Surrendering to God

O – Observation:    It’s easy to say that when we give to whatever person, entity, church, organization etc – we feel good. That’s usually a given. But for the most part we don’t give till it hurts. One might say that’s not being a good steward if we gave all that we have.  In another sense if God is asking you to give all that you have so that you are not held by the things of this world, would we be able to give it all up? Our house, car, job, family? That’s a lot to ask for. Jesus wants all of what holds us. He asked it of Moses. He asked it of his disciples. He asked it of the rich man. My question to myself should be what God is asking me to give to him. And what is he asking me to give up, so that nothing hinders me from serving him without excuses or boundaries?

Today’s reading reminds me of the song, “I Surrender All” which I’ll include here. Thanks for visiting and keeping in His Word which binds us and molds us to be the character that He wants of us.

I Surrender All

S – Scripture: Mark 12: 41-43 – Reading: Mark 12 – The Widow’s Offering

41 Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.[j]

43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”

A – Application:

I can apply this scripture to my life by asking the Lord to allow me to not hold on to the things of this world. I know that the Lord will provide for my needs, but do I trust him to provide? I pray that I can trust and obey.

P – Prayer:

Father I ask that you forgive me for all my sins. I ask that I not hold on to the things of the world. I ask that I am able and willing to give everything and every person – surrender to Christ. So that He is in control over all things. In Jesus name, Amen.

© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Today’s Date: March 5, 2010

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Thoughts: What You Fill Your Mind With

You Are What You Fill Your Mind With

“Some Christians allow the world to fill their minds with ungodly thinking. Some people seem drawn to concentrate on the negative, choosing to be pessimistic about everything. Some remain satisfied with thinking of the mundane. Others fail to intentionally place Scripture in their thoughts, choosing instead to adopt human reasoning. Others, however, choose to expose their minds to the truths of God – to that which is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and good.

The things you allow your mind to dwell on will be revealed by the way you live.  If you focus on negative things, you will inevitably be a negative person.  If you allow unholy thoughts to fill your mind, ungodliness will become common in your life.  If you fill your mind with thoughts of Christ, you will become Christ-like. What you fill your mind with is a matter of choice. Choose to concentrate on the magnificent truths of God, and they will create in you a noble character that brings glory to God.” ~from Experiencing God, H. Blackaby

S – Scripture:

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—-meditate on these things.
Philippians 4:8

Matthew 12:34 (New Living Translation) “You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.”

O – Observation:

 

Many people think if they don’t “act” on the things that they fill their mind with, then it’s ‘okay’ to continue filling their mind with that same information. I’ve had lengthy discussions with people who say it’s ok to watch things like soap operas, television shows, read romance novels etc – all of which contribute to the values of this world.

The world’s view – which I’ve commented on in the past – is just that, the world’s view. The world says it’s ok to break the commandments of the bible and to do what the majority of the population is doing – do what feels good – not what is right and expected and pleasing to God. Because of this, we need to think about what we fill our mind with. It’s not easy. I noticed over the years that my mind would deem it acceptable behavior (whatever was going on around me) based on what I was watching on TV, or exposed to in the news, and especially the people I was hanging out with.  I needed a positive environment. I stopped watching a lot of regular television programs and only saw Food Network and Home and Garden. I even stopped watching the news as it was filling my mind with stuff I didn’t want to dwell on.

Not long ago, friends of mine, along with many other Christians were fascinated with a so-called love story of a vampire and whatever else I’m not sure. It wasn’t of God. These people described their interest as a love story, nothing more.  However there seemed to be an unhealthy obsession that wasn’t of God. My question to them is, what does the bible say about vampires? How does that mind occupation with these books and movies and actors – help them to grow closer to the Lord? Sure I have interests that are not based on biblical study. I watch things like the Food Network, and like Mickey Mouse, but it’s not devil worship. Nor do I have a morbid relation to people sucking the blood life out of others. 

In addition, I give ample time to studying the bible and doing things that edify my growth to my family and Christ. I believe that if something or someone – draws you away from your family, your responsibilities, and Christ – we need to refocus on why this thing or person is so important and work on that issue – not delve deeper into the fantasy of escape.

