Google Simply Katherine, a Christian on campus: January 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Satan's Stratagem: To Divide Us over the Small Things

Mrs. L's husband once said that in our following the Lord, what would divide us were actually not the major things but the minor things. Should we print the gospel tract in yellow pamphlet or blue pamphlet? Should we pray out loud or pray silently in the meetings? Questions such as these are minor details in serving the Lord Jesus, yet often they become the divisive factors in our laboring together with fellow serving ones.

division

I have many examples and experiences that I could share with you concerning the temptations of being divided over the small things in my Christian service, but today I just want to share with you concerning a more minor thing that happened in my life. 

I live far away from home, so I don't get to talk to my mom that often. Recently I traveled across the ocean to visit my home. There was this one night when my mom and I got into an argument over something so silly. It was about what kind of water I should be drinking in Texas.
Within me, I was burning with unreasonable anger. I couldn't understand why. I knew it was such a minor issue but I couldn't stop arguing with her. It was very disappointing indeed, and I felt like the Lord was disappointed as well.

In the midst of my anger these words struck me, "The enemy divides us over the small things." I felt like there was a shining light piercing through my darkened emotions. Right then I knew I had to apologize to my mom for my narrowness. Guess what, it really doesn't matter. Why not take my mom's suggestion and drink high-quality water for my health's sake?

My mom is also a member of the Body of Christ. She's my fellow sister in the Lord. This is not just a doctrine in the air. Anything that divides us, divides the Body of Christ in its very practicality. You know what happened right after that argument? My mom wanted to share her enjoyment of the Lord with me, but I had no heart to receive her fellowship. That's a real division, a disconnect in our fellowship as members of one another in the Body of Christ.

I struggled to face her and say the words, "Mom, I'm sorry." It took me one whole day to muster up courage to go to her and apologize, but I eventually did. I'm learning, by the Lord's mercy and grace, that there is no acceptable reason for division in the Body life.

I apologize if my post today seems so trifling to you, but this matter has left me with such a deep realization that the enemy loves to divide us over the small things. This fact alone has scattered many of my unreasonable emotions away. My adherence to certain small things shows the narrowness of my heart. Now that I consider more on this matter, it's actually quite similar to my previous post on not contending over minor issues or doctrines that are not part of our common faith.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Christian Song: Our Human Spirit

Last year I attended one of the college-age gatherings with Christians on Campus. I learned a new Christian song called, Our Human Spirit. The lyrics were directly taken from several verses in the Holy Bible. So I just want to share it with you all. Please note that I obviously did not write this song.

Our human spirit is different than our soul. 
"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
It is the innermost part of our being that is specifically created by God (Genesis 2:7), to contact God (John 4:24).

So here's the song lyrics.
Our Human Spirit 
It is in our spirit that we were born again (John 3:6); 
it is in our spirit that we were made alive (Ephesians 2:5; Romans 8:10); 
it is in our spirit that God has come to dwell (Ephesians 2:22; 2 Timothy 4:22; Romans 8:16); 
it is in our spirit we're joined unto the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17); 
and it's in our spirit that we contact and worship God (John 4:24). 
Now we must walk and have our whole being according to our spirit - 
serving in spirit (Romans 1:9), 
praying in spirit (Ephesians 6:18),  
being filled in spirit (Ephesians 5:18),  
seeing God's revelation in spirit (Ephesians 1:17; 3:5; Revelation 1:10; 4:2; 17:3; 21:10) 
having fellowship (Philippians 2:1), 
and being built together (Ephesians 2:22). 
The spirit is the key to the whole Christian life!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Our Offering to God Must Not Be a Stolen Christ

Today I did my usual reading from the Life-Study of Exodus, an in-depth exposition of the Book of Exodus. As I was reading Message Eighty-One, I came across this quote:
"Presenting an offering to God is a matter of experience. All the materials prepared by God must become our possession, enjoyment, and experience. Then, through our experience, we shall have the right and the position to offer these materials to God as a heave offering."
offering to God
Many times when I read about the offerings, all I could picture in my head were lamb, doves, rams, etc. However, I never really thought about how the children of Israel possessed those animals. For sure, they did not obtain them by stealing. That would be both a sin and an insult to God.

A lamb was created by God and prepared by God, but the person who would like to offer that lamb had to first properly possess that lamb. Then not only gain the lamb, he had to properly handle the lamb. In our experience, I found out that the principle is the same. If we read the Old Testament thoroughly, we shall realize that the reality of all the offerings is actually Christ Himself, the One in whom God has found His delight (see Matthew 3:17).

That means our real offering to God must be Christ Himself, but not just Christ in an objective way, our offering to God must be our subjective Christthe experienced Christ. We must first properly gain Christ, experience Him, and enjoy Him. Then we have the right and position to offer this Christ to God.I know this may sound strange, but it's true, I cannot offer a stolen Christ to God. What is a stolen Christ? A stolen Christ is the Christ we heard of or read of but never experienced and enjoyed. If we are true to ourselves, deep within us we would know whether we have experienced and enjoyed our Christ or not. 

