Friday, October 16, 2009

Devotional 161009

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. The founding pastor of Gospel Operation International, Rev. Mark Cheng, had passed away. He was 91 years old. He was considered to be the champion if not the father of missionary sending movement in Chinese church. The Chinese church that he established in Philippines while he was a missionary there, had once sent our or support 60 missionaries throughout the world. The commitment of this local church sparked off a sending movement that changed the history of Chinese Church. May God continue to use his example to encourage many churches to fulfill the Great commission from our Lord!

"Pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest" (Matthew 9:38). The key to the missionary problem is in the hand of God, and that key is prayer not work, that is, not work as the word is popularly understood today because that may mean the avoidance of concentration on God. The key to the missionary problem is not the key of common sense, nor the medical key, nor the key of civilization or education or even evangelization. The key is prayer. "Pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest." Naturally, prayer is not practical, it is absurd; we have to realize that prayer is stupid from the ordinary common-sense point of view.

There are no nations in Jesus Christ's outlook, but the world. How many of us pray with out respect of persons, and with respect to only one Person, Jesus Christ? He owns the harvest that is produced by distress and conviction of sin, and this is the harvest we have to pray that laborers may be thrust out to reap. We are taken up with active work while people all round are ripe to harvest, and we do not reap one of them, but waste our Lord's time in over-energized activities. Suppose the crisis comes in your father's life, in your brother's life, are you there as a laborer to reap the harvest for Jesus Christ? "Oh, but I have a special work to do!" No Christian has a special work to do. A Christian is called to be Jesus Christ's own, one who is not above his Master, one who does not dictate to Jesus Christ what he intends to do. Our Lord calls to no special work: He calls to Himself. "Pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest" and He will engineer circumstances and thrust you out.

I confess how little time I commit to pray for the harvest. I pray for the laborers and the people around me. I interact with God through contemplative prayers. But I seldom intercede for different people groups in prayer. I may busy myself with many ideas and plans in terms of how to reach all people for Christ, but not necessarily pray to God for these unreached people groups. There are at least 9000 people groups which represent 2 billions people in the world that have never heard of the gospel for whatever reasons. God wants us to pray for them and reach out to them. Are we willing to be His servants to do whatever He commands us to do?

But before we jump to action or put on the thinking cap to consider our strategy, let’s be reminded to do the most important and basic thing: to abide in Christ. Only when we abide in Christ before we have strength and know what we suppose to do. Otherwise, we become busy bees, wasting our time in trying to do something. Once we rest in Christ and listen to Him, we will find out what He has in mind for us to involve in His salvation plan. So, walk close to God today and make yourself available to Him in whatever capacity.

Love you in His presence,

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