“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:1

Feelings oriented

Another characteristic of a baby is it is affected unduly by its feelings. A baby’s quality of life revolves around its feelings. The slightest change in its feelings will have great repercussions on life in general. Every baby demands a perfect environment, which simply means one that complements his or her feelings. One moment he is a happy little fellow and the next moment is crying as though his world had ended. Evidence always gives way to feelings and emotions.

Normally, we draw a conclusion based on evidence rather than go along with feelings. Carnal Christians tend to live by their feelings. First, they must have what they call a good atmosphere in the church and then they have had a good time. If there is not a good atmosphere, they do not have a good time. If this continues, they will look for a place more conducive to having a good time. They are more or less victims and fools of their environment.

A baby is a victim of its environment, a willing victim, because it hollers like a banshee when anything goes wrong. Although a baby’s finger may stop hurting, he cries long after it is forgotten or no longer hurt, because it is unduly affected by its fears; or it is too hilarious and too humourous, for no reason in the world.

I discovered with our little granddaughter Judith that if I put my nose down on her nose and mumbled, she mumbled and would go into hilarious laughter, and we had a good time together. I wonder what is so funny about that? I do not know what is so funny about it, but she thinks it one of richest pieces of humour that had ever come to her little year-old circle of interest or attention. She and I do that now, that is our fun together. I do not think it is funny, but it is humourous to see her go wild about it.

Babies are either cast down for no reason or hilarious for no reason. They are victims of their feelings and senses, because they are carnal in faith. This also is the characteristic of a carnal Christian. He is too easily lifted up and too easily cast down. He cries when there is nothing to cry about and laughs when nothing is funny. After a while, a Christian should learn better.

Dependent on the External

A third characteristic about a baby is its propensity to rest in everything external. A baby has no inward life at all. Psychologists say that a baby is born without a mind; and as he grows, his mind develops. I do not know about that, but I do know that they are born with a capacity but without anything in their little minds. Give a baby a brightly coloured rattle and it will entertain itself for hours. As they get older, the capacity develops, but they have no inward life. They rest completely in the external.

This also is characteristic of a carnal Christian. He lives too much in visible religion and goes by things on the outside. Coloured lights, and strange or pretty sounds, and garments or certain uniforms or decorations; anything that feeds their childish mind by calling it out from the outside, from the internal to the external.

We may be as sure of this as we live that in proportion to the way we are affected by external circumstances, we are carnal. For Jesus said, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him” (John 4:23). There is no other way the external can worship the Father perfectly. The carnal Christian cannot worship the Father perfectly. The carnal Christian cannot worship without religious rattles and toys; otherwise, he gets bored and loses interest.

For the mature Christian, any unlovely place is suitable for worship if the heart is right and the Spirit dwells within. Worship and communion with God can be real and can be unaffected, and the tranquility can remain the same, because the spiritual Christian does not rest in the external.

-A W Tozer

D is for Dying Duty

Thank God for the 1st May Chinese Gospel Meeting where close to 30 newcomers came to hear the Gospel. Thank God for the brethren who served and all who made the effort in reaching out to our relatives and friends. I believe our hard work is not in vain. If we do our best to please Him and glorify Him, we will surely get our reward either here or in heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

I recall about how a preacher who likened Gospel for souls to bread for breakfast. A person may need to eat 4 slices of bread to be full, just like a person may need to hear the Gospel message 4 times to believe. We cannot jump straight to the 4th slice and expect the person to be full. Furthermore, often times we may be the 1st, 2nd or 3rd slice but only the 4th slice will see the fruit of the labour. Nonetheless, all 4 slices are equally important, not one is insignificant. So we just have to keep giving out this “bread”, hoping and praying that the person will finally be full and believe in Jesus Christ. Let us not lose hope, or faith, but continue and persevere to reach out to the unsaved. God is always in control so we do what we can, and He will handle the rest. 1 Corinthians 3:7 “So neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase.”

I have benefitted and learnt a lot from coordinating this gospel meeting. It is certainly good to labour together with fellow Christians. Since I am inexperienced in this, I am especially thankful for the guidance and help given to me along the way. It is great to see God working through us as we work for Him. But more importantly, I realize that more prayer is needed than planning. No amount of planning can settle my worrying heart, but a simple prayer can put my mind at ease. I wish and pray that more will attend the prayer meeting to pray for the Church and one another. Philippians 4:6-7 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

The Gospel is not only for unbelievers but for us, believers too. Because the Gospel will remind us of what Christ has done for us and this alone gives us all the encouragement that we need to live for Him. It also reminds us of our responsibilities as Christians to share this good news to all the unbelievers around us. Out of obedience, out of love, and out of gratitude, we ought to always have this burden for souls. If Christ has done so much for us, how can we remain indifferent and not spread the Gospel. Matthew 9:37-38 “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.”

I am also encouraged by the evangelism session that we had on the Sunday before the Gospel Meeting for many turned up to give out the handbills and tracts. It will be heartening if such attendance and support can be found in our monthly evangelism and the Simei care centre ministry. Can we ever measure the price of a soul? If our time and effort that is put into these ministries can lead a person to Christ, will it not be worth it? Christ has sacrificed so much for us, how much have we sacrificed for Him?

As I think on such thoughts, I realize how often I have failed Him and how much more I ought to do for Him. It is not easy. We can often be discouraged by circumstances or people. We are easily tempted to slacken or give up totally. However, I am reminded to always look to the perfect example for us to follow who is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. May these verses spur all of us to do our best for Him.

Hebrews 12:1-3 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”  To God be the glory!

Brother Bo Hao