If you’re interested on what the bible says about vampires here’s an interesting reply from gotquestions.org click here to read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/vampires.html What’s interesting to note, not only young tween girls are affected by the lore of the story, but young women, both single and married need to search their lives and see if this applies to their life and walk with Christ.

It’s interesting to note – if you study the bible the same about of time that you spend on your other “choices” of mind dwelling – that the Word of God will win – allow God to dwell in your heart and mind.

A – Application:

I can apply these scriptures to my life by remembering that everything I do, observe, and absorb – are things that I meditate on. It may not be my intention to stop and ponder on the many things that I am willingly and unwillingly exposed to in my daily life; however I will balance myself by dwelling in the Word of God daily – through devotions, biblical teachings, readings, radio programs – so that I can draw closer to the Lord and focus on the things of the Lord.

P – Prayer:

Father I ask that you help me to know and do your will. I ask that you forgive me for all my sins. I ask that you guide me and help me to do what is right in your will and be a positive person, a person of passion for you, a person that concentrates on the truths of God – so that my character brings glory to you. In Jesus name, Amen.

Reading: Blackaby’s Devotional 3/4/2010

Phil 4:8 and Matt 12:34

© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Today’s Date: March 4, 2010

Possibilities with God

O – Observation:

Today’s reading is based on the conversation that Jesus had with his disciples when Jesus told them that vs. 15 “I tell you the truth anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”  A man ran up to Jesus and asked him what he must he do to inherit the eternal life? Jesus told the man he must know the commandments. The man replied that he did know the commandments and followed them. Then Jesus told the man to sell all he had and to follow him. The man was sad because he was wealthy. Jesus said it was very hard for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God.  His disciples than asked him, v 26, “Then who in the world can be saved?”  That’s when Jesus replied with vs. 27.

I choose today’s scripture to write my journal on because I’ve heard it spoken many times, in claim for everything that people would want or need. However we need to remember the context of this particular verse is said to the disciples and all the people to hear, that we alone, on our own, cannot do anything to earn our way to eternity – because it’s not in our human nature to do such an impossible act. Only through Jesus, He dying on the cross for our sins – through the grace of God, are we able to do all things possible – like the camel going through the eye of a needle. An impossible act by our human standards – yet nothing, even this, is impossible for God.

Reading: Mark 10:13-31

S – Scripture: Mark 10:27 “Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”

A – Application:

When I’m approached with circumstances in my life where I can’t figure it out, don’t know where to go or what to do next – I have to be reminded that I can do nothing on my own. I should always go to the Lord first for guidance and direction. I need to know that Jesus has a process and a plan – I may not be privileged to that plan. I am not always in the “know” of what’s happening to me. I am human and I make errors. I need to be corrected and sometimes shoved in the right direction. I am often in need to humble myself and do things that I don’t want to do, so that God can take control of the situation. I ask the Lord to use me for his good and in his will – but I need to be moldable like clay in order to be used. I ask that the Lord continue to mold me and use me for his work.

Also check out my journal entry on Matt 19:26

P – Prayer:

Lord I ask that you forgive me for my sins. I thank you for your love and mercy on my life and those around me. I ask that you guide me to where I need to go, be, do. I ask that those I am around, if I offend them that they would tell me so I can correct myself if that is in the way I need to go and that we can grow together. I ask that your hand of protection be on my family and friends. I ask that you show us your will and that we are able to serve you and know your blessings in all that you need us to do for your work here. In Jesus name, Amen.

© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

March 02, 2010

Let Go and Let God

 

Going All In – Let Go and Let God

O – Observation:

Paul wrote to the church of Thessalonians – to recognize those who work around you, those who teach you more about Jesus; warn those who are unruly, comfort the faint, uphold the weak, be patient with all. Paul than said to in vs 16-18 to always rejoice, pray without stopping, and in EVERYTHING give thanks – which would mean in good times and bad, give thanks, for this is God’s will.

Reading: I Thessalonians 5:12-28

S – Scripture: I Thess 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

A – Application:

We are always to praise God, give thanks in no matter what is happening, and as this is God’s will. It’s easy to read a passage, but following the Words of obedience, the direction that Paul is giving the members of the church are not always easy. Then again, no one said it would be easy. It’s just what makes God happy. So then if we are to live our lives as followers of Jesus, and we wish to do God’s will – then this is our instructions.

How do we push through all the challenges that come our way? Through prayer.

