Friday, February 19, 2010

DAY 184 - God Tests Your Hearts

Today’s Reading: 1 Thessalonians 2

Welcome! The purpose of this blog is to encourage Christians to have daily devotion - a wonderful and intimate time with Jesus. There are three reasons for you to use this blog as your daily devotion:
1. A healthy spiritual diet - One chapter of the Bible daily. We really need at least one chapter of Bible daily so that we are well fed.

2. A good example of Spiritual Journaling - What I have committed for 1,189 days(the Bible has 1,189 chapters)to write this daily post is not for teaching purposes but this is my daily spiritual journal - I write down what I hear from Jesus and how I experience His intimate relationship with me each day.

I have launched a wide-spectrum research on daily devotion and have found out that there are less than 10% of Christians that are having daily devotion. Out of that 10%, many having daily devotion are doing so because of guilt (they know that they are Christians and need to have daily devotion and feel guilty if they don’t do that), duty (they need to fulfill their duty as a Christian) or study(lots of Christians primarily use their daily devotion as a time to study the Bible). I do pray and hope that you will make up your mind to have a relational daily devotion so that you can have an intimate time with Jesus. I pray that you will write your own spiritual journal as well.

3. An online discipler – One of the reasons that so many Christians do not have daily devotion is because they do not have a disciple. A discipler can help them build up this basic element of discipleship when they first become Christians. The best way for you is to have a discipler to walk with you for a certain period of time so that daily devotion become a good habit. Or, you may have a small group of two to three people to encourage and be accountable to each other so that you won’t stop your daily devotion. I offer myself as your online disciple to walk with you daily to enrich your spiritual journey. So, shall we start this journey with Jesus Christ our Lord now!

Please read 1 Thessalonians 2: 1 – 16 and listen to what the Lord Jesus Christ would like to tell you before reading my Spiritual Journal below. If you would like to learn a simple and good way of Daily Devotion method please read my “Count Down 5” from this blog. You may click this link directly for the method: Subject Shifting Devotion.pdf . (You may begin with a song to praise the Lord and complete you devotion by singing another praise song.)

1 Thessalonians 2: 4

Jesus told me today that He tests my heart always in several ways as Paul describes:
1. Through suffering, insulting and strong opposition(v.2)
2. Do I try my best to please God or use flattery to please men?(v.4)
3. Have I put on a mask to cover up greed and other hidden purposes.(v.5)

The thing that I need to do is to be like a mother to care and a father to encourage, comfort and urging people to live a life of Christlikeness.

This is a very important passage to me for this is the passage John Stott gave me when I visited him with my son Ignatius last July in the senior home he is living near London. This is what I wrote in the second post of this blog early last August:

My recent visit to John Stott

John has been my spiritual father and mentor since 1991. My son, Ignatius, and I are so blessed that he welcomed us to his home in England and blessed us.

I told John that when I prayed to the Lord Jesus Christ of what He wants me to do when I become a bishop, Jesus' answer was, "Do what is in Acts 6: 4 'We will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word."

The Lord told me to help our people to establish an intimate relationship with Him through prayers and to teach them to listen to Jesus' Word.

When John heard this he smiled, looked at me with the loving eyes of a father and said, "Silas, you have listened well. Yes, I believe so. Let me give you what I heard from the Lord to you. Then he asked Ignatius to read 1 Thessalonians 2: 1 - 13

You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure. We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed - God is our witness. We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who beleved. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.

John told me that this is what he got from the Lord to me. He told Ignatius to stop three times when he read the word "mother", "father" and "word". Explaining that are the three keys words he received from the Lord Jesus Christ to me in two aspects:

1. To have the gentleness of a mother and the passion of a father in order to build up relationship with God and His people.

2. To be a steward of God's Word.

John also confirmed the findings in my research that:
1. There are less than 10% of Christians have daily devotion which makes the "Parable of the Growing Seed" unable to work out as from "Stalk, head, full kernel to harvest". Without a daily intimate relationship with Jesus, the stage stops at the first phase - the stalk or even wither at this stage.

2. Every Christian needs a good Discipler to help for a period of time(Jesus used three years)to ensure a healthy daily devotion habit. As in Paul Stanley and Robert Clinton's "Connecting" clearly stated "In order to know and follow Christ, a disciple needs to extablish habits that will affect his or her character and destiny. Such habits are essential to the disciple's lifelong pursuit of Christ. Habits do not develop easily; human nature resists change...the effort needed to break or establish habits to the great amount of energy initially needed by a rocket to overcome the earth's gravitational pull. Once out of the earth's atmosphere, however, the rocket glides with small amounts of energy."

I have confirmation of these two main findings from many Christian leaders including my two Fuller professors, Rev. Dr. Richard Peace and Rev. Dr. John Drane(John is John Stott's succesor as the Chaplain of the Royal Family, England).
John then gave me his new book he wrote in 2006 "Through the Bible Through the Year". I was shocked to receive his gift for what the Lord asks me to do a 1,189 days of Daily Devotion through my block is the similar idea that John had in this new book. He goes through the whole Bible in a year as in a Daily devotion format for his reader. I told John about my vision and he smiled again and told me that that is a very good and accurate vision from the Lord.

At the back of John's "Through the Bible Through the Year" are two comments:

"I can't think of anyone who has been more effective(than John Stott) in introducing so many people to a biblical world view. He represents a touchstone of authentic biblical scholarship..."

"Stott's mission is to pierce through all the encrustations and share direct contact with Jesus."

John was recently named by TIME magazine as one of the world's most influential people.

He gave Ignatius his newest book "John Stott - The Last Word" wrote in 2008. For a young man of 20 to be blessed by John Stott and have John's newest book with a personal message written and signed by John this morning is a big gift from the Lord to my son!

What John received from the Lord to me is almost 80% of what I got from the Lord many weeks ago as in Acts 6: 4 but more detailed. How wonderful and miraculous that this could happen and how blessed I am to receive such kind of confirmation and blessings from the Lord through John Stott.

Dear Lord Jesus,
I give thanks to you that you sent your servant John Stott to give me encouragement, direction and warning through this chapter in July 2009. Help me to have the compassion of a mother and the patience of a father so that I can care, encourage, comfort and urging others to lead a life of Christlikeness. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Prayer items today:

Bishop: Rt. Rev. Silas Ng
Network Leader: Rev. Peter Klenner
Network Leadership Team: Rt. Rev. Silas Ng, Rev. Peter Klenner, Rev. Ed Hird, Rev. Simon Neill
Administrator: Mrs. Zenia Cheng

Pray for one ACiC/AI church one day at a time

St. Jude Apostolic Anglican Church, Indian Head, SK

Rector/Senior Pastor: Rev. Tom Needham

We are going to start our 3rd phase of 100 days of prayer in three weeks time. I am calling you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to fill in your names in the new list below. Many wonderful things have happened in the past 182 days. Can we follow our King, our Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ to use an hour’s time to pray for His protection and blessings to my new ministry as the Bishop of ACiC/AI, all our ACiC/AI clergy, leaders and people? Pray that in the Holy and Mighty Name of Jesus Christ our Lord, we can win over Satan's tricks, in order to strengthen our brothers and sisters so that His Kingdom will be extended. Please click this NEW LINK (March 9, 2010 to June 16):

For our 2nd phase of 100 days of prayers : this new link to participate in our 2nd phase 100 days/24 hours Prayer Campaign (Nov 29, 2009 to March 8, 2010)
For our 1st phase of 100 days of prayers(2nd part 60 days): this link (August 20 to Nov. 28, 2009)
For our 1st phase of 100 days of prayers(1st part 40 days):

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