Just a little tip on how to experience and enjoy Christ. We can gain this One, experience Him, and enjoy Him through the Word. Yes, that's the Bible, but remember the Bible is not a textbook or a newspaper. We must touch the living Person in the Bible. One way we could touch Him is by simultaneously praying and reading the Word. We can use the Bible as the language of our prayer

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Grandma Read My Blog

In this trip back home, I got to spend some time with my lovely grandmother. I missed her so much, I actually still do. She missed me a lot too. She won't directly ask me to just stay and live in my hometown, but I always have this sense that she's always waiting for me.

Whenever I tell her that I and my sister are coming home, she will start counting days until the day we actually come back home. Thinking about my family all day is too sad, that's why I'm not doing that.

I'll tell you later why I choose to stay in Texas and live here. It's not because I don't love my family or anything like that. 

Today I just want to write a short post on my grandma reading my blog post. 

My grandma read my blog

I told you before that my grandma knew Mrs. L. My grandma used to send Mrs. L organic bird's nest for health purposes. 

My grandma doesn't really speak English but she took some English classes before (in her sixties). So I showed her my blog post about my conversation with Mrs. L, the post entitled Ovecoming Confusion in the Church Life

It was so awesome! My grandma read it. Although she didn't understand every single word on that post, she was able to enjoy the gist of the post. It was such an encouragement to me that my grandma enjoyed reading my blog.

My grandma is fully in the church life. She's seventy five but she loves Christ and the church. It's her joy to invite the young ones into her home and she would cook a lot for them. She would also care for the older ones. She would visit and bring them food.

My grandma loves the young people and she treasures the older ones. She used to be a strong person but as time passes, the Lord has walked with her through many hardships. 

My grandma is not a perfect person, but her years with the Lord is her real glitter. I'm very grateful that I have inherited such a good deposit from my grandma, and also from my mom. Well, from my grandma's mom too actually. She was also a faithful, mature believer in Christ.

My grandma has been investing the real treasure in the heavenly account by giving and giving. Now even I get to enjoy some of the dividend from her account. God's blessings are passed unto thousand generations.

I always remember my grandma's prayer -

"Lord, I pray that all my children and all my grandchildren would serve You and  Your church."

Now, I can tell you this exact prayer is the reason why I'm living far away from home.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Back in Town

Sorry for the long delay of this post. I finally arrived safely, back to Texas.

I think I arrived on Tuesday evening. Then I had a bad jet lag. Well, there's about 12 hours difference between Texas and back home in Southeast Asia. It's the ultimate jet lag. Total opposite. Day and night.

Check out this post for some documented adventures that I had with my siblings during our travel to Asia:


I'll get back to my blogging routine soon, everyone.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

God Has a Need: Come, All Things Are Ready!

I'm taking an extra week or so off from work, so I was reading this book called, "God's Need and God's Goal," by Witness Lee. The first chapter is very touching.

While man (humanity in general) has feeling only for his need, God has a greater need. The chapter begins with Luke 14:17, "Come, for all things are now ready." 

God's need
This verse is then followed by Luke 15, the passage concerning the forgiving father and the prodigal son. In this story, we often focus on the hungry, filthy, poor son who desperately needs to return to his father. However, if we read more closely, we will soon realize that the father himself has been longing for his son to return. 

The prodigal son realizes his need after he has squandered all his possessions, yet the father has been longing for his lost son since the day that son left his house. The father has probably prepared the best robe for his son's return long before the actual day of the return. 

As you read Luke 15, you will also find that during the return, while the son is still afar off, the father quickly recognizes his son and run to hold and kiss him. Before the son finishes his repenting statement, the father tells his slaves to bring out the best robe for his son.

To the father, the son's transgression does not matter much. In fact without such transgression, we would not realize how forgiving, loving, longing the father is. Of course, this father is actually our Father. Let me continue with a quote from the book that I read.
"We need to see that God truly needs us. Actually, there is no one who feels that he needs God, and there is no one who seeks God (Romans 3:11). There is none. It is God who seeks man, and it is God who finds man. It is not we who want God; it is God who wants us. It is not we who choose God; it is God who chooses us. It is not we who love God; it is God who loves us. Our Lord was incarnated so that we could receive Him."
This is our salvation - "If we see that God needs us more than we need Him, we will realize that it is quite easy to be saved and to be faithful." In other words, do you know why we can be saved? It is because it is quite easy to be saved. Do you know why it is quite easy to be saved? It is because God needs us more than we need Him.

Do you know how we can be faithful? Is it because we are strong and devout? It is because God needs us more than we need Him. Yes, we cannot but He has done all!

Salvation is "Come, all things are now ready."

Let us not be afraid of our weaknesses. Second Corinthians 12:9 says, "Most gladly therefore I will rather boast in my weaknesses that the power of Christ might tabernacle over me." That means the power of Christ cannot be manifested without our weaknesses.

We simply need to come to Him as we are, without struggling and striving, no matter what our condition is. Just like the prodigal son. Actually, his salvation only requires him to come, to return, his father has prepared all the rest. 

So likewise, our only responsibility to be saved and be faithful is "Come, all things are ready!"