Weekly Devotion Galatians 2:20

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

We who are saved are crucified with Christ. Our old man is crucified with Him (Romans 6:6). We are a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). That new creature is what lives. Yet, it’s not us, but Christ that lives in us. The life which we now live in the flesh we live by faith in Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave Himself for us.

Lord, thank You that my old man is crucified with Christ and is dead. Thank You that Christ now lives in me. Thank You for the new life that I have in Christ – Him living in me. Thank You that because of Jesus I can live by faith in Him. Lord, thank You for saving me and working in my life. Thank You for my identity in Christ.

A Door Thrown Open

Besides the “Why China?” question, I am also commonly asked how I ended up as an English teacher in China for five years. This blog is written to tell the story of how God opened a door for me to immerse myself in the country which eventually led to me being where I am today.

I came home from church, grabbed lunch, sat in my recliner, and got out my laptop.

I had just worked a double shift at the diner the day before and was wanting the relax and check my email. I wasn’t ready for what I was about to read.

An English-teaching missionary in China out of my church wrote to let me know that an opportunity opened up in Longyan, Fujian, China for me to teach English to children.

It was too good to be true. I had actually just purchased round-trip tickets to China for that December for another “Christmas story evangelism” missions trip. My visa had already come in the mail and I was due to fly out in less than six weeks.

By the end of the afternoon, I had it all figured out. I would go on the short-term trip, check out the school, and come back to America and think on it. If I liked what I saw at the school, I would go back in a couple of months. If not, I would wait for another opportunity to move to China.

But as the Lord would have it, my conversation with the missionary that night over Skype didn’t go that way. I learned that the owner of the school couldn’t wait that long. The missionary had already told her I was coming in a few weeks and if I was to accept the job, I would have to stay when I arrived. There was no chance for coming back to America to think on it.

I emailed the school with my resume and told them I wanted three days to think about it. I had graduated college the year before and was looking for an opportunity to move to China, but this was rather sudden.

After spending time in prayer, the Lord made clear that He had opened this door. There were so many in China who had yet to hear about Jesus Christ. This was the opportunity I had been praying for! The Lord was faithful!

I emailed the school again and let them know I would be coming. I the five weeks remaining, I quit my two jobs, sold my car, got out of my apartment, and boarded a plane to the next chapter in my life.

Weekly Devotion 2 Corinthians 12:9

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Paul was given a thorn in the flesh lest he be exalted above measure (12:7). The thorn in the flesh was given to him to keep him humble. He asked the Lord three times to let it depart from him (12:8), but the Lord told him that His grace is sufficient because His strength is made perfect in weakness. Paul says he therefore would gladly glory in his infirmities, so the power of Christ would rest upon him.

Lord, thank You that Your grace is sufficient. Thank You that Your strength is made perfect in my weakness. Thank You for using things like this thorn in the flesh to keep Your servants humble. When I am tempted to exalt myself above measure, please cause me to glory in my infirmities so that Your power would rest upon me and I can be used of You.