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

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Gods Will – Not Our Own

Date: February 09, 2010

God’s Will – Not Our Own


Scripture Readings: Exodus 29:1-30:10 ~ Matthew 26:14-46 ~ Psalm 31:19-24 ~ Proverbs 8:14-26  : OYBB

S – Scripture:

Matt 26:39 “Jesus went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.”

O – Observation:

Today’s scripture reading in Matthew talks about Jesus’ talking to the disciples about one of them betraying him, communion, and his death.

The scripture that stand out for me is where Jesus knew why his Father sent him on this earth, to die for the sins of the world; and that he would take on God’s wrath for everyone’s sins – Jesus knew that he would receive pain and suffering; as his son, Jesus “fell face down on the ground” and asked his Father in prayer, “If it is possible” don’t let this happen to me, yet humbly and out of obedience Jesus also said, “Yet I want your will, not mine.”

How much of a sacrifice Jesus made for all of us. That is why he is the Savior of this world. He is the mediator between God the Father and us. The Word of God says that God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one, yet all fulfilled a different purpose at a different time – the Trinity – yet all represent the same consistent message – God is love. He came and spoke to his people that he created. People sinned, so God said he would send His son as Savior among the people. When Jesus was to leave this earth, he told the people that he would leave the Holy Spirit, which would live within you as a counselor, guidance, and the Word of God which is living. All these things worked hand in hand so that we would understand who God is and know that he wants his will to be done and we may not know all the “why” questions, but if we are obedient and wish to be followers – we pray, Let your will be done, not my own. Jesus is our greatest example of doing God’s will.

A – Application:

It’s easy to pray this prayer, yet as many things in live and in learning God’s word, how to be obedient. Wanting to please the Lord, placing Christ first in all things (Mt 6:33). Like Simon Peter who told Jesus, we would never betray you – if our lives were on the line could we still declare Jesus as our God? We won’t know until we are put in that situation. This scripture goes along with the threads in my mind that say, “What is my purpose on earth?”  Is the answer as simple as to love God and his people? There’s all this “other stuff” that God commands us to do – basically it’s about our relationship with God and our relationship with those around us.  We then get bogged down with the day to day living, working, temptations, conflicts, actions and reactions – why would God allow such complexity?  I ask myself this as I’m busy doing one thing after another, stressed by finances, relationships, commitments, etc  – and I have to stop and pray, like yesterday’s devo – God doesn’t want us to be anxious for anything – the resolution is prayer – and he promises us peace.

P – Prayer:

Lord Jesus, we thank you for your word. I’m thinking your word is simply put in the bible, with our Father’s history, guidance, instructions, resolutions, and predictions – yet we make our lives complicated and because we have choices – we sometimes tend to go in a different direction then where we should be going. Lord I ask for your forgiveness. Correct me and show me my wrong doings – help me to be less oppositional when it’s not your way and I’m trying to do my own way – help me to know your will and do it with a joyful heart. Help me to love others as you have called me to, even when others don’t know you and/or don’t want to follow your ways – help me to love them they way you need me to and your will be done. In Jesus name, amen.

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Time, Gifts, and Talents

Today’s Date:  Feb 07, 2010

What Are You Doing with Your Time, Gifts, and Talents?

Reading: Exodus 26:1-27:21 ~ Matthew 25:1-30 ~ Psalm 31:1-8 ~ Proverbs 8:1-11

S – Scripture:

Matt 25:29  – “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”

O – Observation:

I’ve been a Christian for many years and I’ve heard the two parables taught in Matt 25:1-30 many times. I often thought it just means I need to be prepared, as I wrote yesterday, the scripture says that we don’t know the time or day, and we won’t be able to do anything if we aren’t prepared – Jesus will return and we are either ready or we aren’t. This brings me to the parable of the servants who were each given bags of money to invest. I agree with the devotional by One Year Bible Blog (OYBB) so much so that I decided why rewrite what is obviously the same thing I observed in my reading today. Here’s an excerpt:

