Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Thanks for your prayer for me and Loretta. We finished our mission in serving the Iu Mienh people in their annual marriage retreat. If you visit my blog, you will see some of the pictures we took at the retreat. May God continue to do His work in and through this community, so that they will in turn become blessing to their families and their communities, where they are from! Praise the Lord.
"Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ. . . ." (Colossians 1:24). The Christian worker has to be a sacramental "go-between," to be so identified with his Lord and the reality of His Redemption that He can continually bring His creating life through him. It is not the strength of one man's personality being superimposed on another, but the real presence of Christ coming through the elements of the worker's life. When we preach the historic facts of the life and death of Our Lord as they are conveyed in the New Testament, our words are made sacramental, God uses them on the ground of His Redemption to create in those who listen that which is not created otherwise. If we preach the effects of Redemption in human life instead of the revelation regarding Jesus, the result in those who listen is not new birth, but refined spiritual culture, and the Spirit of God cannot witness to it because such preaching is in another domain. We have to see that we are in such living sympathy with God that as we proclaim His truth He can create in souls the things which He alone can do.
What a wonderful personality! What a fascinating man! Such marvelous insight! What chance has the Gospel of God through all that? It cannot get through, because the line of attraction is always the line of appeal. If a man attracts by his personality, his appeal is along that line; if he is identified with his Lord's personality, then the appeal is along the line of what Jesus Christ can do. The danger is to glory in men; Jesus says we are to lift Him up.
Thank God for using this devotional to remind myself as a preacher of the gospel. Am I attracting people to me or attracting people to Christ. May God constantly remind me to stay focus on Him as I serve! My purpose is not to appeal to the audience but to preach Christ and His life. It is His life that impacts and transforms men not mine. Amen.
I am checking out from my hotel today. Will write you more tomorrow.
Love you because of the cross,