishing Atonement of Jesus Christ rushes me into a right relationship with God; and by the supernatural miracle of God's grace I stand justified, not because I am sorry for my sin, not because I have repented, but because of what Jesus has done. The Spirit of God brings it with a breaking, shinning light, and I know, though I do not know how, that I am saved.

The salvation of God does not stand on human logic; it stands on the sacrificial Death of Jesus. We can be born again because of the Atonement of Our Lord. Sinful men and women can be changed into new creatures, not by their repentance or their belief, but by the marvelous work of God in Christ Jesus which is prior to all experience. The impregnable safety of justification and sanctification is God Himself. We have not to work out these things ourselves; they have been worked out by the Atonement. The supernatural becomes natural by the miracle of God; there is the realization of what Jesus Christ has already done - "It is finished."

We have nothing to boast. Our new life in Christ is a free gift; something we don’t deserve and nothing we can do to earn it. This is also the stumbling block for many who believe they can achieve salvation by good work, whether the Jews or Chinese. All human religions are human attempts to reach God or even to become God. We thought we can attain spiritual perfection or salvation by our good deeds and spiritual disciplines like keeping the Ten Commandments. The cross of Christ nullifies all these attempts. There is none we can use to accomplish what Christ has done on the Cross on our behalf. Not that we don’t need to do anything because of what Christ did. We simply accept this free gift by faith, and yield to this new life to grow within us to the point of losing the identity of our old selves. Just as Paul said, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:2-3), therefore, stop trying to save yourself by any good works, but abiding yourself in Christ each day. Tell the Holy Spirit how much you desire to walk with Him, and wait for Him to tell you how much He desire to walk with you.

Love you because of the Cross,

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Devotional 271009

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Praise God for a bright sunny day! Life is full of challenges and excitement simply because our Lord is working in our lives each day. His plan is to shape and mold us to be the kind of disciples that will impact the world. His plan is to use us to become His means to offer abundant lives to all people. This abundant life is a mission driven life; a life that is filled with joy and excitements. It is a life that sees no end in fulfillment and growth. It is a life that walks with Creator God each day until forever.

"Therefore go, and teach (make disciple of) all nations" (Matthew 28:19). Jesus Christ did not say - Go and save souls (the salvation of souls is the supernatural work of God), but - "Go and teach" that is to “disciple all nations," and you cannot make disciples unless you are a disciple yourself. When the disciples came back from their first mission they were filled with joy because the devils were subject to them, and Jesus said - Don't rejoice in successful service; the great secret of joy is that you are rightly related to Me. The great essential of the missionary is that he remains true to the call of God, and realizes that his one purpose is to disciple men and women to Jesus. There is a passion for souls that does not spring from God, but from the desire to make converts to our point of view.

The challenge to the missionary does not come on the line that people are difficult to get saved, that backsliders are difficult to reclaim, that people are indifference to the gospel; but along the line of his own personal relationship to Jesus Christ. "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" Our Lord puts that question steadily; it faces us in every individual case we meet. The one great challenge is - Do I know my Risen Lord? Do I know the power of His indwelling Spirit? Am I wise enough in God's sight, and foolish enough according to the world, to bank on what Jesus Christ has said, or am I abandoning the great supernatural position, which is the only call for his disciples, who have boundless confidence in Christ Jesus? If I take up any other method I depart altogether from the methods laid down by Our Lord - "All power is given unto Me . . , therefore go and make disciples of all nations."

Our mission is to teach the world about Christ, and our means is to imitate the life of Christ. The world wants to see how we walk our faith instead of just to talk about our faith. There are different philosophies and religions for people to build their faith upon. People are not interested to build their faith upon a “theory” or a “claim.” People want to build relationship with a God who is genuinely caring and omnipresence; a God of “Emmanuel.” I discovered lately that churches in China like to put the word “Emmanuel” at the center of their sanctuary. They want to remind themselves that the God upon whom they trust is a god of Emmanuel – omnipresence. After going through (or while they are still going through) many trials, hardship, persecutions and sufferings, they came to realize one thing – their God is truly Emmanuel; Our Lord Jesus did not remove His church from hardship or persecutions throughout centuries. Nevertheless, He, the Holy Spirit, did not forsake them but live and work among them. That little “Emmanuel” banner is their testimony and life message. God empowered the church in China to grow left and right throughout the last 60 years under Communist regime. They practiced their faith and obey the Lord’s command to make disciples among their own kinsmen. Now, the church of China will obey the Lord’s command to make disciples of ALL nations.

