Friday, April 16, 2010

Devotional 160410

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It feels like Spring weather today. I am thankful for having a ‘cave’ – my office/study surrounded by windows. It makes me feel like working out door but with controlled room temperature. God knows my need for a quiet place to prepare my study, lectures and sermons. Of course, it is a bonus in having such a beautiful study to do devotional reading and prayer.

Saving is all him idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! (Eph 2:8-9). The Christian Life consists in what God does for us, not what we do for God; the Christian Life consists in what God says to us, not what we say about God. We also, of course, do things and say things; but if we do not return to Square One each time we act, each time we speak, beginning from God and God’s Word, we will soon be found to be practicing a spirituality that has little or nothing to do with God. And so it is necessary, if we are going to truly live a Christian life, and not just use the word Christian to disguise our narcissistic and Prometheus attempts at spirituality without worshipping God and without being addressed by God, it is necessary to return to Square One and adore God and listen to God.

Given our sin-damaged memories that render us vulnerable to every latest edition of journalistic spirituality, daily re-orientation in the truth revealed in Jesus and attested in Scripture is required. And given our ancient predisposition for reducing every fragment of divine revelation that we come across into a piece of moral/spiritual technology that we can use to get on in the world, and eventually to get on without God, a daily return to a condition of not-knowing and non-achievement is required. We have proven, time and again, that we are not to be trusted in these matters. We need to return to Square One for a fresh start as often as every morning, noon, and night.

We live in a functionalistic society and culture. Everything we do is being measured by effectiveness and efficiency. Are we effectively investing our time? Did we accomplish this goal efficiently? No wondered some scholars describe our time as dehumanization – human is being treated as a means or an instrument for achieving certain goal or meeting certain needs. We consider a waste of time to talk to someone who is not ‘useful’ to us. We value a certain relationship if it meets your emotional or physical needs. We learn to accommodate with people whom we do not want to have relation with, but helpful to our career goal. When we employ such functional attitude in relationship, we are operating in a narcissistic mode – a self-centered attitude. Unfortunately, this kind of attitude is part of our DNA. It is deeply seated in our mind and soul. We cannot totally root it out. We can only lessen the effect of its influence in our daily life by returning to Square One attitude.

Spiritual sensitive and humility should become a part of our lifestyle. It is to practice a contemplative lifestyle. Lately, I talked to a new mother who confessed that she needs to constantly watch herself not to do parenting like the way her mother did to her. It is not easy. It required constant introspection and accepting other’s observation – she needed to humbly accept her husband’ observation when she reacted to her child like her mother. This should be the way we conduct our spirituality – we need to engage in constant introspection through God’s words, and humbly accept other’s observation when we react to life situation in our narcissistic manner. If we allow ourselves to be ‘natural,’ then the consequence will be self-destructive spiritually, and hurtful interpersonally. For our healthy growth as a child of God, we need to return to Square One as often as we could.

Love you because of His Love,

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