Tuesday, September 29, 2009
“But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?” Luke 12:20
At first glance after reading this little parable, you think, “What is wrong with building storage sheds for extra riches?” Really there isn’t anything wrong with that. I was always taught that this passage says for you not to be greedy, which I just accepted as truth. But after reading this specific phrase, “You fool” does this begin to make sense. According to a commentary the word fool is not referenced to some one who is of low intelligence or stupid, but it is a direct reference to someone who does not obey God. So the issue of being rich was not the issue, the issue of storing up wealth wasn’t the issue, the issue was that God gave a direct command to this individual and he did not follow it. Instead the scripture said, “He reasoned with himself.” He talked himself out of God’s will and therefore paid a hefty price for it. It’s not a matter of what our position in life is, but it is how we are following the will of God that counts.
I admit there are things in my life that I so desire. Recently my friends were planning a trip to the mainland to watch the UH Football team play in Las Vegas. Oh I so wanted to go. But there was a little voice that said, NO. But like the ruler I justified it in my head by saying stuff like, “I’ll be a witness to my friends in Vegas.” “I need to grow closer to these guys” or even ideas such as, “Man it would be fun to watch UH football.” The truth be told, I really don’t care for UH Football, I like the Dallas Cowboys a lot better. I really never liked Vegas, and really I would probably play the one armed bandit too much. But I really wanted to go, so I bought the tickets and prepared a trip. But then a trip to Oregon came up, and I knew that is where God wanted me. So I told my friends I’m not going, and canceled the trip. Had I followed the Lord earlier, I wouldn’t have these two canceled tickets to my name. Where now I have to pay a huge change fee if I decided to use them again. Here I was a fool. The lesson, listen to God early, don’t reason with myself with it concerns the things of God. And then, JUST DO IT.
Lord thank you for this lesson. I really don’t want to be a fool anymore.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
When he (King Darius) had come near the den to Daniel, he cried out with a troubled voice. The king spoke and said to Daniel. “Daniel, servant of the living God, Has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?” Daniel 6:20
Here it is King Darius comes with great concern for Daniel because of a order he gave while listening to his other men. It is kind of weird that a pagan king had great concern for Daniel. From what I can observer I see that it isn’t impossible because of the one phrase that is in this verse: constantly serve. Daniel served God throughout his life and did not falter form left or right. He didn’t give in or give up on God. His life was a living example of what is to be a man devoted to God.
Now seeing his life I am inspired to want to be like Daniel. However in reality I know that it is difficult for me to do things like this. But the difference between Daniel and others, he followed through. He followed through in the difficult times and during times that were crazy. He followed God no matter what. What an inspiration. I can only observer here how awesome of a life that is. I want to be like Daniel and CONSTANTLY serve God. Not just part time, not just in the good, not just when I want to. But every waking hour I am alive. Constantly praise his name. No wonder God saved Daniel from the lion’s den. He saved him to not only for his obedience, but God wanted to use the life of Daniel to bring His glory to the earth.
Lord help me see, help me learn, help me grow closer to you. Grow me Lord and may my life be used to bring You glory.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
“Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” Lamentation 3:40
The focus on this verse makes sense. Here the writer is making a case for the people to examine their ways. Look at their problems. Look at what they have done. And after they realize what they have done. The call is to return to the Lord. You need to take a careful analysts of yourself and see what is going on with your life and see what areas you need to give over to God. This is easy to say but difficult to do.
So how does this apply to me. Today’s verse beacons me to examine all the areas of my life. I know that I am not perfect. But what God desires is for us to grow closer and closer to Him. In many ways I need to be able to draw closer and closer to God. It seems to be able to see how I am doing is that I need to take this verse to heart. Examine my ways, which requires me to take an inventory of my life and see what areas are God’s and what areas are mine or areas I am not sure of, and then to test them. Testing is the key to know what where what is going on. Testing my heart, my mind, and my actions will reveal where my true desires are. If I find that my true desires are not with God then it will surface, if I find my true desires not with His will, it will be made known.
Lord I pray that my true desires resurface, and that I can fully live for you.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
When Jeremiah finished telling the poeple all the worlds of the Lord their God- everything the Lord had sat him to tell them- Azariah son of Hosiahiah.... and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah “You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle!’” Jeremiah 43:1-2
Here we go again. This book of Jeremiah, full of examples of what NOT to do as a believer of God. Here Azariah out right rejects God and chooses to take the people the other way. No one here listens to what God is trying to explain to the believers. The crazy thing is that they begged Jeremiah before to pray to God and get an answer on what to do. Now, they get their answer and they do on to listen. Talk about being not obedient. This is a flat out rejection of the truth. But here Azariah fully believed that Jeremiah did not tell the truth. For whatever the reason, it stands here that Azariah was deceived to think that what he was doing was the right thing, though we know that it wasn’t. But what voices was Azariah listening to? It could have been that they all got together and said, “This has got to be the right way.” and they sought a confirmation, but when it wasn’t, they rejected it. Maybe it was something that they did not want to hear, and they did not want to do.