Today we read in Matthew chapter 25 verses 14 through 30 Jesus’ “Parable of the Talents.” This story of the three servants has often been a parable I have struggled with.  For a long time I didn’t get what was so wrong about the guy who buried the money. “He at least gave back to the master the same amount he was originally given,” I thought.  “What’s so wrong with that?”  Well, as I read this parable again, the thing that really stands out to me is that this parable is not talking about simply money. . . but I think it is talking about our very lives and our time here on earth.  I read it now as if God gives each of us a certain amount of time to live on this earth and a certain amount of gifts and skills.  And then, we have to ask ourselves – will we simply just go through life very stably & comfortably with those gifts and skills – perhaps even just going through the motions and serving ourselves – to the extent that when God calls us home, we have really not produced much of anything in our lives?  What if we spend our time & gifts in such a way that by the end of it we haven’t really blessed or served others?   We simply give back to God at the end of our lives what God gave to us and nothing more.  OR – is it possible that God is calling each of us to do so much more with our lives?  Is God calling us to really use the time, gifts and skills he has given us for something bigger than ourselves?  Is God calling us to produce a great harvest of loving and serving and blessing others in our lives?  So that when we arrive at heaven’s gate at the end of our lives we will hear verse 21 from God Himself – “The master was full of praise. `Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!'” How about your life today?  Are you multiplying the skills and gifts that God has given you in your life?  Are you investing your skills and gifts in loving service of others?  Are you at least “doubling” God’s investment in you?

If you’d like to read more click here.

A – Application:

I can apply today’s scripture to my life by praying through the gifts and talent that the Lord has blessed me with, to use all things for His glory, so that on the day of judgment I can hear the words, “well done, my good and faithful servant.”

P – Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I thank you for your love and faithfulness. I pray that I will be “awake, alert, and prepared” for your coming. I ask that you forgive me for my sins. Show me your will. I ask that you would help me to do your will with a joyful heart. Open the doors of opportunity where you need to use me for the gifts and talents you have given me, so that your people can be blessed by you, through me. Give me the strength and discernment – in Jesus name, amen.

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Today’s Date: February 01, 2010

Don’t Go Back to ‘Your’ Egypt!

Reading: Exodus 13:17-15:18 ~ Matthew 21:23-46 ~ Psalm 26:1-12 ~ Proverbs 6:16-19

S – Scripture:

Exodus 13:17 “When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them on the road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest way from Egypt to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”

O – Observation:

Excerpt from the OYB (One Year Bible) blog:

It was wise for God to do this.  But… then I think about our lives today.  What if we are faced with a challenging spiritual battle in our lives?  Will we change our minds about God and return to our “Egypts”?  Our Egypts might be the places where we are / were comfortable – enslaved to a sin.  As I think more about this, I do believe that God is sensitive in our lives, just as he was in the Israelites lives in this verse, as to what we can handle.  I do not think he will send us a temptation or a trial greater than we can bear.  But I also know that trials do come.  And I pray that as the trials come, that we don’t go back to our “Egypts”!  but that we press on toward the “Promised Land”.

A – Application:

At the end of this month it will be one year since I left my home state, the only home that I ever knew to live with my husband in a state that is clear across the country. Not only was I newly married, a step-mom with no children of my own, I had no job, no friends, no family but my spouse – all to a land I believe God called me to. This verse resonates in my spirit. I’m still not completely sure why I’m here, but I have had glimpses of understanding as I have drawn closer to the Lord and I don’t have all the comforts and familiarity of my home. I can’t go anywhere but towards God.   I understand the commentary of the OYB and the scripture verse – God knows I can’t have the short route. He knows that if I had stayed in the only home state I knew I may not have learned the things He wanted me to learn. I wouldn’t have depended on the Lord as much because I would have had most my needs met; I would still be independent instead of dependent on Him. I continue to trust Him and follow His lead as for whatever reason, the Lord can’t reveal the bigger picture to me as He’s still working on my character and I must submit to Him and know that we press on.

P – Prayer:

Father forgive me for my sins. Help me, my unbelief. Help me to know and do your will with a joyful heart. Teach me your ways. Lord rain your love and grace upon me. Comfort my heart and spirit when I am home sick and missing my family, friends, and the ‘aina I came from. You know my heart and I know that I choose to follow you first and ask that your will be done. In Jesus name, amen.

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

Light and Darkness

Date: January 31, 2010

Title:  Be the Light

Scripture Readings: Exodus12:14-13:16, Matt 20:29-21:22, Psalm 25:16-22, Proverbs 6:12-15

ODB (Our Daily Bread) Eph 5:8

S – Scripture:

You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord Walk as children of light. Eph 5:8

Click here to read the entire ODB devotional

A friend of mine has the opportunity each winter to attend the Super Bowl as a journalist. His job is to garner interviews with Christian athletes and National Football League staff for a faith-based radio program.

When he first started covering the big game a few years ago, he grew disillusioned with the self-serving, pleasure-seeking atmosphere during Super Bowl week. “I found it to be a very dark place,” he says.

One day he told a former NFL player, a Christian, how he was feeling. The athlete looked at my friend and said, “Brother, you are being light in this dark place.” That comment reminded my friend why he was there, and it helped renew his excitement for serving God in a place where the light of the gospel is needed. It spurred him to shine his light.