How do we overlook what is occurring in our life and the world around us? We don’t. We need to take one step at a time.

This past weekend our pastor shared that his dad passed away on Wednesday, he, our pastor, was going to teach on heaven. It was a good message. One that we need to hear often. Do we know where we are going when we die? Do we know where our friends and family are going when they die? Is the “sting” of death, less when we know where our loves ones go when they die? Yes.

Yesterday my home state was threatened with a tsunami warning; the entire state came to a stand as they prepared for the worse disaster. They had lots of time to prepare, unlike a Hurricane that comes much quicker. It was interesting to watch and listen and wonder, what everyone was thinking. When you live on a little island out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, you are basically stranded to wait for earth to splash water on you and say boo, or swallow you up. The effects of the earthquake in Chili the day before. Another earthquake in Okinawa, Japan – has rippling effects on the tiny bumps we call islands – Hawaii. After much anxiety, patience, practice, and follow through – my home state made it through without a scratch. The Lord gave us grace.  How many more offerings of grace will we have? I don’t know about you but I want to be prepared. I pray my family and friends are open to hearing God’s call on their lives so that one day when they die, they will know that they will go to heaven to and never need to wonder, and that those of us left on this earth, will have less of a sting, when they are gone.

P – Prayer:

Father I ask for your forgiveness. I ask that you forgive me for my sins. How I speak, act, react, to those around me. Help me to see what I am doing and make right those in my life that I need to make right to. Help those that are hardened to you. Open their hearts and minds to know that it’s not about another person or thing, but a relationship between you and them. I ask that you show us grace and mercy on an ongoing basis. I pray that I am open to your Word and guidance, your wisdom, knowledge, and will. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved – Originally Posted on: Feb 28, 2010

Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables?

Today’s Date: Feb 19, 2010

Why Did Jesus Speak in Parables?

Reading: Leviticus 7:28-9:6 ~ Mark 3:31-4:25 ~ Psalm 37:12-29 ~ Proverbs 10:5

S – Scripture:

Mark 4:33-34 “Jesus used many similar stores and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand. In fact, in his public ministry he never taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.

O – Observation:

Today’s scriptures goes well with Jan 19, 2010 journal entry entitled, “Storytelling Secrets.”  That was from the book of Matthew. Now Mark is confirming that Jesus taught in parables, yet with his disciples he went into detail of exactly what he was telling them. It’s always great to hear a great speaker, but if you’re one of the “inner circle” or being “mentored” by that leader – you will have the inside “scope” so to speak – of what they are really saying. In today’s world we are always trying to figure out what the successful business person’s secrets are, or what the athlete does to be ahead of everyone else in their field, or how a one person can share their vast amount of knowledge to the masses.

In the times of Jesus, he had 12 disciples that he taught personally. Yes he would go out and teach large crowds of people, but it was his disciples who had his ear, they were able to ask questions and clarify what his teachings were. In today’s world we do similar things. One person can teach millions of people, however they have a small group of people they mentor, because they know they cannot do all the work and when they are no longer able to get their message out, someone else can carry on their work.

GotQuestions.org has a explanation:  http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-parables.html

Here’s an excerpt: Matt 13:10 Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull.

From this point on in Jesus’ ministry, when He spoke in parables, He explained them only to His disciples. But those who had continually rejected His message were left in their spiritual blindness to wonder as to His meaning. He made a clear distinction between those who had been given “ears to hear” and those who persisted in unbelief—ever hearing, but never actually perceiving and “always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7).

A – Application:

In today’s verses I am reminded that Jesus left us the Holy Spirit to disciple us – along with his people who are gifted as teachers and pastors to teach us what is written in the Word of God. I was not there during the time that Jesus walked the earth, however he said that he would leave us the Holy Spirit and God’s Word (the Bible) to help us, to mentor us, to explain the details of our past, future, God’s will and how we should live our lives and purpose.

P – Prayer:

Father I thank you for your Word. Without the Word of God – our lives are null and void. Give us the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to do your will, understand your Word, and serve with a grateful heart. In Jesus name, amen.

© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Commitment and Trust

Today’s Date: Feb 18, 2010

Commitment and Trust

Reading: Leviticus 6:1-7:27 ~ Mark 3:7-30 ~ Psalm 37:1-11 ~ Proverbs 10:3-4

S – Scripture:

Psalm 37:5 NKJV Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.