As I said in my sermon at the Bi-vocational conference, China is considered to be an awakening Giant or Super-power in this 21st Century. And Chinese Church (both in China and Diaspora) will also play a significant role in global mission; Missiologists believe that Chinese Church will produce 50,000 missionaries in the next twenty years (currently, we only have about 1000 Chinese missionaries globally). But before this projection becomes a reality, a great revival must first take place. Let’s pray that this revival will begin in you and me.

Love you for His glory,

Monday, October 26, 2009

Devotional 261009

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Praise God for an exciting weekend to witness God’s work in many people’s lives. God’s message had been preached and calling was issued. We will see how the Lord continues to work in His children’s lives to make a difference in the world. Our Lord is relentless until the gospel is preached to all peoples and all nations. A revival is happening in many Christian lives and in many churches across the land. We will see how the Lord may lead each one of us.

"As My Father has sent Me, even so send I you" (John 20:21) A missionary is one sent by Jesus Christ as He was sent by God. The great dominant note is not the needs of men, but the command of Jesus. The source of our inspiration in work for God is behind, not before. The tendency to-day is to put the inspiration ahead, to sweep everything in front of us and bring it all out to our conception of success. In the New Testament the inspiration is put behind us, the Lord Jesus. The ideal is to be true to Him, to carry out His enterprises.

Personal attachment to the Lord Jesus and His point of view is the one thing that must not be overlooked. In missionary enterprise the great danger is that God's call is replaced by the needs of the people until human sympathy absolutely overwhelms the meaning of being sent by Jesus. The needs are so enormous, the conditions so perplexing, that every power of mind fades and fails. We forget that the one great reason underneath all missionary enterprise is not first the elevation of the people, nor the education of the people, nor their needs; but first and foremost the command of Jesus Christ - "Go you therefore, and teach all nations."

When looking back on the lives of men and women of God the tendency is to say - What wonderfully perceptive wisdom they had! How perfectly they understood all God wanted! The perceptive mind behind is the Mind of God, not human wisdom at all. We give credit to human wisdom when we should give credit to the Divine guidance of God through childlike people who were foolish enough to trust God's wisdom and the supernatural equipment of God.

Indeed we need to take note from this reminder. We don’t preach the gospel because people need the Lord. People don’t know they need the Lord. As a matter of fact, people rebel against God. They attack the message and the messengers. It is us who impose the needs to them. It is not their felt needs. Good news for most people today is that they can find a job that pays well, or opportunity to make a lot of money. If we preach the gospel out of people’s need, we may never need to do so. We do it out of our obedience to Christ. We preach the gospel because our Creator God knows what man really need.

Sometimes, we are moved by the needs of mankind to give and to serve just like our Lord Jesus. When our Lord Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field" (Matt 9:36-38). But most of the time, we don’t necessarily moved by other people’s need; we do it out of obedience because it is a command from our loving Heavenly Father.

Have mercy on us O Lord! Help us draw close to you and feel your heartbeat for the lost. The time will come when opportunity to preach the gospel is over. Our Lord returns to judge the living and the dead. Seize the moment and do what you are commanded to do.

Love you in Christ,

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Preached at Christ Church of Bay Area

I like this hand painted poster in front of the church. Praise God for this loving church. It situates in a prime location with many Chinese moving into their neighborhood. They wait for a pastor to provide leadership for them to grow.
May God empower the leaders of this church to grow beyond they could ever imagine, and reach out to their community.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mission conference at CCBA

By God's grace, He used me to minister unto the Christ Church of Bay Area. Pray that He will continue to do so tomorrow at English and the Mandarin Services. A spirit of revival is needed for this church.

Bivocational conference continued

Praise God for a wonderful conference. The average age is 30. Many young adults came to learn how to profess Christ with their professions. Many enjoyed the worship time led by the Encounter, a worship team from Cross point Chinese Church.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Bivocational conference

We have 4 great workshop leaders who provided great insight and experience to all those who participate.

Praise God for the Bi-vocational conference at Gospel Operation International. The worship team was excellent. The participation of the congregation was active. Pray that this conference will make a difference in many people's life. Eventually, many will answer the call to go to the mission field.

