Daddy blog

I started this blog when I was following the Life Journal Bible reading plan on YouVersion. (I've since completed that plan.) At that time, YouVersion didn't provide any way for people to respond to my notes, other than to "like" them. So this blog is here to remedy that problem. You may comment on my notes here in the comment section.
I also have a general blog.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Standing around praising God

30/12/11 Revelations 15-18

S: Revelation 15:2-4 I saw before me what seemed to be a glass sea mixed with fire. And on it stood all the people who had been victorious over the beast and his statue and the number representing his name. They were all holding harps that God had given them. And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: “Great and marvellous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty. Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous deeds have been revealed.”

O: A Muslim friend who was trying to convert me once challenged me, "Your Christian heaven is so boring! All you do is stand around praising God, whereas in our heaven, we get to eat all the nice food we want, drink all the wine we like, sleep with all the houris we like."

Meaning no disrespect to my Muslim friends, but honestly, some of the best time I have ever experienced is indeed "standing around praising God". There is nothing like the experience of being in the awesome manifest presence of God! I cannot describe it. I never experienced it before I was filled with the Holy Spirit. It doesn't happen every time I go to church, but it has happened to me many times.

Some other non-Christian friends have said to me, "Your god is so conceited. Always wanting people to praise him."

It is so hard to explain to someone who has never experienced it. It's not so much that He needs my praise, but that I need to praise Him! One analogy I can think of is "Have you ever been in love?" How can you explain how wonderful it is to be in love? Our relationship with God is like that. It's like being in love with God!

A: Let's keep coming together to worship Him! Experience His wonderful presence, then be His hands and feet to show His love to the world!

P: Father, I thank You for Your love for me! I want to keep abiding in You and living in Your love and being a channel of Your love to the world. In Jesus' name, amen!
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Monday, December 26, 2011

How to know God's will for your life

26/12/11 Psalm 117; Psalm 119:81-176; 2 John; 3 John

S: Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.

O: In many of my previous entries in this journal, for example Having Peace and The Holy Spirit Guides Us, I have pointed out that much of the time, guidance from God is not so mystical as many Christians make it out to be, but rather, a matter of study and meditation of the already revealed Word of God.

This passage puts it explicitly. God's Word is a lamp to guide our feet and a light to our path.

A: It is so very important to fill our minds with what God has already openly revealed to us. That is how our minds can be transformed and brought in line with the good that God wants for us. (Romans 12:1-2)

P: Father, so often we become lazy and neglect reading and meditating upon Your Word. We so much need to do so! Please help us. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Holy Spirit guides us

23/12/2011 John 15-18

S: John 16:12-15 “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’”

O: Jesus spent 3 years teaching His disciples, but there was more yet to learn, and the Holy Spirit would reveal it to them.

After the death, resurrection, and ascension, the Holy Spirit inspired the disciples of Christ to write the letters and books that now make up the New Testament.

Even today, He guides us believers as we walk in the Spirit. Sometimes God gives special revelation in the form of a Word of Knowledge or Prophecy. More commonly, it is in more subtle ways as the Spirit brings to mind passages from scripture that we have read.

Our Roman Catholic and Orthodox brothers and sisters in Christ also believe that the Holy Spirit prevents ecumenical councils of the church from deciding in error. Our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ, in addition, believe that when the Pope teaches "Ex Cathedra", the Holy Spirit also preserves him from error.

A: We need to abide in Christ (John 15:4) and follow the Holy Spirit. God has provided us with the Bible -- His Written Word -- so we need to study it and transform our minds to the way of Christ (Romans 12:1-2).

P: Father, thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to guide us. May we abide in You and avail ourselves to that guidance. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Good Works in Response to Grace

16/12/2011 1 Peter 1-5

S: 1 Peter 1:9-11 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.” Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.

O: We are already a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. This is why we are to do good -- not to earn our salvation, but out of response to God's love for us.

A: It is by grace that we have been saved, through faith, and not of works, so no one can boast. However, it makes sense that we who have been thus saved and chosen should desire to do good works.

P: Father, thank You so much for Your grace and the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus! I want to live for You and by Your teachings. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Balance between being steadfast in truth and argument

11/12/10 2 Timothy 1-4

S: 2 Timothy 2:14,23-26 Remind everyone about these things, and command them in God’s presence to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them. ... Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favourable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.

O: Paul warned young pastor Timothy against becoming caught up in arguments over minutia, but in the same letter, reaffirmed the importance of correct teaching.

A: There are two extremes that one can become susceptible to with regards to right doctrine:
  1. Some people become so wishy-washy about doctrine that they end up diluting the Christian faith until it becomes meaningless and "just be nice to other people".
  2. Some people are so convinced of their doctrine that they become divisive and start excluding all sorts of other Christians just because this or that detail is different
We must learn to hold the balance between the two. We need to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) and remember that a gentle answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1) Easier said than done! ☺ Yet, it is so important, it's worth the effort to learn.

P: Father, grow in us the ability to keep this balance. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Monday, December 5, 2011

It starts in the mind

11/5/11 Romans 13-16

S: Romans 13:10-14 Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfils the requirements of God’s law. This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armour of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.

O: We cannot earn our salvation by works, because we, having already sinned, cannot make ourselves perfect. That's why Jesus had to die for us.

Nonetheless, now that we are saved, we cannot continue to live in sin. Living by faith, living in the Spirit, and loving God include eschewing sin.

A: Many times when I'm tempted, I think about ways to indulge my evil desires. Paul tells us not to even go there (verse 14). Jesus pointed out in Matthew 5:17-48, Jesus points out that sin begins inside us before we even take any action.

So we must not even indulge in thinking about ways to indulge in sin. It's a slippery slope into the abyss.

P: Father, keep my mind pure. Renew my mind and make it confirmed to You. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)