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, August 25, 2012

The Big Picture


S: Matthew 16:21-28 From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead. But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!” Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.2 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”

O: God sees the big picture, while we don't. It didn't make sense to Peter for God to allow Jesus to be killed. After all, wasn't He the Messiah God sent to save the Jews? Surely the Son of David would throw out the Romans and restore the Davidic Kingdom?

But God's plans were bigger than that. He wasn't just interested in political salvation for the Jews -- He was interested in eternal salvation for all peoples!

A: Sometimes as we are trying to serve God, things seem to go wrong. But we need to recognise that we don't know the big picture, and keep trusting Him.

P: Father, to keep on trusting You in adverse circumstances is difficult. When I'm faced with such a situation, remind me that You are in control! In Jesus' name, amen.

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

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!


Mark 9:23-24 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

Matthew 17:19-20 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

O: These two passages appear to be describing the same incident.

In this year's 40-day fast leading up to Malaysia Day, the NECF (National Evangelical Christian Fellowship) in Malaysia has chosen the theme of Jubilee because it will be the 50th anniversary of the formation of Malaysia from Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak.

On 16 August, the passage for our prayer & consideration was Matt 17:20.

I have been suffering from a pinched nerve which causes shoulder pain for a few weeks, and during the student fellowship's TGIF Friday prayers, I shared about this and student leader Michelle Foong prayed for my healing. Since I haven't yet been healed, she has been messaging me encouragement and also continuing to pray for me in following TGIF prayers.

This is in line with 14 August's NECF meditation "In Luke 24:49 the Lord asks us to tarry until there we are clothed with power from on high. Nothing happens when there is no power from on high. The secret to powerful and effective prayer is tarrying with God in prayer until…. . This is what we call tarrying prayers. In tarrying prayers, God sets the time needed to wait upon Him. We do not know how long it will take but if we tarry, God will show His agenda and prepare us for what is about to come. Then at His set time we will experience a great influx of His power and authority and will have the ability to speak to mountains to be cast into the sea because we have received the authority to do so."

Honestly, while I still intellectually believed that God can heal, over the years my faith has faltered. So God used this young lady Michelle to encourage me! I told her father this, and I would be proud to have my daughters grow up to be like Michelle.

A: God knows that our faith is not much sometimes. God nonetheless honoured the faith of that father who told Jesus, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" He had that little mustard seed of faith that God could use.

So, even when our faith is weak, trust God!

P: Lord, I believe; help my unbelief! In Jesus' name, amen.

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

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Trusting God through years of suffering


S: Genesis 45:3-8 “I am Joseph!” he said to his brothers. “Is my father still alive?” But his brothers were speechless! They were stunned to realise that Joseph was standing there in front of them. “Please, come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither ploughing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.”

O: He may have been a bit too brash in his younger days, but all the evidence points to Joseph having been a faithful follower of God throughout his years from his youth.

And yet, terrible things happened to him. He was sold into slavery by his own brothers, then he was falsely accused of attempted rape and spent more than 2 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit.

During all that time, there was no indication that God told him, "Don't worry! I've got a plan for all this -- you'll one day be Prime Minister of Egypt and save everyone from starvation in a famine!" Joseph just had to trust God and remain faithful through year after year of hardship.

Even then, Joseph could be considered one of the more privileged saints -- at least he got to know in this life what his suffering was for. Hebrews 11:35-40 gives examples of other saints who died in their suffering, never to see on this earth the purpose for their suffering. These had to just trust that only in the resurrection will they see God's purpose.

A: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honour beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

As Jesus said, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7)

P: Father, in times of trouble, teach me to keep trusting You and to take one day at a time. In Jesus' name, amen.

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