Will You be Liked, if you Deny Christ?

Today’s Date:  January 15, 2010

Will You be “Liked”, if you Deny Christ?

 

 Reading: Gen 31:17-32:12, Matt 10:24-11:6, Psalm 13:1-6, Proverbs 3:16-18

S – Scripture: “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.”  Mt 10:32-33

O – Observation:

Jesus said if we acknowledge him on earth, he will do the same in heaven. But if we deny him on earth, he will deny us before our Father God. That’s easy to read and understand. It’s scary though, when we are put in a life or death situation – would you still admit you are a Christ follower? Or how about a “like” or “dislike” situation? Will my family and friends still accept me for following? Mt 10:40 Jesus says, “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me.”

A – Application:

It’s challenging to hear these words. Often times we want to please others, we just want to be “liked”. There are probably more situations of people who will deny Christ to be “liked” than those who will deny him to escape death.  As one becomes stronger in their faith it’s easier to say, “I choose Jesus.” It becomes more challenging as friends and family – “disown” and don’t want to associate with you for being a follower of Jesus, so sometimes we compromise. How you may ask? We don’t stand up and share our faith openly. We laugh or stay quiet when those around us are speaking or acting in ways of the world – negative, derogatory, swearing, etc – or we don’t hold others accountable for their behavior. Even other Christians will desire to be “liked” by those on earth, than honor their faith in Christ – so we’re left with a few friends, instead of many. The bible says that we are to fellowship with one another. We are to encourage each other in our faith. Even if they (friends, family) both Christian and non-Christian – put us down for acknowledging Jesus or being “too” opinionated, or “too religious”. This is not about being religious; this is about a relationship with Christ. This is about not wanting to be denied by Jesus, when we come before the Throne of God and will Jesus say, “Father, I know her, she did not deny you on earth.”

There’s a great research article by The Barna Group, that’s quoted in The Truth Project – Lesson 2: The study asked the question, “How many Americans have a biblical worldview? The answer: General American population: 4%, “Born-again” American population: 9% – …and we don’t act that different from the world… I choose to be different from the world. I need to have a biblical worldview.

P – Prayer:

I pray that I am not put in the situation of a life or death in claiming my faith in Christ – like so many who live in countries who are not free to worship Jesus Christ.  I pray that those who risk their lives to bring others to Christ are protected and provided for. I ask the Lord to help me to be strong when I am placed in situations where I may be tempted to deny or “water down” my belief just to “get along” – that God will protect me in those situations and guide me to be a light for him. When I come before the Lord I want Jesus to say to our Father in Heaven, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

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Don't Let Sin Build-Up

Today’s Date: January 14, 2010

The Sin Buildup (ODB)

Reading: Gen 30-31:16, Matt 10:1-23, Psalm 12:1-8, Proverbs 3:13-15 & Our Daily Bread (ODB): II Corin 4:7

S – Scripture:

We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. —2 Corinthians 4:7

O – Observation:

The daily devotions from ODB made me think about asking for daily forgiveness in a different way. Here’s an excerpt: “God has provided a way to clear the accumulation of sins from our lives. First John 1:9 reminds us: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” But unless we do that often, we’ll be running on diminished power. That’s because the power for living comes from God and not us (2 Cor. 4:7). When we try to live the Christian life in our own strength, we’ll feel defeated—like windmills robbed of their energy.” (See ODB link for full story)

A – Application:

I can apply this scripture to my daily life by not just knowing that God loves me and forgives me, but that I need to look at my thoughts and actions to correct that which needs to be changed and ask (confess) my sins to the Father. P – Prayer: Father I thank you for your grace, forgiveness, love, patience, understanding, discernment, humility and so many other things you have given to my life. I ask that you forgive me for my sins. Help me to be humble, to admit my sins, when I am wrong, remove the stubbornness that often is crippling until I let go and let you take over. Help me to trust in you and obey your commandments. I hate to argue and want peace, yet those who provoke I need to know if I am to just forgive and let go or do I need to clarify so that we grow from the experience of just move on. Life is so short. Everyday thousands of people die. Some expected, some not. Yesterday a devastating earthquake hit Haiti and an estimated 100K people maybe dead. Many are missing and no communications is possible. Father help those people. Help their families who are desperately trying to reach them, to know that they are safe. Provide for the relief. Let this be an opportunity for those who don’t know you, to know your love and peace. In Jesus name, Amen.

