Monday, February 22, 2010

Devotional 220210

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. What a gorgeous day we have in Christ! Praise God for this Spring like weather. Pray that you will find His mercy and grace sufficient for you today. We truly live in His wonderful provision. And the more He gives, the more He wants us to give away in order to experience an abundant life we have in Him. He wants to give you a life of blessings.

This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God (Cor 9:11-12). Christian blessing is a realizing that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” As we learn to give and to share, our vitality increases and the people around us become “fruitful vines” and “olive shoots” around our tables.

The blessings that are promised to, pronounced upon and experienced by Christians, do not of course exclude difficulties. Bible never indicates that. But the difficulties are not inherent in the they come from the outside in the form of temptations, seductions, pressures. Not a day goes by but what we have to deal with that ancient triple threat that Christians in the Middle Ages summarized under the headings of the world, the flesh, and the devil: the world—the society of proud and arrogant mankind that defies and tries to eliminate God’s rule and presence in history; the flesh—the corruption that sin has introduced into our very appetites and instincts; and the devil—the malignant will that tempts and seduces us away from the will of God. We have to contend with all of that. Wt are in a battle. There is a fight of faith to be waged. But tithe way of faith itself is in tune with what God has done and is doing. The road we travel is the well-traveled road of discipleship. It is not a way of boredom or despair or confusion. It is not a miserable groping, but a way of blessing.

There are no tricks involved in getting in on this life of blessing, and no luck required. We simply become Christians and begin the life of faith. We acknowledge God as our maker and lover, and accept Christ as the means by which we can be in living relationship with God. We accept the announced and proclaimed truth that God at the center of our existence, find out how he has constructed this world (his creation), how he has provided for our redemption, and to walk in that way. In the plain words of the psalm: “Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!

The abundant life we have in Christ is a life filled with the love of God. And the essence of love is giving, “God so loved the world that He gave…” It is self deceiving to say we love yet we don’t give our self or our possession to those we love. Giving is a natural expression of a lover. The more you love the more you give. A lover will never ask whether he or she gave too much or not. Giving is never enough for a person who is filled with love.

When we give or sow the seed of love, we harvest plenty of love in return. Our lives become abundant when we see others are blessed by your giving. Your garden will not be filled with the color and fragrant of flowers if you keep the seed in your closet. You have to give them out so that your lives will be abundant. The more we worry or concern that we may not have enough, the more we will gather for ourselves. This is what we called “scarcity mentality.” Chinese in general live with this kind of scarcity mentality no matter how much they may have in the bank. They are still enslaved in either their past experience of poverty or fear that they will be poor again. Many people were trapped in this kind of scarcity mentality that they can never enjoy abundant life that our Lord has offered. God wants to use them to become channel of His blessings to others. But their fear and worry hold them back in the prison of scarcity mentality. Hope you will not enslave yourself in the same prison. Bless others with your generous giving…

Love you because of this abundant life,

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