Feb 08

Devotional – 30 December 2012

This is a devotional I prepared for 30 December 2012 during my recent trip to Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef.

Today we live in a world that teaches us apathy, selfishness and the benefits of temporary comforts & luxuries. But God is love, fellowship and can give us eternal comfort, security & contentment.

In the Genesis account of creation, God was at the beginning. We also know from the Bible that God will be at the end (being the alpha and omega). God created all things. While I was snorkelling and scuba diving around the Great Barrier Reef I saw many beauties and wonders – and all these reminded me of God’s beautiful creation. God created all things – and the same hands that created the universe made you and I.

However, in stark contrast, my trip to the Great Barrier Reef also reminded me of the fragility of all things. Corals bleach and cannot fully defend themselves against largely human damage; the human body is amazingly weak and susceptible to illness and disease; the human mind and will has a strong propensity to sin; the failures of our world such as Earth’s climate change woes; all things in the world have a weakness and fragility… in the sight of God. Without God all these things would ultimately fall to pieces and this reminds me of our utter need for God for all things; and that life on earth is temporary and we should look to eternity.

We should press on toward the goal as it says in Philippians 3 by running the race. Rev. Lam once said that the gate to God is narrow, and so is the path. We ought to cast out the things that are temporary in the world such as our career obsession, money loving and influence of others – not that these are bad in themselves but that if they are an end to an end then we are not walking that narrow path and running the race for God. These things are the ‘stuff’ that is in the world, yet we cannot take it with us once we die. Sometimes it’s like we take the long way around rather than the better, straight, holy and pure road to God – but to do this means to live out our faith on a daily basis: to BE a Christian, not just be named as one.

How can we rely on the goal and end-point that God has promised to us?

Job, typically seen as a book about suffering and perseverance (which it is), is a book in the Bible that speaks much about this: ‘who in the world is wise?’ In Job it is written that ‘death is naked before God’ (26:6). God asks Job’s friends, who try to give worldly advice to him, ‘where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?’ (38:4) and again, ‘are you wise enough to know these: when animals give birth (39:1-2), the number of clouds in the sky (38:37) and comprehended the vast expanses of the earth (38:18)?’ We can trust in the power and wisdom of God. We can rely on His promise to us of eternity because ‘while the grass withers and the flowers fall, the word of our God stands forever.’ (Isaiah 40:8)

Let’s keep our gaze heaven-ward. As it says in Philippians 3, our citizenship is in heaven and with the power that brings everything under control He will raise our lowly bodies to be glorious like his. In light of recent events, I am encouraged to seek after God’s will for me in my life, to follow His ways, His commands and to run the race unswervingly. Looking back I found the timing of it all to be very intriguing and God has put this reminder in my heart, and I hope He has done the same for you.

What is your reflection and/or meditation from this devotional? Let me know if this has helped you and I will pray with you!

Want to know more? Read Philippians and Job (especially chapters 38-42). If you don’t like to read, come have a chat with me!

-Michael Fong