January 25, Saturday

Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought is provided by Pastor Ryun Chang who is the Teaching Pastor of AMI.  This blog was originally posted on March 9, 2013.

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Don’t Get Fooled by This World; Live for God Instead”

Ephesians 2:10a

We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.

After declaring war on Japan, Franklin D. Roosevelt passed an executive order in1942 Japanese Internmentthat interned nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans in desolate concentration camps in the deserts. Those of Japanese descent born in America faced a different dilemma of either complying with the draft (to the dismay of their parents) or be imprisoned for refusing it. Some years later, John Okada, a Japanese American, wrote a novel called No-No Boy. In the preface, he wrote, “As of that moment, the Japanese in the United States became, by virtue of their ineradicable brownness. . ., animals of a different breed. . .. Everything Japanese and everyone Japanese became despicable.” Okada’s compatriots initially rejected the novel perhaps because it was all too real: the loss, alienation and anger.

During the Old Testament times, something far worse could have happened to the Jews living peacefully in the Persian Empire, when Haman the Amalekite, serving as a confident to the emperor, maneuvered to enact a genocidal policy against them. Had it not been for Queen Esther, who risked everything in order to plead to the king on behalf of her people, the plight of the Jews would have been worse than what the Japanese-Americans had endured.

These two events are a good reminder to us, who, in our opulent and comfortable lifestyle, often forget that our ultimate citizenship is not of this world, for Paul says, “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). Thus, those who follow Christ shouldn’t be too dismayed by how the world treats them since, as “aliens and strangers in the world” (1 Pet. 2:11), they were told in advance, “It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him” (Phil 1:29).

Perhaps, some of us have forgotten this in pursuit of the things that the world says we must have in order to feel successful. Remember, we are not here to cater to our every whims and wishes but to do God’s work. As Christ’s followers, regardless of whether we are interned or threatened by enemies, we have the same task of trying to be the salt and light in a hopeless world. Perhaps unwilling at first, since it is risky and difficult, but let us be reminded of what Esther’s cousin Mordecai told her: “Who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Est. 4:14). You can replace “royal position” with “influential profession” or “abundant finances.” When the Lord, in his time, calls you to go all out for him, may you declare what Esther said, “I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” (4:16).

Start living for the Lord now, little by little; make a small difference for Christ, today. Remember that “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.”

Prayer: Lord, help us not to be duped by the trappings of this world. Instead, help us to keep our eyes fixed on You so that we are both willing and ready to maximize all that has been given to us from above for Your glory.

Bible Reading for Today: Romans 5-6

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