Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Devotional 130410

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Isn’t the weather beautiful? It felt so good to soak in the warm sunshine as I drove to work. The Bible reading was also very uplifting as we came to Revelation 19 that talks about the Wedding Banquet of the Lamb. One day, we will all be invited to this glorious wedding when the Lamb of God receives His Bride – the Church into His eternal Glory. We are not just a guest but the honorable guests whom Christ had paid a highest ransom to secure us for His own. We belong to Him. We are His new bride. Praise the Lord!

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd (Hebrews11:1-2). The first few months of our lives are spent in getting things ready, getting our basic needs met so that we can journey. Many of you have had an analogous experience in, say, going for a backpacking trip into the mountains. You spend days getting things ready, laying out the proper clothing, measuring out quantities of food, making sure the tent is waterproofed, checking the first aid kit for essentials. And then you are at the trailhead. Up to this point nearly everything has been under your control; after this point almost nothing is under your control—most of what you are dealing with now is invisible, uncertain, unpredictable—changes in the weather, the appearance and behavior of wild animals, your own physical endurance and the mood of your hiking companions. You have arrived at Square One.

Up to Square One, you live by sight; after Square One you live by faith. Basic biology now gives way to basic spirituality. No longer confined by sense, feelings, and immediacy; we are launched into exploration and participation in the immense world of memory. Anticipation, waiting, trust, belief, sacrifice, love, loyalty, faithfulness – none of which can be reduced to what you can see and handle. None of these things that go into making up what is distinctively and characteristically human in us can be possessed – they all must be entered into. Most of what is, is not where we can touch it, put it in our mouths, be wrapped in its warm comfort. Square One is the place from which we begin learning how to live with Absence with the same ease with which we have come to live with Presence. The generic word that we use for this is Faith—in its classic and never yet improved upon definition, “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).

People make science a religion – they believe in what they see, hear or things that verified by their senses. They exhaust themselves in planning and analysis, expecting it could cover all the lost ends or unknown. But life usually takes them by surprises. They will finally realize and accept the fact that unpredictability is part of reality of life. We need faith to encounter the unpredictability of life. Faith is to depend on the One who is unchanged, and whose word is the ultimate foundation of life. The unpredictable circumstances in life will serve as purifying fire in testing out the ultimate reality of our hope or faith. Remember, there is only one foundation, (of your hope or faith), the one already laid: Jesus Christ. Take particular care in picking out your building materials. Eventually there is going to be an inspection. If you use cheap or inferior materials, you'll be found out. The inspection will be thorough and rigorous. You won't get by with a thing (1 Corinthians 3:11-13). An economic tsunami can wipe out the things that we have built in life. If the ultimate foundation of life remains, we can start rebuilding all over again. And if the foundation is gone, then it is not too late to choose a dependable one. Many people came to know the Lord in China in the last twenty years. It is simply because their foundation of faith in atheistic communism and hero worship were gone. People in China were searching for a new foundation of faith – something they can depend on in rebuilding their lives. What is your foundation of life and hope? You said you believe in Jesus. But do you really build your foundation of life on Him, as your ultimate reality of hope and faith?

Love you in accordance to my faith in Him,

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