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.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Be willing to go through trials for a good cause


S: 1 Peter 1:3-9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

O: Today, 28 April 2012, as I write this, tens of thousands of our brothers and sisters in Christ join tens of thousands of other fellow Malaysians at the BERSIH 3.0 pro-democracy rally to stand up for democracy in the face of our government's repression. They face the possibility of tear gas, water canons, injury, imprisonment, and even, perhaps, death, because they believe in the rightness of their cause. I am not physically with them because I have the responsibility to lead worship at the Saturday afternoon service at church today, but I am with them in spirit and in prayer.

But even greater a calling and a cause than to fight for democracy, anti-corruption, and justice in Malaysia, is our calling to be the hands and feet of God for the cause of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Millions of our brothers and sisters in Christ have laid their lives on the line since St. Stephen was martyred by Saul of Tarsus' mob as detailed in Acts 7. Many have been brought to Christ as a result of their sacrifices, even as the murderous persecutor Saul of Tarsus eventually became St. Paul the Apostle and himself eventually died for the faith.

A: Not only do we need to be willing to die for Christ physically, we also need to daily take up our cross, die to self, and live for Him. Sometimes that's harder to do, because for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21), while to live for Christ, we have to daily discipline ourselves follow to Christ (1 Corinthians 9:27).

P: Father, I lift up the tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators at BERSIH 3.0 today, and I pray for your protection for them. I pray that undemocratic actions will be thwarted at the upcoming general elections, and that politicians who seek to pervert justice and enrich themselves will be stopped, and that men and women who are willing to uphold truth and justice will be raised up in their place.

For myself, I pray that I will be faithful to Your calling, and that I will both live for you and be a good witness of Your love to those around me, and that if I'm called to die for You, I will go boldly and with full trust in You. In Jesus' name, amen.

Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?


S: Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

O: Jesus was on the cross out of obedience to God, and was very much in the midst of God's plan. This was God's plan to save the world!

Yet, when the sins of the world were placed on His head, and He died for our sins, He felt completely forsaken by God.

Many people tell you that if you are directly in the midst of God's plan, you would "have peace". Yet, Jesus definitely did not feel "peace". He felt abandoned. He was in great distress. But He was still right in the path of God's plan. He knew He had to do what He had to do, and that God had endorsed it, but He did not feel "peace" at that moment of doing it.

A: We must know what God's Word says. Jesus knew He was in God's plan though He did not feel any "peace" because He knew what God had told Him to do. We must trust God even when we don't "feel peace".

P: Father, guide me in Your paths. I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. May I be obedient to Your Word regardless of how I feel. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Confession is good for the soul


S: Psalm 32:1-5 Blessed are they whose iniquities have been forgiven and whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord has not imputed sin, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. Because I was silent, my bones grew old, while still I cried out all day long. For, day and night, your hand was heavy upon me. I have been converted in my anguish, while still the thorn is piercing. I have acknowledged my offense to you, and I have not concealed my injustice. I said, "I will confess against myself, my injustice to the Lord," and you forgave the impiety of my sin.

O: King David recognised that when he tried to conceal his sin, God did not bless him. But when he confessed his sins, God forgave him and restored his fellowship with God.

A: James reminds us, "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." (James 5:16) and John reminds us "But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." (1 John 1:9)

Therefore, let us keep short accounts with God. Let's practice "spiritual breathing":

Spiritual breathing, like physical breathing, is a process of exhaling the impure and inhaling the pure, an exercise in faith that enables you to experience God's love and forgiveness and walk in the Spirit as a way of life.

But the average Christian does not understand this concept of spiritual breathing as an exercise of faith and, as a result, lives on a spiritual roller coaster. He/she goes from one emotional experience to another living most of his life as a worldly Christian, controlling his/her own life, frustrated and fruitless.

- Bill Bright

So we "exhale" by confessing our sins immediately to God and claiming His forgiveness, and then we "inhale" by asking the Holy Spirit to control and empower us and to keep us from returning to sin.

P: Father, thank you for so great a salvation that you've provided through the sacrifice of Your Son. In Jesus' name, amen.

Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Passion of the Christ brings the Salvation of our God

6/4/12 (Good Friday)

S: Isaiah 52:10 The Lord has prepared his holy arm, in the sight of all the Gentiles. And all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.

O: No doubt, the original audience of Isaiah's prophecy was thinking that the Gentiles would see God's salvation of the Jews. However, as it turns out, it was not only the salvation of the Jews that Isaiah was prophesying about, but the salvation of the world.

The very next passage after this (Isaiah 53) is the prophecy about Jesus, and what would happen on Good Friday.

If you've watched the movie, "The Passion of the Christ", you will have some idea of the agony Jesus went through, as prophesied by Isaiah. Why did Jesus have to go through all that agony?

It was to enable the salvation of all people, not just the Jews.

A: Our response is to receive the gift that God has given us through Jesus' great sacrifice. Do not let His death be in vain in your life. Receive His gift!

P: Lord, we thank You for Your great sacrifice on this day nearly two thousand years ago. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)