Devotional 231009

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Praise God for another gorgeous day that our Lord has made. This is the day that we have because tomorrow is not within our reach. Seize this moment to grow and to serve Him. I was wondering how to mobilize Chinese churches and Christians for the great commission. Nowadays, Christians are busy with all kinds of activities inside and outside of churches. We are too tired to do the most important thing for God – the great commission. How can we answer God when we face His judgment seat today? Have mercy on us, O Lord. We need your help to refocus the church on our priorities.

"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our Lord never nurses our prejudices; He mortifies them, runs clean remove them. We imagine that God has a special interest in our particular prejudices; we are quite sure that God will never deal with us as He has to deal with other people. "God must deal with other people in a very stern way, but of course He knows that my prejudices are all right." We have to learn - "Not a bit of it!" Instead of God being on the side of our prejudices, He is deliberately wiping them out. It is part of our moral education to have our prejudices run straight across by His providence, and to watch how He does it. God pays no respect to anything we bring to Him. There is only one thing God wants of us, and that is our unconditional surrender.

When we are born again, the Holy Spirit begins to work His new creation in us, and there will come a time when there is not a bit of the old order left, the old seriousness goes, the old attitude to things goes, and "all things are of God." How are we going to get the life that has no lust, no self-interest, no sensitiveness to pokes, the love that is not provoked, that thinks no evil, that is always kind? The only way is by allowing not a bit of the old life to be left; but only simple perfect trust in God, such trust that we no longer want God's blessings, but only want Himself. Have we come to the place where God can withdraw His blessings and it does not affect our trust in Him? When once we see God at work, we will never bother our heads about things that happen, because we are actually trusting in our Father in Heaven Whom the world cannot see.

This is a goal in our Christian life: we want God Himself more than His blessings. But in reality, we know how difficult it is. We always want blessings from above. We want the best from God but not necessarily God Himself. There are so much on earth that we like to take ownership but not fully owned by God. Our Heavenly Father knows our weaknesses even though He desires for us to be perfect. He will not be disappointed even though we do not love Him more than anything else on earth. God continues to nurture our new identity or new creature in Christ. “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6).

I am asking myself from time to time why I react to stress like my pre-Christian friends. Or why I desire worldly possessions like the rest of the world would? How does my life in Christ different from those who are not? I am sure God is at work within me like He does in you, simply because He loves you and me. Our Heavenly Father knows where we need to grow and change. He will put us in situations or circumstances that will shape us. We still face the same kind of stress like everyone else. God is not prejudice. He will not give us better treatment than the rest in this world. Jesus said, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:44-48). God will continue to nurture our faith in Him. The Holy Spirit will continue to empower us to live out our faith. Our Lord Jesus will continue to whisper in our soul how much He loves us. At the end of the day, we grow as the son of God.

Please pray for our Bi-vocational conference that starts tonight. Pray for all the speakers including me that God will reveal His plan to all of us... Encourage you to come even though you did not register ahead of time. If money is a concern, let me know. I will take care of it for you.

Love you like Christ,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Devotional 221009

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. There is no other God but our Lord Jesus. There is no other who deserves our praise and worship but Him who has started the good work in us for His purpose. God is working tirelessly in our lives to transform us into the likeness of His Son. We recognize His work as we humbly surrender ourselves to His hands, just like a piece of canvas surrenders to the hands of a Master Painter, and turns into a piece of beautiful artwork.

"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children" (Romans 8:16). We are in danger of getting the bargaining spirit when we come to God; we want the witness before we have done what God tells us to do. "Why does not God reveal Himself to me?" He cannot, it is not that He will not, but He cannot, because you are in the road as long as you won't abandon absolutely to Him. Immediately you do, God witnesses to Himself, He cannot witness to you, but He witnesses instantly to His own nature in you. If you had the witness before the reality, it would end in sentimental emotion. Immediately you surrender to His Redemption, and stop the arrogance of debate, God gives on the witness. As soon as you abandon reasoning and argument, God witnesses to what He has done, and we are amazed at our rebellion in having kept Him waiting. If you are in debate as to whether God can deliver you from sin, either let Him do it, or tell Him He cannot. Do not quote this and that person, try Matthew 11:28 - "Come unto Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Come, if you are weary and heavy laden; ask, if you know you are evil. Our Lord said, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”(Luke 11:13).

The Spirit of God witnesses to the Redemption of Our Lord, He does not witness to anything else; He cannot witness to our reason. The simplicity that comes from our natural common-sense decisions is apt to be mistaken for the witness of the Spirit, but the Spirit witnesses only to His own nature, and to the work of Redemption, never to our reason. If we try to make Him witness to our reason, it is no wonder we are in darkness and perplexity. Fling it all overboard, trust in Him, and He will give the witness.

