Friday, December 18, 2009

Devotional 181209

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. The Lord is good and He always cares for His children. As we are counting down on Christmas, I am reminded of the second coming of Christ. This year, I have no time to wrap gifts, decorate my house or put up the tree for Christmas. But I hope I will not be too busy to decorate my heart and put on the full armor of God in preparing for the second coming of Christ. A latest movie may predict that end time comes on 2012. Other predicts 2013. I am not interested in all these predictions at all. But I want to make sure that I am ready for His coming if it were to happen today.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God" (Romans 8:28). It is only the loyal soul who believes that God engineers circumstances. We take such liberty with our circumstances, we do not believe God engineers them, although we say we do; we treat the things that happen as if they were engineered by men. To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty; and that is to our Lord. Suddenly God breaks up a particular set of circumstances, and the realization comes that we have been disloyal to Him by not recognizing that He had ordered them; we never saw what He was after, and that particular thing will never be repeated all the days of our life. The test of loyalty always comes just there. If we learn to worship God in the trying circumstances, He will alter them in two seconds when He chooses.

Loyalty to Jesus Christ is the thing that we "stick at" today. We will be loyal to work, to service, to anything, but do not ask us to be loyal to Jesus Christ. Many Christians are intensely impatient of talking about loyalty to Jesus. Our Lord is dethroned more emphatically by Christian workers than by the world. God is made a machine for blessing men, and Jesus Christ is made a Worker among workers.

The idea is not that we do work for God, but that we are so loyal to Him that He can do His work through us - "I consider you for extreme service, with no complaining on your part and no explanation on Mine." God wants to use us as He used His own Son.

It is a scary thought that God will use us just as He used His own Son. But this is really true as we look at our circumstances today. If we are sincere in standing up for our faith, we will be persecuted like the way Christ was persecuted for speaking out the truth. Our Lord said, “Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also” (John 15:20). If we complain why God allowed persecution or unpleasant circumstances to come upon us, ask why God allowed His own Son to go through all kinds of trial on earth for us. God allows unpleasant circumstance to come for our benefit. We may not consider those circumstances as “good.” We will avoid those experiences if we have a choice. But they are good for our growth and redemptive to others along the way.

The goodness of God is not the same as our understanding of goodness. We always say that God is good but not necessarily nice. He knows how the pain of shaping will bring out the goodness and beauty within us. A piece of raw diamond will not shine without the skillful cutting and polishing by a craftsman. The plan of God is always to bring out the potentiality of His children, so that they will truly become the light and salt of the earth. The goodness of God is to edify and sanctify us to become more like His own Son. He may engineer the circumstances to achieve this goal in us. No matter how much we complain or protest against the circumstances, our loving Heavenly Father will still allow those experiences to come upon us, for the purpose of making us a better Child of God. Learn to focus on God and re-affirm His goodness for you while you are going through trial. You will discover how your life has been transformed through it when you look back one day.

Love you in His goodness,

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