O – Observation:

OYBB: Do you commit everything you do to God? EVERYTHING? Your waking life? Your sleeping life? Your job? Your relationships? Your family? Your finances? Your time? If so, do you trust that God will help you in everything you do in your life?

I also read Blackaby’s devotional today and he talks about “taking up your cross.” Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (Matthew 16:24) Here’s an excerpt: Your “cross” is God’s will for you, regardless of the cost. Taking up your cross is a choice; it is not beyond your control.

In observation of today’s scripture verse we are to commit “your way” to the Lord – which means whatever we are doing we need to give it up to God, Trust Him – but what does it mean that He will bring “it” to pass? The NLT says, Commit everything you do to the Lord.Trust him, and he will help you. The Amplified Bible says, “Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.” And The Message bible says, “Open up before God, keep nothing back; he’ll do whatever needs to be done.”

A – Application:

I can apply this scripture to my life by looking at the words “commit” and “trust” – Simplified I need to commit everything in my life to Christ and I need to trust that He will take care of everything. I need not do everything on my own and then go to God. I need to go to Him first in all things. Be committed as a Christ follower.

P – Prayer:

Father forgive me for my sins. Help me, my unbelief. Increase my faith in all things. Help me to know and do your will – so that I can “take up my cross” and commit and trust in you. In Jesus name, amen.

© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Cry Out to Jesus

Random Thoughts…

I wanted to share the video and lyrics of the song, “Cry Out for Jesus” by Third Day. Along with this – I’m leaving some scriptures where the people have cried out to the Lord.  Where are you today? Have you been crying out to the Lord and feel there is no response? Maybe that lack of hearing from the Lord, is the response. Maybe the answer to your prayer, is no and that’s why there’s silence. Maybe there’s sin in your life or the one that you’re praying for and repentance needs to occur. Whatever the situation is, the Lord says he hears us. He will answer, just remember you may not like the answer, doesn’t mean he didn’t hear you. Keep crying out to the Lord, for he cares for you.

Scriptures that “Cry Out to Lord”

Psalm 107:13 Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses.

Numbers 20:16 but when we cried out to the LORD, he heard our cry and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt.

1 Samuel 7:8
They said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the LORD our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.”

2 Samuel 22:7
In my distress I called to the LORD; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears.

Psalm 34:17
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

Psalm 84:2
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of theLORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Psalm 102:1
A prayer of an afflicted man. When he is faint and pours out his lament before the LORD. ] Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry for help come to you.

Be encouraged my friend – God is in control – or maybe you need to give him the control.

Lyrics: “Cry Out To Jesus”

To everyone who’s lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
when you said goodbye

 

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there’s nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He’ll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus, Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that’s struggling just to hang on
They lost all of their faith in love
They’ve done all they can to make it right again
Still it’s not enough

For the ones who can’t break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back again
Just remember that you’re not alone in your shame
And your suffering

When your lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight


Strength in Weakness

Today’s Date: February 16, 2010

Strength Out of Our Weaknesses

Reading: Leviticus 1-3:17, Mark 1:29-2:12, Psalm 35:17-28, Proverbs 9:13-18; Our Daily Bread: Heb 11:33-34

S – Scripture:

Who through faith . . . out of weakness were made strong. —Hebrews 11:33-34

O – Observation:

ODB – gives a great example of a great historic event that forever marked a great man to great depression of the 1930s. We are reminded that although we have and will continue to have failures in our lives, this does not mean that our entire life is a failure. Examples of Abraham, Moses, and David – “despite their sins, these men are remembered for their preserving faith – just as today’s verse tells us, we are made strong through our weaknesses.”

Dennis Fisher wrote: “Our life is not a failure if we’ve repented of our sins. God can still use us to serve Him.”

A – Application:

I can apply this scripture to my life by knowing that Christ is our great redeemer. Jesus not only came to take on the sins of the world, he is our example of how we are to live and grow in our relationships with the Father and with our brothers and sisters here on earth. I know that I have made mistakes and as hard as I try, I will “fall short of the glory of God.” I can strive to do my best and know that none of my sins, mistakes, or failures is a waste – I can learn from all of it and God can use it for his glory.

