Friday, October 23, 2009

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,

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