Perhaps you work in a setting where God is not acknowledged, faith is mocked, and godless living is applauded. Maybe you feel that you are going into “a very dark place.”

Why not be a light (Eph. 5:8)—through your smiles, kind words and deeds, and diligent work. Ask God to bring opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ. You may be the only light a co-worker sees today.  — Dave Branon

Click here to read the entire ODB devotional

O – Observation:

ODB gives a great devotional on how one’s outlook on life is directed to selfishness and looking inward, while Christians are taught to give and look toward Christ. It’s easy to have the feelings that the reporter had in this devotional on how he felt the “darkness” surrounded by his Superbowl interview assignment. While others are cheering and hyped for a football game, he was mourning the souls of the many players who did not know Christ. Yet we are reminded that in many circumstances where we would like to flee from being surrounded by darkness, if that be people, job, family, friends, or environment, we are reminded that in the pitch dark, if someone where to shine a flashlight, the room would light up – wherever we walk, we are to shine our light, even when we are not comfortable in the situation, we need to be children of light.

A – Application:

Whatever circumstance the Lord allows in my life, I am to shine my light, which is the light of Christ that dwells in me. I am to do my best not to flee and allow others to remain in darkness but to share the love of Christ by planting seeds. I may not “close the sale” but if I allow Christ to work in me and share his light, the Lord will do all the rest, as I wrote in my journal entry yesterday, Mt 19:26 But with God everything is possible. I can’t do anything on my own, if I do, I get my reward; if I allow Christ before me, His will be done.

P – Prayer:

Father I thank you for the fellowship with others. With both Christians and non; that we may be able to uplift others in their walk with Christ and shine our light unto others who don’t yet know you. I ask for your forgiveness of my sins. You are the great provider, healer, teacher, my strength, and my peace. Thank you Lord for going before me and I know that you are the Light of the world.

In Jesus name, amen.

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Fear of the Unknown

Today’s Date:  January 20, 2010

“Fear of the Unknown” (ODB Heb 11:8-12) 

 

Reading: Gen 41:17-42:17, Mt 13:24-46, Psalm 18:1-15, Proverbs 4:1-6,

Our Daily Bread 1/9/10

S – Scripture:

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called . . . . And he went out, not knowing where he was going. —Hebrews 11:8 http://tinyurl.com/y8blnas

O – Observation:

In the One Year Bible, I’ve been enjoying reading through Genesis and Exodus – so much so I’m ahead on my reading of the Old Testament. There are so many things that amaze me: the life span of people in that time went from 900 yrs to 400 yrs to under 200 yrs old. The fact that God would speak directly to his chosen messengers: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – and they were men who didn’t always obey God. In addition, things did not happen immediately, some of God’s promises took hundreds of years! Who needs television and movies with all that went on in the bible: lying, stealing, killing, sexual immorality, sibling rivalries, family rivalries, vengeance, money, power, slavery…

Which brings me to the Our Daily Bread devotional of Jan 9, 2010 – here’s an excerpt:

Has God ever asked you to do something that seemed unreasonable? Something that took you into the territory of the unknown? What if He asked you to refuse a long-awaited promotion or resist a longed-for relationship? What if He called you to a remote part of the world or asked you to release your children to serve Him in a faraway place?

The unknown is full of haunting “what ifs.”

Imagine how Abraham felt when God asked him to move his whole family without telling him where they were going (Gen. 12:1-3).

The fear of the unknown could cripple our capacity to follow God’s leading through the days ahead. Yet, like Abraham, when we cling to the One who knows all things, we’re in good hands—regardless of where He leads.  — Joe Stowell

 A – Application:

There’s been many occasions where I felt led to go somewhere and I didn’t really want to go. Yet I trusted God that if that’s where he wanted me, I would be obedient. I usually and still am, challenged in not knowing the full story or plan before taking action. I like to be prepared. As time goes on I know that it’s not always about where we are going, but about the journey getting there, that’s how I came up with the title of this blog. As a student of the bible and child of God, I am persuaded that the scriptures of Isaiah 55:8 (New King James Version)

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
     nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.

P – Prayer:

Lord I pray that I would come to understand your ways. I ask that I will know and do your will with a joyful heart. Father I pray that I have patience for what you are teaching me and that I will be able to fulfill whatever your ways are.

God also asked Abraham to persevere—to stay in an unknown land even when the lure of past comforts may have threatened to seduce him and his family back to their comfort zone in Ur. – J. Stowell (ODB)

I pray continued trust and faith in Jesus that I am where he needs me to be and will go where he is directing, like Abraham to persevere – ‘even when the lure of past comforts have threatened to seduce me back to my comfort zone’ – in all things: work, family, home, church… Lord be my guide. In Jesus name, Amen. ###

© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

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