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Are You Open to Discipline?

 

Today’s Date:  January 13, 2010

Are You Open to Discipline?

 

Reading: Gen 28 – 29:35, Matt 9:18-38, Psalm 11:1-7, Proverbs 3:11-12

S – Scripture:

Proverbs 3:11-12 “My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.”

O – Observation:

I think this scripture is self-explanatory; however I’d like to share a story. I was thinking the other day about something that happened when I was a kid in elementary school. I was playing softball during P.E. and I was at bat. I hit the ball and it flew – great hit – only thing, instead of dropping the bat, it sorta slipped as I was swinging back and flew out of my hands and across into the bushes – at a great force! Well, I started to run and the teacher said, “foul ball”. I looked at her and said, “Why, the ball was in field?” and she said, because someone could have gotten hurt when you didn’t hold on to the bat, so you’re out! I was disappointed to say the least, but I knew I was wrong.

I often think about kids who for whatever reason say, “That’s not fair.” And we as the adults think, ‘yeah, life’s not fair.’ In sports there are rules, for many reasons, which are why it’s great to have children play sports because they learn discipline and sportsmanship, along with working hard, perseverance, and team work, etc.  However when we don’t follow rules in sports we are “disciplined” with penalties.  If we keep breaking the rules, our team could lose, we could get hurt, etc – there are always “costs” to breaking rules and not following guidelines that were set up by people who usually are wiser than ourselves.

Well, what’s that got to do with anything or even the scripture verse I started with?  When a child is growing up it’s important that they follow their parent’s rules and guidelines. The child may not know why in every case, and some may not be able to have totally comprehension of why their parents are instructing them – one way or another. A good example is one of a toddler who walks wherever they want because they are learning to walk and it’s fun and exciting for them to get their steps of freedom away from their protective parents. Unfortunately these same protective parents may not have disciplined their child to ‘listen and obey’ – or the child is ‘strong willed’ or whatever the reason. Maybe its child’s fault for wandering on to a busy roadway and when their parent yelled, “stop” and the child didn’t understand why they had to obey their parent, cause they thought they knew better – what could happen? We often times don’t know what’s in front of us. However God knows. We often times feel or think we know better than God our Father and we do our own thing. We don’t obey a Word or guidance that He’s given us, because we feel we’re mature and knowledgeable enough to do our own thing.  Being disciplined at any age is tough. I know when someone corrects me with love, I can receive that wisdom with gratitude because they may know more than I – other times we feel we just need to learn the “hard” way.

A – Application:

I will apply this scripture to my life and remember that God knows more than I. I will be open to correction and discipline and when my spirit wants to be oppositional and retract – that the Holy Spirit would immediately correct me again so that I hear God’s correction and get back on the path that I need to be.

Just in case you’re wondering, I continued to play softball into my adult life – and you know what? I always kept a solid grip on the bat and even in the height of excitement at bat – I always dropped the bat (nicely) to my side before taking my base. Yup, I learn lessons; hopefully I get it the first time, just like that foul ball all those years ago.

P – Prayer:

Father I thank you that you love me. You love me enough to correct me and even though I have not always been obedient, you have been consistent to get after me and redirect me with love. I receive your grace and am blessed to be your child.  Amen

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Problems that require us to go through a process

How to recognize some problems require us to go through a process

Reading:Gen 5:1-7:24, Matt 3:7-4:11, Psalm 3:1-8, Proverbs 1:10-19

Message from: Luke 18:1-8

Title: Recognize Some Problems Require a Process

S – Scripture: “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18: 7-8

O – Observation: Luke 18: 1-8 talks about the Parable of the Widow. This is a story that Jesus told about a woman who wouldn’t give up. According to Luke, Jesus told the story of a persistent woman in order that we could learn v1 that ‘men always ought to pray and not lose heart’.

A – Application:  I will continue to pray, be consistent and persistent. Whatever I do, unless I receive a clear Word or sign from God that I am going in the wrong direction and need to refocus, I need to not give up.  In Hawaiian we say, Imua, Imua, a Lanakila which means forward, forward to victory. As long as I am in line with God according to His word, through prayer – whatever I’m praying or working towards is all in God’s time, not my own. Although I can set timelines for myself and strive to hit those goals, I need to remember that I shouldn’t give up what God has asked of me. If something isn’t happening at my time or place or whatever, I just need to know that it may not be God’s time.

