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(Part 39)


June 13, 2011
Today’s readings:
2 Corinthians 6:1-10
Psalm 98:1-4

Our God is a strong God, “whose right hand and holy arm have won the victory.” (Ps 98:1b). This victory is “for the nations to see” (Ps 98:2b), so that “all the ends of the earth (will see) the victory of our God.” (Ps 98:3b).

Jesus won salvation for humankind on the cross, and by his death and resurrection crushed the head of the serpent. Now this salvation is to be proclaimed by his disciples, to the ends of the earth. For us in CFC-FFL, this is our work of rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization.

How do we fulfill God’s call to us?

First, we need to realize that the work in now. The work is urgent. It is especially so during this third millennium, when the forces of darkness are on the rampage throughout the world. God raises up His armies, including new ecclesial movements like CFC-FFL. Jesus has made himself dependent upon his disciples to proclaim his salvation. As Paul said, “behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor 6:2c). There is no time to lose.

Second, we need to realize that when we do this work, we become engaged is spiritual warfare. And the enemy is powerful. Thus we will be bruised and bloodied. Our work will be done “in afflictions, hardships, constraints, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, vigils, fasts” (2 Cor 6:4c). Those who expect an easy time will be frustrated. Those who look to only good times will be disappointed. Those who do not persevere will fall by the wayside. Thus we are called to work “through much endurance” (2 Cor 6:4b).

Third, since we do divine work, the very work of God, we must strive to be true witnesses to Jesus, being holy and righteous, with integrity in all our conduct. We are not to be like other Christians or groups that conform more to the world than to the Lord as they profess to serve God, as they resort to lies, malign fellow Christians, and do such unbiblical acts as filing court cases against brethren. For us, we serve in “purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, in a holy spirit, in unfeigned love, in truthful speech, .... with weapons of righteousness at the right and at the left” (2 Cor 6:6-7). It is when we serve in this way that we will be able to act “in the power of God” (2 Cor 6:7b).

Fourth, we must see that there will be ups and downs in the work, that there will be joys and sorrows, triumphs and seeming defeats. When we are down, we simply allow God to pick us up. When we feel empty, that is a great opportunity for God to fill us up. Again, we simply endure and persevere, knowing that the victory already belongs to the Lord. When we have this posture, nothing can ever bring us down. In fact, we can see the good in the seeming bad, the redemption in the suffering, the joy in the sorrow. It is all part of the one package, which we are privileged to receive. Thus we experience “glory and dishonor, insult and praise. We are treated as deceivers and yet are truthful; as unrecognized and yet acknowledged; as dying and behold we live; as chastised and yet not put to death; as sorrowful yet always rejoicing; as poor yet enriching many; as having nothing and yet possessing all things.” (2 Cor 6:8-10).

How can the enemy defeat us if we truly become Christ-like and if we are prepared for anything? By being Christ-like we become properly formed as Jesus’ servants through whom God will show His glory (Is 49:3). By being prepared for anything, and willing to embrace redemptive suffering, the enemy cannot afflict us enough so as to discourage us and make us quit the fight. When we fall or fail, we will never think we have “toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly spent (our) strength” (Is 49:4a). Instead, we will always have hope and trust in the Lord, knowing that our “reward is with the Lord, (our) recompense is with (our) God.” (Is 49:4b).

When God calls, He equips. When God raises up and restores, He is about a mighty plan. God intends to make His people His “light to the nations, that (His) salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Is 49:6b).

God raised CFC in 1981 and restored CFC-FFL in 2007 (Is 49:6a) in order to establish His servant, in order to accomplish His purpose. Now, in 2011, as we celebrate our 30th year, God is pouring out the fullness of His strength, in order that His salvation may be proclaimed to all. “‘In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.’ Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor 6:2).

We have reached the crossroad. The time is now. The fullness of God’s grace is being offered. “Working together, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” (2 Cor 6:1). Let us get to work and give it our all, in the strength of God.

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