July 16, Saturday

mei lanEditor’s Note:  Today’s Quiet Time is provided by Mei Lan Thallman.  Mei Lan Thallman is originally from Taiwan and a graduate of Asbury College and Asbury Theological Seminary (M.A.) in Kentucky.  She is the wife of Pastor Kirt, who serves at Grace Covenant Church (Philadelphia).  They have two children, Nate (13) and Naomi (11).

Devotional Thought for Today

1 Corinthians 3:5-11 

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul?  Only servants through whom you came to believe – as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.  For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.  By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it.  But each one should be careful how he builds.  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

16This spring, I had the blessing to go back to Taipei, Taiwan and visit the House of Praise—the first church we loved and served for seven years.  I was deeply moved during worship, as I watched many of the old faces who were stepping up in their places to serve God as elders, deacons, worship leaders, greeters, etc.  I remembered how hard it was to leave them nine years ago, when we felt God leading us elsewhere.

But now I rejoice over how much the church family has grown as a whole, and how well they are doing under the care of the current pastor and his family.  I was overwhelmed with gratitude for God’s great faithfulness–truly God was and is the ultimate and rightful Shepherd of HOP.  Though we were blessed and privileged to be entrusted by God to care for HOP, I was also glad that we trusted and obeyed God when it was His time for us to move on.  If we didn’t, things would look very different for all of us.

The following week, I shared a meal with a family who joyfully informed me that the husband has come to faith in Christ Jesus after 15 years of witnessing and praying for him; now they are planning to be baptized as a family.  Their first exposure to Christianity was attending their sister’s baptism at HOP fifteen years ago.  But during the course of 15 years, God was using the church to lead them one by one to Himself; first, the wife, WiWi, through her sister Kathy; then the kids, Stanely and Chi Chi; and lastly the husband, Grant.

We serve a great God who is constantly at work to draw the world unto Himself through his bride, the church.  We, the church, are the living and thriving hands and feet of Christ.  God not only wants to save and sanctify us, but He longs to enthrone and reign as the cornerstone of our heart and lives.  Then, and only then, can He use us freely to build the same foundation into other people’s hearts and lives.  Let us not grow weary to keep pursuing Jesus wholeheartedly, to steadfastly and faithfully keep planting seeds, and watering into the lives of people that God brings into our path.

Prayer:  Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for being the author and perfector of our faith.  Thank You that You desire not only to save us but to entrust us with the responsibility of being a thriving and active member of your church family.   Please forgive us of our tendencies to be a spectator, consumer, critic and competitor.  Fill us with more of You and Your heart for the world.  Teach us to freely, unconditionally, and boldly give away the love and grace that You so lavishly bestow upon us always.

Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 110-111


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