This is exactly how I can be sometimes. When I get fixed on a particular thing, or if I want something in particular, I cannot hear what the truth is. Because of my desire for a certain object or a certain way, I get blinded and cannot hear the truth. That isn’t good. Especially when I am trying to listen to the word of God and try to obey Him and his truth. Here the lesson is that I be open to what is God trying to say to me as an individual, and then be open to His word and follow it. Not easy to do though.
Lord I pray that you help me in this area. It is a difficult thing for me sometimes, but my desire is to hear you above all.
Monday, September 7, 2009
“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring-those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” Revelation 12:17
Wow, the devil is raging a war against us. Kind of a crazy though. But, it’s not like I didn’t know this. After studying the bible and hearing enough sermons you know that the devil hates us, with a passion. But for some reason or another it just doesn’t sink in. The enemy is very real, but he does such a great job hiding to make us guess if he really is real. Good strategy. Fade into the background and pounce on your prey when you least expect it. Sort of cowardly if you ask me, but really I guess the devil has no choice.
So knowing all this how does this verse apply to me? If someone hates us Christians that much you know that each and every one of us that are believers in Christ will be attacked in some way, shape, or form. The enemy will come after us with great intensity and shoot to kill. So as believers it is important to know that God is on our side and He is ready to defend us. But also He wants us to be ready for the attack of the enemy. It’s very important to know the principles of the Armor of God (Ephesians 6) and to know God’s law (Joshua 1:8). Being a Christian takes a lot of work. It takes effort, it takes concentration, and like anything you want to be good in, you got to practice practice and practice. So, I need to practice.
Lord thank you for this. Thank you for the reminder that it is going to take diligence, effort, and most of all You to fight the enemy who hates us. But Lord, you love us and that is all that counts.
“But after three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them and the stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them.” Revelation 11:11
What can be said about this, evil thought they had won, evil thought that the had defeated the living God, evil thought that salvation was done. But God’s ministry was not complete. He it was not over. God brought it back much more bigger and better then when they died. God brought the ministry back stronger then ever. Kind of a crazy thought but it seems like when God breathes new life back into something, it takes on a life all it’s own. God reinvigorates it and makes it stronger then ever.
So what does this mean for me? I know in many areas I feel as if it is dead. I feel as if a relationship is dead, a situation is dead, or dream is dead. It could be my love for a particular individual, or a particular passion. But because of the hardness of life it had died. The dream is nothing but a thought, the bridges of certain relationships are burned, or a passion is quenched. This verse gives me the courage to see that if it is of the Lord, it isn’t dead. It is alive and kicking. It cannot die, and He will breathe new life into it. The amazing thing is that if it is part of His eternal plan, nothing, not even the gates of hell will be able to stop it.
Lord thank you for the encouragement. This is a huge verse. Lord for those dreams that are dead, please breathe in a breath of life. Thank you Lord.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
“Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” Ezekiel 18:31-32
The great mercy of God is shown here, that if the Israelite just turn and repent, then He will forgive and heal. But what do the Israelites do, they go in the opposite direction. Crazy talk, but hey that’s the way things go huh. God beacons us back to Him but what do we do? We run away. Though there are many verses in the Bible that shows us the wonderful mercy of God and how He gives us chance after chance. Which is a great thing but all the more, why do we not turn?
You know after reading this day after day, I began to think: What is going on here? Why are they not turning back to God? I begin to realize that humans are humans. I am one so I know, that though it is the had knowledge is that you must turn back, it is the heart that is what turns you. You can be told to do something till your are blue in the face but it is until the turn of the heart then you will not be able to see the results. It is true that the heart is the one who guides. If my heart is fully towards the Lord, then all the warnings and signs will not matter, because if my heart isn’t in it, then it is best to leave it behind. I remember loving to paddle but after a distasteful experience I did not want to paddle competitively anymore. My heart wasn’t into it. Therefore I just fell away, I haven’t been in a canoe for over 3 years. Yet it was part of my life since high school. It is no wonder the phrase, “Throw you heart over the line.” is so key. When you throw it, it is hard to get back. So now I sit here and evaluate myself, how much of my heart did I throw over the line to God?
Lord I here it is, my full heart, not just part, not just some, but all. And here it goes... I’m throwing it over the line for You, Father. Thank you for your mercy and grace.