Wednesday 13 September 2017

Precious hope for the lost

Day 38 (13 Sept 2017, Wednesday)

I serve as a minister among refugees.  Every refugee has one hope - to be granted residence in a host country.  That hope burns so intensely that they are willing to leave their home, pay unscrupulous agents exorbitant fees to get them here, endure the hardships that come with being an illegal, and patiently wait out the years until they are granted residence in a host country.  Most of us cannot fathom how precious this hope is to them.

Likewise, if you were bought up in a Christian family, you might not appreciate how precious the blessed hope is to the lost.  Many Chinese spend a great deal of money and effort in attempting to secure a good afterlife.  Adherents of other religions try their best to make their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds in order to go to heaven.  Neither have the guarantee of salvation and eternity in heaven like we do.

Do we look at the lost like we do at refugees?  Indifferent?  Or at best sympathetic, but lack of action?  Our lack of zeal in evangelism and missions reflects our failure to realize how precious is the blessed hope to the lost.

Jesus applied the words of Isaiah 61:1-2 on Himself, “the Spirit of the Lord is on me… to proclaim good news to the poor…. Freedom for the prisoners… sight for the blind… release the oppressed…. (and) the year of the Lord’s favour”.  May we realize that the lost are like poor prisoners, blind and oppressed.  May we proclaim the blessed hope to them.

Pray for a change of heart and character

Pray that our desire will be to be like Christ.  That Christlikeness will be our main passion and goal; and we will walk in humility considering others better than ourselves; and we will surrender to His will by taking up our cross daily, dying to our personal rights and following Him wherever He may lead us.

Pray that the Lord will give us a new heat and a new mind, and He will put a right spirit within us, and He will enable us to have perseverance in order to walk in His will and purposes, and that we shall be found faithfully serving Him to the end.

Pray for us to have a willingness to take the first step to reconcile with others, even if we have been wronged, so that the root of bitterness may find no place in our hearts.

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