P – Prayer:

Father thank you for your Word. Thank you for bible teachers and leaders who are an example of daily devotions and seeking you to teach others. Help me to know and do your will. Mold me and give me direction.

–         Prayer for others:

–         Stan and his family as he lost his father yesterday.

–         Prayer for Kim, thankful that doctors were able to remove all of the cancer and now that she’s going thru chemo and/or radiation to make sure there’s no more growth, also prayer that you comfort her as we’re coming to the one year anniversary of her husband Kevin, who went home to be with you after many years of service to your people and his battle with cancer.

–         For Truman & Elizabeth as they follow Your call.

Notes:

In today’s American Society of fast food, disposable everything, quick fix – it’s all too easy to say; “I tried that, it didn’t work,” and that would be the end of the story.  Often times if we pray and seek God and the answer isn’t instantaneous, or when “we” want it, we give up and say, “It must not have been God’s will.”  We also need to remember that it may not be God’s will for what we’re praying for “right now” but in His time. Or it could be we are suffering a consequence for sin. Or it could be we need to go through the process of whatever it is we are going through so that we can grow, build character, AND then and only then would God be able to use us to glorify His kingdom.

I often think about the “process” when my mom was very ill, she had spent months in the hospital, came home briefly, only to return to the hospital again and then went into a semi-comatose state and went home to be with the Lord on Thanksgiving Day 1993.  I wondered if I were to ask God, “why?” if that would make me seem like I didn’t have faith in Him. Well, maybe I’ll write about this another time as that’s a whole story in itself.  However, for this post I’ll note that if it were not for the “process” that my mom went through, I would not have been able to have the one conversation that has carried me through everyday of my walk with Christ. I’ll make this short as to say I went to my mom’s bedside as I felt God prompting me to ask, I didn’t want to as I stated before I felt like I was showing a lack of faith, however God knew what I needed to hear. I sat beside her, held her hand, trying to hold my tears back, and said, “Mom, do you ever questions God?” She looked at me and said, “No, I trust my Jesus.”  We sat in silence for a while, as I knew that God had used her to teach me, that no matter what, I too, could trust in ‘my Jesus’. Everything for a purpose and God’s timing.

Last night we went to church and the pastor talked about Revolution vs. Resolution for the New Year.  Although I read my daily devotions before going to service, often times I hear or read other scriptures and want to journal on those instead so that’s what I did for today. I also liked the five points that the pastor talked about which I will summarize here for my future reverence.

New Year’s Revolution – when people normally make new year’s resolutions to the problems they want to correct or improve, the pastor spoke on making a revolution. Here’s his five points from this weekend’s message:

1. See your problem as a problem. – Amos 3:1

2. Compare your problem to God’s purpose. – Phil 3:14

3. Submit your problem to God’s power. – I Corin 12:12-25

4. Recognize some problems require a process. – Luke 18:1-8

5. Remember everyday is a great day to start a revolution. – Hebrews 3:7

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The Angel of the Lord Brings Good News

Jan 02, 2010

Gen 3, 4, 5, Luke 2

S – Scripture: Luke 2:10 “but the angel reassured them (shepherds). “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.”

O – Observation: Jesus was born and shepherds saw an angel of the Lord which brought fear to their hearts, the angel assured them that he was there to bring good news – Jesus the Son of God was born:  v 11-12 “The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

A – Application: Often times when God shows us a sign, or presents a messenger (by person, Word, teaching, etc) – we immediately think of all the things we have done wrong, or the “wrath of God” – this scripture reminds us that God’s angels can also bring messages of goodness, hope, and promises fulfilled.

P – Prayer:

Father help thou my unbelief. Forgive me for my sins. Help to me to know and do your will. Let your will be done, use me to carry out your work. Let my mind be clear to hear and know you. Create in me a clean heart, oh Lord. For you are the potter and I am the clay.

Reflection: In the past year I felt led to move from the only home that I have ever known. I moved to be closer to my fiancé at the time, now my husband, to another state with no other family or friends. I still believe that this is God’s will, although I am and have been challenged by cultural differences and unfamiliar surroundings. Although sometimes I want God to move faster, He has had to break this clay pot (me) into tiny pieces, only to rebuild and continues to rebuild my character to become the person He needs me to be. At times I’ve felt like dust from being broken and crushed, left as a parched soul, waiting for the rain to come to restore me to dirt so that I could become clay again – and praying the wind would not come and blow me away as particles in the wind.  I pray that I always am available to be molded.