God gifts us the power to reason. But we don’t apply our reasoning to God’s witness as though we have higher wisdom than Him. Our Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. You don’t need to proof to others about your new identity in Christ. Not what you did to God that testifies your new identity in Christ. It is when you surrender or abandon to Christ by faith each day that echoes with the testimony of God within you. God whispers to your souls each day that you are His beloved child with whom He is well pleased (Mark 1:11). Listen more to His words than to your own reasoning or arguments. The more you recognize your inadequacy and your limitations, the more you yield to Him and to His Words, and the more you will be assured that you are indeed His children. Enjoy your fellowship with the Lord today. He is waiting to interact with you...

Love you according to His testimony,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Devotional 211009

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. The color of Nature reminds us that the autumn has arrived, even though you don’t feel it. It feels like summer weather, which is balmy and warm. Thank God for His wonderful provision that we can be in His service either at home or in the market place. As I prepare my sermon for the Bi-vocational conference, I am reminded once again that God has a plan to use each one of us to impact the people around us. Whether you are aware of it or not, God will make you a channel of His blessings to others. If you yield to His use intentionally, you will share the great joy and glory in the process.

"Dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit" (Jude 20). There was nothing either of the nature of impulse or of cold-bloodedness about Our Lord, but only a calm strength that never got into panic. Most of us develop our Christianity along the line of our temperament, not along the line of God. Impulse is a trait in natural life, but Our Lord always ignores it, because it hinders the development of the life of a disciple. Watch how the Spirit of God checks impulse, His checks bring a rush of self-conscious foolishness which makes us instantly want to justify ourselves. Impulse is all right in a child, but it is disastrous in a man or woman; an impulsive man is always a spoiled man. Impulse has to be trained into perception by discipline.

Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on the water is easy to impulsive courage, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is a different thing. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he followed Him afar off on the land. We do not need the grace of God to stand crises, human nature and pride are sufficient, we can face the pressure magnificently; but it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours in every day as a saint, to go through hard work as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is inherited in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes.

There is no other way to grow than to take one step and one day at a time. The test of discipleship is on how we obey the Holy Spirit in facing our daily chores. If we operate with the notion that discipleship happen within the four walls of the church, then true discipleship will not happen. Discipleship is not on just how many books we need to read, how many Scripture verses we must memorize, and how many sessions of training we must attend. True discipleship is on how we apply what we learn in the regular days of our lives. When no one is watching, how do you walk with Christ? When you are facing the challenge of your work in your office, how do you live out your faith? These are the tests of discipleship. You are not alone because our Lord has sent in your best companion, the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him, but you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17). As Brother Chambers has said, discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. It is not by our will and might to become a “super saint.” It is the Spirit of God who nurtures the live of Christ within us. That’s why Paul said, “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you” (Gal 4:19). God expects you to become Christ like or press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of you (Phil 3:12b). Let people see Christ in you today. Have a blessed day to grow in Him.

Love you according to Christ,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Devotional 201009

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Thank God for another beautiful day after the storm. The refreshed Nature under the Sun reflects the glory of God. No wonder the psalmist said, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1). Take a deep breath of the fresh air that God has created for your enjoyment. Take a coffee break to enjoy the blue sky and give thanks to your Heavenly Father who gives you a new life in Christ. It is Him who put you in where you are, for the purpose to demonstrate His goodness and love in and through you. Amen?

"It is God's will that you should be sanctified" (1 Thessalonians 4:3). It is not a question of whether God is willing to sanctify me; is it my will? Am I willing to let God do in me all that has been made possible by the Atonement? Am I willing to let Jesus be made sanctification to me, and to let the life of Jesus be manifested in my mortal flesh? Beware of saying - Oh, I am longing to be sanctified. You are not, stop longing and make it a matter of transaction - "Nothing in my hands I bring." Receive Jesus Christ to be made sanctification to you in implicit faith, and the great marvel of the Atonement of Jesus will be made real in you. All that Jesus made possible is made mine by the free loving gift of God on the ground of what He performed, my attitude as a saved and sanctified soul is that of profound humble holiness (there is no such thing as proud holiness), a holiness based on agonizing repentance and a sense of unspeakable shame and humiliation; and also on the amazing realization that the love of God commended itself to me in that while I cared nothing about Him, He completed everything for my salvation and sanctification just as Paul said in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” No wonder Paul says nothing is "able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom 8:35).

