Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Devotional 061009

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Praise God for another beautiful day. Again, I stopped by the waterfront on my way to work, to appreciate the new day that our Lord has made. The bay was so calm and serene under the morning sun, but in the spiritual realm, the whole Nature was joining in praise to proclaim the greatness of our Creator God – Worthy is our King. Worthy to His Holy Name! Amen.

"But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man" (Galatians 1:15, 16). If Jesus Christ is to regenerate me, what is the problem He is up against? I have a heredity I had no say in; I am not holy, nor likely to be; and if all Jesus Christ can do is to tell me I must be holy, His teaching plants despair. But if Jesus Christ is a Regenerator, One Who can put into me His own heredity of holiness, then I begin to see what He is driving at when He says that I have to be holy. Redemption means that Jesus Christ can put into any man the hereditary disposition that was in Himself, and all the standards He gives are based on that disposition: His teaching is for the life He puts in. The moral transaction on my part is agreement with God's verdict on sin in the Cross of Jesus Christ.

The New Testament teaching about regeneration is that when a man is struck by a sense of need, God will put the Holy Spirit into his spirit, and his personal spirit will be energized by the Spirit of the Son of God, "until Christ be formed in you." The moral miracle of Redemption is that God can put into me a new nature whereby I can live a totally new life. When I reach the frontier of need and know my limitations, Jesus says - "Blessed are you." But I have to get there. God cannot put into me, a responsible moral being, the nature that was in Jesus Christ unless I am conscious I need it.

Just as the nature of sin entered into the human race by one man, so the Holy Spirit entered the human race by another Man; and Redemption means that I can be delivered from the heredity of sin and through Jesus Christ can receive a pure heredity, which is the Holy Spirit.

A picture of how farmer labors in the field came to my mind as I read Brother Chambers’ devotional. A farmer has to cultivate the field before he sows the seed. Once the seeds are sowed, he needs to labor hard to nurture the seed in order to bring out the potential that comes with the seed. It is not the farmer to determine the kind of vegetations or fruits that will grow out from the seed. A farmer can choose the kind of seed to sow, but the potential of the seed is pre-determined by God. The hard labor of a farmer is to bring out the potential within the seeds. In the same token, the challenge of spiritual formation is to bring out the potential within the nature of our new life in Christ. This “new seed” or new nature has already been planted within our soul when we invited Jesus into our heart as Lord and Savior. It requires determination like a farmer to bring out the full potential of this new nature from above. Otherwise, this new life in Christ will remain in a dormant condition forever. Many Christians are like seeds in a jar, which survive a lifeless but secured and well protected environment of Christian community. As long as we keep the seeds in an air-tight jar, they are secured and require zero work to maintain. It is simple: no growth and no work. But if we pour the seeds out to the ground and intend to bring out their nature, it becomes labor intensive. But we can enjoy abundant harvest from our labor at the end. Our Lord expects His disciples not to be preserved in an air-tight jar or church. He intended for us to bring out the full potential of His new life for us.

The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:23-24). The way to enter into the glory of God is to activate the potential of this new seed or nature, so that it can grow to its fullest extension. The beauty of blooming flower or harvest involves hard work of the farmer and a dying process of the seed. God desires your life to be a blooming harvest. Activate your new nature in Christ, and let your new life become blessings to many around you.

Love you as we grow in Him,

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