December 9

Today's Bible Reading
     II Chronicles 9
     Jude 1
     Zephaniah 1
     Luke 23
            ''But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life." (Jude 20-21)
            One of the great characteristics in the life of our Lord was that He never got into a panic. Nothing took Jesus by surprise, nor did He ever operate impulsively. He faced every situation with calmness, dignity and, above all,with the anointing of the Father.
            There was nothing ever of the nature of impulsiveness of thoughtless action about our Lord, but only a calm strength. Most people who know the Lord develop Christianity along the lines of our own nature, not along the lines of Gods nature. The natural life produces impulsiveness, and our Lord always ignores it because it hinders the development of the life of a disciple. Your response that is filled with emotion, impulsiveness, and the flesh may impress those around you, but it never impresses our Lord.
            One of the fads among Christians today is the initials WWJD, which stands for ''What Would Jesus Do?'' Every situation and circumstance we face ought to be faced with that idea. The Spirit of God wants to give you a sense of restraint over impulsiveness. When you respond to any situation with a fleshly impulsiveness,you should have a feeling of self-conscious foolishness that will make us instantly want to vindicate ourselves. Impulsiveness is acceptable in a child, but it is disastrous in an adult man or woman - an impulsive adult is always a spoiled person.  Impulsiveness needs to be trained into intuition through discipline.
            Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on water is easy to someone with impulsive boldness, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is something totally different. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he ''followed Him at a distance'' on dry land (Mark 14:54).
            Some people believe we have to have the grace of God to withstand crisis, but many lost people have demonstrated a unique ability to overcome a great crisis in their life. It seems that human nature and pride are sufficient for us to face the stress and strain of daily living magnificently. But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live 24 hours of every day as a saint, going through the drudgery, and living an ordinary,unnoticed and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus.
            Somehow, along the way, we have come to believe that we have to do exceptional things for God - but we do not. We have to be exceptional Christians in the ordinary thingsof life, and live holy lives on ordinary streets among ordinary people -and this is not learned in five minutes. It is learned over a great deal of time as we seek to be disciples of Jesus. I know thousands of faithful believers in ordinary remote places throughout the world who arefaithfully serving God and will receive great reward. 
Are you willing, today,to begin to build yourself up on your most holy faith, and live your life by discipleship rather than impulsiveness?
The capital of North Korea,Pyong Yang, was at one time known as the ''Jerusalem of the East." Most of the Christians, however, fled south during the Korean War, or were killed for their faith. Many churches were bulldozed and destroyed. Little is known about today's underground churchonly thatit has survived amidst great suffering. The church in North Korea was the birthplace of the Korean revival. Communism has thwarted that to a great extent. There are only three propaganda ''show churches'' in the capital, but over 100,000 Christians are interred in labor camps. Pray for physical and spiritual safety for North Korean believers, that they may persevere in what is possibly the most difficult country in which to be a Christian.
''When love and skill work together expect a masterpiece."