Sanctification makes me one with Jesus Christ, and in Him one with God; and it is done only through the superb Atonement of Christ. Never put the effect as the cause. The effect in me is obedience and service and prayer, and is the out come of speechless thanks and adoration for the marvelous sanctification produced out in me because of the Atonement.

Sanctification is the work of Christ who lives in me. As I live out my salvation through obedience to His life, I will harvest the fruit and joy of sanctification. It is not the work of the farmer who gives life to a seed. It is the work of the farmer who discovers the potential in the life of a seed. Yes. Obedience is hard work. That’s why Paul said, “So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:12-13). Working out your salvation could be translated as living out your salvation with fear and trembling. And the way to live out our salvation, according to the context of Paul’s letter, is obedience. God has planted the seed of obedience in us, and He will give us the will and commitment to obey out of joy. When we sincerely obey His Word, the Holy Spirit will work out our sanctification within us. Our God is always proactive in growing our faith in Him and relationship with Him. All we need to do is to respond by obedience…Will you?

Love you in obedience to His will,

Monday, October 19, 2009

Devotional 191009

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I didn’t know how much I missed the brothers and sisters in Chinatown campus until I was invited to preach in the Mission month yesterday. It was great to meet many good old friends at church. Loretta and I were blessed to be embraced by their love and concerns in both the Cantonese and Mandarin congregations. Praise the Lord!

"My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). The great enemy to the Lord Jesus Christ in the present day is the conception of practical work that has not come from the New Testament, but from the Systems of the world in which endless energy and activities are insisted upon, but no private life with God. The emphasis is put on the wrong thing. Jesus said, "The kingdom of God comes not with observation, for lo the kingdom of God is within you," a hidden, obscure thing. An active Christian worker too often lives in the shop window. It is the innermost of the innermost that reveals the power of the life.

We have to get rid of the program-oriented spirit of the religious age in which we live. In Our Lord's life there was none of the press and rush of tremendous activity that we regard so highly in church, and the disciple is to be like His Master. The central thing about the kingdom of Jesus Christ is a personal relationship to God, not public usefulness to men.

It is not the practical activities that should be the strength of discipleship training, its whole strength should lie in the fact that you are trained to abide in God. You have no idea of where God is going to engineer your circumstances, no knowledge of what pressure is going to be put on you either at home or at work, and if you waste your time in over-active energies instead of sinking into the great fundamental truths of God's Redemption, you will break when the pressure comes; but if the time of abiding in God is being spent in getting rooted and grounded in God on the unpractical line, you will remain true to Him what ever happens.

I guess we are conditioned by the world to focus on urgency than importance. If we don’t have a clear sense of life mission or purpose, we lost focus on what is the most important things in life. We know the rule of “first thing comes first.” But if you have no clue of what is the “first thing” in life, then you don’t know which one should come first. As a result, urgent thing will become the first thing, even though it may not be the important thing to you. A lot of time, urgent thing is someone’s “first” thing but not yours. And being a “nice” guy, you will assume other’s first thing to become your first thing. Therefore, you will busy yourself in putting out fire – it could be very exhausting and draining. It is usually the “urgent and not important things” that burn out your emotion.

What is your “first” thing in life? Jesus said, “Seek Him first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt 6:33a). Is seeking God and right relationship with Him your first priority in life? We usually will give excuse for not doing the most important things; your relationship with God and family for example. You will use your “urgent things” to excuse yourself from the important things. You are always too busy to pray and spend time with family members. You always have time for the “unimportant things” or “urgent things” in life. No wondered you are always so exhausted and burn out. It is time to refocus yourself on the “first thing” in life, so that the first thing helps energize you to take care of the urgent and less important things.

Love you in Christ,

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mission Sunday at CPCC

Preaching at the Mandarin congregation was another blessing from the Lord.

It has been over a year since I last preached in Chinatown Campus of CPCC. As I had promised, I would preach in my mother church again in about a year. Thank God for giving me this chance to meet the brothers and sisters again.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A joyous wedding

The banquet was elegant and fun. The newly wed had put together a special dance to entertain the guests. How fun to see them enjoy a evening of celebration.

The open door wedding was beautiful and sunny. Praise God for giving the couple such wonderful weather to celebrate their union in Christ.