Friday, 19 July 2019
Today’s scripture (for meditation): If you do not STAND FIRM in your faith, then you will not stand at all. (Isaiah 7:9)
I have also heard: If Christ is not Lord, He is not Lord at all.
I am a perfectionist. Some say it is not good but sometimes, ‘it works’ – e.g. it is relevant in today’s devotion.
The Holy Spirit always helps me. When I was pondering over the title of this devotional, I asked for words to represent the word: FOCUS
F – faith full & faithful
O – obedient
C – compassionate
U – unchanging
S – selfless
So, if you do not STAND FIRM in your faith, then you will not stand at all.
Obedience is better than sacrifice.
If we claim that we are disciples of Jesus Christ, then we must share His compassion for sinners.
An encounter with God
I had the opportunity to visit a gambling recovery centre. I had felt very uncomfortable sitting in a big group of people with tattoos, loud voices and laughter.
But, suddenly I leaned over to my sister-in-Christ (who had brought me there to observe) and said, “These are the people Jesus came to save.” I was surprised by the words that came out of my mouth.
As Christians, we must understand the meaning of ‘love’ – the love that we have for people (whether they are family, friends or strangers) must be unchanging. We are called to LOVE WITHOUT COMPROMISING CHRISTIAN VALUES or CONDONING SIN.
Even if we don’t like someone, we have to love him. Even if we disagree with someone, we have to love her. Even if we are hurt or offended by someone, we have to love him / her. It is not [humanly] easy but that is what God wants us to do because He is LOVE and He has given us the Holy Spirit to help us. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Are we cultivating crops that will bear the fruit of the Spirit?
Finally, the most important characteristic of a disciple is: selflessness. Many verses come to mind. ‘Let Christ increase as we decrease’ is John the Baptist’s example for us. ‘Consider others better than one self’ is what Apostle Paul wrote in one of his letters. Jesus feeding 5,000 people when a boy gave him his lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fish is a miracle that even non-believers have heard.
Dear Father God
Miracles - there are many. Personally, I have encountered countless miracles throughout my life. Whether it is provision, guidance, wisdom, protection, inspiration… conviction, correction, re-direction… the list is never going to end because You are the God of eternity. We are created beings with a finite capacity to understand. You are far, far beyond our comprehension.
Today, I want to pray for this big, big world [in my eyes] that You have created – this beautiful planet that we have responsibility to preserve.
Teach us to bear the fruit of the Spirit so that everyone on earth may see Your LOVE. Help us to focus on Jesus Christ – the perfect model. Strengthen us so that we may stand firm in our faith, obey You, embrace the compassion of Christ, remain unchanging in love, and be [if possible] as selfless as Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Lam Yee Ling