Nothing is Impossible with God

Daily Devotions – Reading Thru the Bible

Jan 01, 2010

Gen 1, 2, Luke 1

S –  Scripture: “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Luke 1:37

O – Observation: The book of Luke, chapter 1 includes the story of Mary being told that she will give birth to the Son of God and his name will be Jesus. In addition the Angel of the Lord tells Mary that her cousin Elizabeth is also with child in her old age, and she was said to be barren. The scripture verse of 1:37 says this is an example of two women – one who conceived even though she was still a virgin (v34 “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”)  The second miracle, v37 that nothing is impossible, is that Elizabeth who is old in age and was said never to have children (barren) is a miracle and is also pregnant at the same time as Mary.

A – Application: I can apply this to my life in remembering that no matter what “science” or “logic” or “others” say is true and can’t happen – that with God nothing is impossible.

P – Prayer:

1. That I will have faith to believe ALL things are possible with God.

2. That I will accomplish all the things that God sets before me.

3. That I am and continue to be a faithful servant of Him, by serving others. That I will be able to live, learn, grow, and share all that God blesses me with.

4. That the Lord will bless me with a job that He directs me to, so that I can not only make money to pay for daily living expenses and past expenses, but to use me as His tool to share His words of wisdom and guidance and to love others.

5. That I will do my daily devotions and use them to learn and grow and help others with what I learn.      ###

What's this About?

Daily Devotions – Reading & Journaling Thru the Bible

This blog is a journal of my entries for the year of 2010. Using New Hope Oahu’s online devotional from Today’s Life Journal Reading. You can learn how to understand the importance of growing in Christ, hearing Him speak to you, guide you, and strive to live, grow, and share your faith with others by learning How to Journal.

II Timothy 3:16

“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

On Dec 31, 2009 –  I watched a movie called, “Julie and Julia” – the story of a woman (Julie) who began a journey to discover herself by blogging and cooking from Julia Child’s cookbook.  Be warned that her blog has strong language and the movie is strictly secular  – it was a light-hearted movie by Nora Ephron. I majored in Communications for my undergraduate degree and wanted to get back to writing. The movie motivated me to begin a blog again. I kept a blog a few years ago, while traveling a month in India.

Since we’re starting a new year, I thought a perfect time to BEGIN again and this will help me to be consistent, not just in my daily reading of devotions, but also for journaling again.

In the beginning of 2007, I attended a conference called, DCAT (Doing Church as a Team) in Honolulu, Hawaii. We were given a book as a gift called, The Divine Mentor, by Pastor Wayne Cordeiro. I had been reading my devotions and journaling, but not consistently for about ten years. After reading the Divine Mentor I felt I had a greater understanding to do both daily. It was easier for me to read my devotions by reading the paper version of The One Year Bible, New Living Translation, however you can get the reading plan online.  I would encourage others to use whatever bible version that helps keep them in the word, and use other versions to study and expand on what you’re reading. I found that reading a paper version was better for me at the time. I still go back and forth between looking up devotions online and reading my paper bible.  I also found that going back and forth in the bible wasn’t as simple as using the One Year Bible, so I stuck with that.  The readings online are not in the same order as the Life Journal that’s on New Hope’s website, so this year I’m going to start using New Hope’s online version.

So let’s begin our journey, feel free to comment, write or start your own. Even if you don’t want to start your own journal online, I encourage you to get a notebook and start. Follow the How to Journal instructions and you’ll see that it’s not that difficult if you schedule time daily for God. He gave you His son, His life, I’m sure we can start off with at least fifteen minutes of our day and go from there. I’m always glad I did and I’m planning on doing this blog to keep me in consistent.

Often times we wait til we need something from God before we go to Him. I’d like to go to Him daily, so that He can guide and give me something to recall when I need Him.  Enjoy the journey.

p.s. this note is for hb – if you notice a typo, grammatical error, or any other type of error – get over it 😉 then send me a msg and tell me which post, paragraph, etc and I’ll get to it as soon as i can.

p.s. p.s – if no one reads this but me, that’s cool, cause I’m doing this between me and God – if anyone else stumbles upon it, then fine, just try not to be too judgemental – just remember the second part of that word is “mental” LOL – lighten up, I’m trying to learn lessons here, not win the Pulitzer. pfft!

© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved