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, March 30, 2013

Open invitation


S: Isaiah 45:1-6, 18-24 The Lord said to Cyrus, his chosen one: I have taken hold of your right hand to help you capture nations and remove kings from power. City gates will open for you; not one will stay closed. As I lead you, I will level mountains and break the iron bars on bronze gates of cities. I will give you treasures hidden in dark and secret places. Then you will know that I, the Lord God of Israel, have called you by name. Cyrus, you don't even know me! But I have called you by name and highly honored you because of Israel, my chosen servant. Only I am the Lord! There are no other gods. I have made you strong, though you don't know me. Now everyone from east to west will learn that I am the Lord. No other gods are real.

The Lord alone is God! He created the heavens and made a world where people can live, instead of creating an empty desert. The Lord alone is God; there are no others. The Lord did not speak in a dark secret place or command Jacob's descendants to search for him in vain. The Lord speaks the truth, and this is what he says to every survivor from every nation: “Gather around me! Learn how senseless it is to worship wooden idols or pray to helpless gods. “Why don't you get together and meet me in court? Didn't I tell you long ago what would happen? I am the only God! There are no others. I bring about justice, and have the power to save. “I invite the whole world to turn to me and be saved. I alone am God! No others are real. I have made a solemn promise, one that won't be broken: Everyone will bow down and worship me. They will admit that I alone can bring about justice. Everyone who is angry with me will be terribly ashamed and will turn to me. I, the Lord, will give victory and great honor to the people of Israel.”

O: I am writing this on Easter Weekend. The God of Israel is not only the God of Israel, but rather, the God of the whole world, and He invites everyone -- every tongue, every tribe, every nation -- to come to Him.

He has provided the means for all of us to come to Him -- Jesus Christ, who died on that first Good Friday, to die for us. If you don't know what this means, check out this video by Phil Vischer.

A: If you haven't received God's forgiveness available because of what Jesus did on the cross, what better time than now? Here's how [click here]. If you have, but but find yourself far from God now, what better time than now? If you are walking close to God, this is a great time to celebrate His goodness!

P: Thank you for the cross the mighty cross
That God Himself should die for such as us
And everyday we’re changed into Your image more and more
Yes by the cross we’ve truly been transformed

And we’re so amazed
And we give You praise
That You would save us at such a cost

We’re so amazed
And we give You praise
For the power of the cross!

In Jesus' name, amen!

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

Saturday, March 23, 2013

When you're weary


S: Isaiah 40:28-31 Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

O: Have you had an exhausting day? Week? Month? Year? We sometimes go through seasons where it's one thing after another. Does it mean that we're not trusting in the Lord when we experience this?

It's clear from scripture that even those walking with Christ go through times of tiredness. So what do these verses mean?

A: I don't think these verses mean that when you trust in God, you'll never feel weary. But it does mean that we can retreat and seek rest in the Lord in the midst of wearying circumstances.

Jesus Himself felt weary many times during His ministry and had to take time out away from ministry to pray and commune with God.

The old Simon & Garfunkle song, "Bridge over troubled waters" isn't a Christian song, but think about it as if Jesus is singing it to us:

When you're weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes I will dry them all

I'm on your side when times get rough and friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down

When you're down and out, when you're on the street,
When evening falls so hard, I will comfort you

I'll take your part when darkness comes and pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down

Sail on Silver Girl, sail on by
Your time has come to shine All your dreams are on their way

See how they shine if you need a friend, I'm sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water I will ease your mind

P: Father, teach us to come to You for renewal. In Jesus' name, amen.

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

Saturday, March 16, 2013

For richer and for poorer


S: Exodus 23:3 And do not slant your testimony in favor of a person just because that person is poor.
Exodus 23:6 In a lawsuit, you must not deny justice to the poor.

O: Some people have a tendency to take pity on a poor person and favour them in a legal case, assuming that the rich "have it coming to them" and finding the richer plaintiff at fault even when he is totally innocent. I have read of several such cases, usually in USA, where the jury gives big awards to a poorer person suing a rich corporation unjustly.

Other people honour the rich and powerful too much, victimizing the poor. We see this in many countries, including our own, where the rich and powerful sometimes literally get away with murder.

A: Neither is right. God's standard is justice for all, regardless of the standing of the person.

P: Father, teach us to judge fairly according to Your standards and not be swayed by either emotion or greed. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Even the true anointed prophet of God can take advice


S: Exodus 18:13-27 The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?” Moses replied, “Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God. When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarreling parties. I inform the people of God’s decrees and give them his instructions.” “This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing their disputes to him. Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.” Moses listened to his father-in-law’s advice and followed his suggestions. He chose capable men from all over Israel and appointed them as leaders over the people. He put them in charge of groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. 26 These men were always available to solve the people’s common disputes. They brought the major cases to Moses, but they took care of the smaller matters themselves. Soon after this, Moses said good-bye to his father-in-law, who returned to his own land.

O: Moses was the true anointed prophet of God, confirmed by great signs and wonders. He had just succeeded in being God’s instrument in overcoming Pharaoh and freeing the Children of Israel.

Yet here, he needed the advice of Jethro to delegate his responsibilities to adjudicate disputes between people. Jethro was a new believer, as he had just been convinced by the miracle of the Exodus that YHWH is the one true God, as evidenced by what he said in Verse 11. Yet, even in his human wisdom, he had something worthwhile and correct for Moses to learn from.

A: One can be a true servant of God, truly anointed by God for His purposes, yet even a new Christian can be used of God to advise one.

We need to be always humble to consider input from others.

P: Father, help me to keep an open mind when other people give me advice. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Image credit:
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

God wants to save everyone


S: Exodus 11:3 Now the Lord had caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the people of Israel. And Moses was considered a very great man in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh’s officials and the Egyptian people alike.

Exodus 12:38 A rabble of non-Israelites went with them, along with great flocks and herds of livestock.

Ezekiel 33:11 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live. Turn! Turn from your wickedness, O people of Israel! Why should you die?

1 Timothy 2:4 ...who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth..

O: There was an American mini-series telling stories from the Bible back in the '90s. Some of the shows were very good, for example, the one on Joseph. But the one on Moses, while it supposedly followed the Biblical account, portrayed God as this vindictive evil dude who just didn't care about people and victimized innocent Egyptians (and even broke up Moses' family) for no other reason than to glorify Himself. It portrayed an uncaring, unloving God who destroyed people just because He chose to, and for His own benefit.

But God actually isn't like that. God loves us and wants everyone to be saved, as we see in Ezekiel 33:11 and 1 Timothy 2:4. While He did foresee that the Pharaoh would resist Him1, He also was calling Egyptians to follow Him. As a result, many Egyptians also joined the Exodus, as noted in Exodus 12:38. In fact, Jewish extra-biblical sources like the Targum Yonassan says that 2,400,000 Egyptians went with them.

A: Let us therefore join in God's great invitation, and extend His love to everyone we come across. Let us do what we can to help people to come closer to our loving Heavenly Father.

P: Father, when someone victimizes me, help me to see him with Your eyes. Help to remember that You take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but want them to be saved. In Jesus' name, amen.
1 For a discussion about God's hardening of Pharaoh's heart, see this article.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)