Friday, April 29, 2011

Who is He?

“But what about you?” he (Jesus) asked. “Who do you say I am?” -Matthew 16:15

I love it how Jesus here gets right to the heart of the matter. He asks the disciples straight out, “Who do you say I am?” He comes forward and ask the tough question about what they really believe. But what is interesting is when Jesus asked this question. He didn’t ask this question in the middle of the Last Supper. But he asked this during the times where things were going good. But at least one of them, Peter, answered it right. But this is a valid question that should be asked of every person who is the follower of Christ. What if Jesus came today and asked the question right in my face? See what we answer will determine how your life is lived.

When I hear this verse it reminds me to come back to the basics. Who is Jesus? Though I know the answer intellectually, but do I truly understand the answer and do I believe it with all my heart. That is what I have to determine. Who is Jesus to me? I know that sometimes I can say the right answer but my actions are different. Today, Jesus ask me and maybe all of us, “Who do you say I am?” Do I really believe He is the Messiah only when my back is against the wall? Or only when I am at the end of my rope? Or, do I really believe He can save when things are easy? I must be like Peter and see Jesus for who he really is. He is God during the good times and the bad. Who is Jesus to me? I hope to say He is God, not only in mouth but in action no matter the season.

Lord thank you for this question. Help me sink the answer from my head to my heart.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hard Decisions

But David thought to himself, “One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hands.” 1 Samuel 27:1

It appears to be frustrating times for David and it doesn’t seem like it will change anytime soon. Tired of fighting the system and running for his life, he does something unthinkable, he joins the enemy camp. He becomes part of the Philistines. This is an ultimate betrayal, to put it in modern day times, it is like when Johnny Damon became a Yankee after he won World Series with the Red Sox, or like how I saw Hulk Hogan become a tool in the WWE. This idea David had, was crazy. I am not so sure that David was convinced that this was a great idea. But it seams like he had no choice. He had to make a call to on a difficult decision, a decision he knew that being king of Israel would haunt him in the future. However, for the sake of preservation of his life, his army, and his future legacy he made a hard decision, trusting God will protect him along the way.

Life altering decision making is something not to be taken lightly. What I am learning from David is that the right decisions, sometimes won’t even seem, right. In fact it will be one that seems outrageous. David here was faced with a decision, but he knew God’s promise and trusted that God would see the promise fulfilled, regardless of what was going on. It’s amazing to see how David makes these decisions. He makes them to survive, but also he does it with confidence that God will see things through. So the lesson for me here is to make those tough decisions and trust God will complete His part of the plan. That’s some pretty awesome trust.

Lord help me make those tough decisions. Even if I don’t understand and don’t want to do them, help me make those decisions.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Constant Communication

Once again David inquired of the Lord, and the Lord answered him, “Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into you hand.” -1 Samuel 23:4

This seems to be a very common phrase I am reading in this book of Samuel, “David inquired of the Lord”. David was in constant communication with God. He asked God about every major thing in his life. He developed a habit and lifestyle that before any major decision he ask God before anything. It prevented him from making brainless decisions but it also give him a dependence on God. It is a very wise choice to make. Jesus in the sermon on the mount also said to, “ask... seek... knock....” He instructed to ask God for wisdom in all that you do.

To me this is elementary in teaching, but really difficult to put into practice, especially here in the US. I am convinced that “rugged individualism” and “self made man” theories in life has really hindered our ability to be more reliant on God. Thus it is difficult for me to ask God for everything. But what I must learn is that I need to be in consistent communication with God. To be connected as Jesus said, “vine to the branches.” Developing a lifestyle like David, where I learn to ask God for everything, will bring me closer to God, and that is what I really want.

Lord, today I am gonna make a habit of asking you for everything, help me develop a lifestyle where I constantly have You on my mind.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Taste, Fear, Seek..

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” -Psalms 34:8-10

Funny when you look at this you see how great these bible verses are. However, after you read about what is going on with David when he wrote this Psalm, it sounds more like he wrote this to himself so he would not go insane, even though he was pretending to be insane. In a short amount of time, David’s life turned upside down. He went from riches to rags in a heartbeat. From hero to zero like some celebrities we know. The difference is that he did nothing wrong. However, we see here that though his life was going downhill, his devotion and love for God never wavered. Through these verses he teaches us to do three things in times of adversity. Taste and see the Lord, Fear the Lord, and Seek the Lord. David was a gifted writer, and when he wrote it was full of metaphors and elaborate descriptions to pinpoint truth. Taste the Lord, experience him, and after that you will know his power. Fear the Lord, and seek Him with reverence and devotion, and you will lack nothing.

I admire about David in this verse is that he knew what it meant to please God no matter what. I look at myself and I don’t have nearly as much adversity as David, so it makes me cringe when I see that my faith is no where near where it should be. But the lesson I can apply to my life from these passages is to truly develop a deep desire for pursuit of God. Taste, Fear and Seek are all action words. It requires me to get up off my butt, and put my faith in to action. David’s faith was in action when he wrote this. But how often in my life my faith is missing in action. Not that I denounce God, but I do worry a lot more then I should. Today’s lesson requires a call, a call to taste, fear, and seek God with all of my heart. Then though adversity and trials come, I can have the unshakeable faith and assurance that David had.

Taste, Fear, Seek. Oh Lord help me do all these.