Monday, June 6, 2011

Devotional reading 060611

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. I will be leaving for Hong Kong and Thailand today. This is mainly a training trip. I will conduct workshop in a Youth Mission Conference in Hong Kong, and in our annual mission internship training in northern Thailand. This is the first youth conference of this nature in Hong Kong. Pray that the Lord will raise up an army of young people like He did in the student movement of early last century. Many missionaries of today are products of this revival movement among college students in last century. I pray that the same Lord of Mission will bring renewal to the lives of many high school and college students, who will dedicate their lives for global missions in wherever God may place them.

Our God is a very personal God. In the book of Isaiah, God reminds His children through the proclamation of Isaiah, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’" (30:21). This is the promise of the Lord. He will walk with us and remind us of our choices in life. God chooses to speak to us with little small voice if we pay attention to Him and seek His way. The world definitely wants to drown out the voice of God by various sounds and noises. It is our choice to focus on Him and His small voice.

A lot of time, we chose to listen to ourselves or what our body tell us to do. Our body craves for something that our appetite or hormone desires. Sometimes it is the commercial that tells us how we should choose. We forget to ask what the King of kings and Lord of lords wants. Our sweet Holy Spirit is the God who dwells within our souls who constant teach us and guide us in our paths of life. We are too busy to listen. No wonder why we feel like God is so quiet to a point of totally absence within us. God is faithful and kind. He is the heavenly father who will not forget His promises for His children.

We follow Him wherever we may be. We listen to Him in whatever situation we are in. Your God is with you in the marketplace. He uses you to make impact in your school and office. Only if we pay attention to what He has to say to us in gentle small voice, we will not be able to experience Him as a loving Father. It is God who puts you in wherever you are to serve Him. Ask yourself what God wants to speak and bless through you today. Your coworkers and neighbors will experience God by observing how you conduct your lives today. May God glorify Himself through your lives today!

Love you in Christ,

Friday, June 3, 2011

Devotional reading 030611

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It is so comforting to know that our God is “waiting” to bestow mercy to those who “wait” upon Him. 耶和華必然等候、要施恩給你們.必然興起、好憐憫你們.因為耶和華是公平的神.凡等候他的都是有福的 (30:18)。 What captivated me was the word “wait.” The Almighty Creator of the Universe chooses to wait for His children to repent and wait on Him. Isn’t it amazing that God will limit Himself – limits His divine character as the prime mover or ultimately proactive designer/author of both history and universe, in order to bless those who obey His agenda and timing for humanity. Wow…this is the kind of God whom we worship and walk with each day. Praise His Holy Name…Amen.
When will we need to wait for Him? It was during the time of suffering. We don’t feel like waiting when we are having fun in life. Usually we exercise patience when we don’t feel good or when things did not meet our desires or expectation. We expect our lives to be smooth and prosperous. We expect the economy of our nation to be healthy and strong. But when the economy does not turn around and unemployment continues to dive down, it requires patience to wait upon the Lord for His mercy. Yes, we continue to conduct our lives as everyone else – go to work and do our chores. But deep down inside our souls, we are not restless like those who run around in fear and worry. We rest in Him!
God wants His children to learn reliance through suffering. That’s why Isaiah said, “Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.” Suffering is our teacher of life. It is through suffering that we draw closer to God. No matter how much warning did God proclaim to this generation, people do not repent and follow His way! They may remorse of their rebellion when they fall into the pit of suffering. Have mercy on us O Lord. Help us to see you and the lesson that you want us to learn while we are waiting for your deliverance from our affliction in life. We need you Lord. We need you.
Paul said, “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God" (Romans 8:19-21). Our waiting in suffering is a preparation for eternal glory. If this is the case, we don’t need to feel restless or helpless. We can rejoice in Him at all times.
Please remember me in your prayer as I will depart for Hong Kong and Thailand on Monday. I will be leading different workshops in these two places for the entire month of June. Pray that God will continue to strengthen your walk with Him for your growth and well being.
In His love with you,

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Devotional reading 020611

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Our Lord is gracious and kind. He cares for all those who seek for Him. When I look back to the brothers and sisters whom we visited in Africa, we can’t cease to give thanks for how the Lord protects and provides for all those who serve Him with obedient heart.

Pastor Melody, the woman missionary from Taiwan, who answered God’s call to Nairobi many years ago, served faithfully among the poorest of the poor. Up to this day, she is still passionate in serving the people in the slum area. She is really outstanding in that area, because she was the only Chinese woman walking through the dirt road to the only school that she founded in the slum.

Pastor Jeff, the missionary from Singapore who was crippled by polio, answered the call to serve God in a war torn Uganda twenty some years ago. Even though the civil war had been ended many years ago, you could still see helplessness on many people face and inner city roads filled with many holes. A common joke in Uganda says, “If you drive straight in Uganda, it means you are drunk.” What is the hope of this country? Our Lord Jesus is their only answer. God used obedient servants like Jeff to bless this country with hundreds of new churches, two seminaries and all kinds of charitable projects among the poor. God demonstrated His power through a cripple in accomplishing all these for His glory. Indeed, it is not by human plans or power for all these good works. It is the work of God through His obedient servants

Again, the proclamation of God in Isaiah 30 proves to be true. This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it" (v15). God is the one who accomplish the impossible. Salvation and strength come from Him. Our busyness is not the way to accomplish His work. Only when we repent from our self-reliance and truly obey Him, we can witness His good work shines through impossibility.

If we are ready to calm down and let God be god, then we realize the source of our strength is in Him alone. God continued to reassure His people in verse 18 of the same chapter, "The LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” (v. 18)

Do you believe in this promise that God will bless those who wait for Him?

Love you in Christ,

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Reflect upon my Africa trip

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good afternoon. I have returned from Africa and Toronto for over a week now. Praise God for not having jet lag at all. I was fully engaged in ministry immediately after my return. I had international board meeting and several preaching engagements that totally captured my attention. Thanks for many of you who have been praying for me. I sensed the providence of God throughout my trip and ministry back home. Please continue to support me in your prayer.
I have been meditating on Isaiah chapter 29 and 30 in the last couples of weeks. God reminded me to focus on the essential practices in life despite of all the religious activities I conducted.
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it" (30:15). Salvation could be deliverance from any difficulty or evil scheme but not just deliverance from eternal condemnation. As we encounter uncertain future or challeneges, God reminded us to repent from our relying on our own wisdom or value system to handle things, but to rest or focus on God as our ultimate savior. Unless we give up trying to save ourselves, we will not experience God as our true savior. The psalmist said, "rest and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10a).
Another parallel warning that God gave me during the trip was to trust and be quiet before the Lord. These two attitudes or practices are essential in our daily encountering with God.
As I looked back to the all the trips that I made and "accomplishments" that God gave me, I was humbled and amazed with what God had done in and through me. None could finish a doctoral program in 15 months with heavy workload and busy traveling schedule. During those days, one thing I did not stop doing and you could testify to that was my spiritual journaling. It was a time to reflect on God's words and to receive power from above. My experience echoes what our Lord Jesus said, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). I found it to be so true!! Our God is so faithful and true. Remember to walk closely with him each day for your own good. I will share with you more about my Africa trip in days to come... (see my slide show on my blog).
In Christ,