P – Prayer:

Lord thank you for forgiving me of my sins. I ask that you guide me and give me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to do the things that are your will and give me a joyful heart to do your will. I ask that I not fail you, but if I do, through faith, you will strengthen me. In Jesus name, amen.

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

God Hears Your Cry

Today’s Date: February 15, 2010

God Hears Your Cry

Reading: Exodus 37:1-38:31 ~ Matthew 28:1-20 ~ Psalm 34:11-22 ~ Proverbs 9:9-10 (www.OneYearBibleBlog.com from Feb 14, 2010)

S – Scripture:

Psalm 34:17-18 “The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help.  He rescues them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.”

O – Observation:

Here’s an excerpt from the “God and Man in Proverbs” via OYBB:

~I am sure all of us have moments of needing help.  Moments of trouble.  Moments of being brokenhearted.  Moments of being crushed in spirit.  The big question is what do we do in those moments?  Or, who do we turn to?  Do you call to God in those moments?  Do you know that he will help you?  Do you know that he will rescue you?  Do you know that he is close to you?  Do you know that He is near? ~

It’s interesting to read in Psalm 34 that this is the Psalm of David, when he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech in order to be sent away. Then David wrote this passage – to fear the Lord, to receive comfort and eternal happiness. I know that the Lord hears me as the scriptures say to ask and ye shall receive, based on God’s will. David knew that God would take care of him and rescue him, yet he still pretended to be “insane” in order for Abimelech to let him go. It worked. I’m not sure what this has to do with what David wrote in chapter 34, but maybe it’s something to do with the lesson that David had to go through in order for him to learn that God would take care of him and so that we (the generations after) would be able to learn from David’s ways.

A – Application:

I can apply these verses to my life by trusting in the Lord to take care of me even when I am in the scariest of situations. I am reassured that the Lord hears me when I cry out to him, he is close to me when my heart is broken; which is defined as, “having your spirit depressed or crushed by grief or despair.”

P – Prayer:

Father I thank you for your love. Thank you for hearing our cry for help and rescuing us when we are in trouble. You are our Savior, our Lord, and our redeemer. Thank you for forgiving us for our sins, even when we lack faith and trust – allowing us to learn through our experiences so that we can serve you and others better. In Jesus name, amen.

OYBB = OneYearBibleBlog.com

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Fear of God

Today’s Date: Feb 12, 2010

Fear God

 

Reading: Exodus 34-35:9, Matt 27:15-31, Psalm 33:12-22, Proverbs 9:1-6

S – Scripture:

Psalm 33:18 “But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.”

O – Observation:

What does it mean to “fear” the Lord, if God is love, why would we fear him? We should look at the phrase, “fear of the Lord,” or “God fearing”.  We’ve often heard these terms but do we really know and understand why?  I believe this is a good definition of the word fear, as used in the bible:

*Fear:  Although there are occasions in the Bible when the word fear represents the human emotion of terror (Exod. 23: 27), there is also a fear which means awe in the presence of the holy (Eccles. 12: 13). This fear induces a hatred of evil (Prov. 8: 13).

There is also awesome fear in the NT, as when the women were told about the Resurrection (Mark 16: 8). ‘Those who fear God’ or ‘God-fearers’ is a technical term applied to pagans who attended a synagogue but shrank from circumcision (Acts 10: 2).

We should note that in Psalm 33:18 it’s the “awe” of the Lord that induces a hatred of evil. God wants us to reverence him.  Like most of us, whomever raised us as our parents / caregivers, we loved them, and yet we feared them in a way that sometimes was because of the consequences of our misbehavior and even when we didn’t know if they would approve or not, it was a fear of reverence – wanting to please our parents. 

A – Application:

I fear God the same way, yet more intensely because no one is above God. He is our Lord, he gave us his son Jesus for our sins and he is our Savior. Our parents gave us physical life and we were entrusted to them on this earth, yet the Lord has given us eternal life. Thus, above my parents, my spouse, and all others, I fear God above all things, in turn he promises to ‘watch over us’.

P – Prayer:

Father I thank you for your patience, love, and understanding. Lord, I thank you for opportunities – to share your Word and your grace. I ask that you show me your will and allow me to know and do your will with a grateful heart. In Jesus name, amen.

*definition of fear found here – encyclopedia.com.

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved