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, July 27, 2013

Why bother to seek God's Word if you won't follow it?


S: Jeremiah 38:14-24 One day King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah and had him brought to the third entrance of the Lord’s Temple. “I want to ask you something,” the king said. “And don’t try to hide the truth.” Jeremiah said, “If I tell you the truth, you will kill me. And if I give you advice, you won’t listen to me anyway.” So King Zedekiah secretly promised him, “As surely as the Lord our Creator lives, I will not kill you or hand you over to the men who want you dead.” Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, “This is what the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you surrender to the Babylonian officers, you and your family will live, and the city will not be burned down. But if you refuse to surrender, you will not escape! This city will be handed over to the Babylonians, and they will burn it to the ground.’” “But I am afraid to surrender,” the king said, “for the Babylonians may hand me over to the Judeans who have defected to them. And who knows what they will do to me!” Jeremiah replied, “You won’t be handed over to them if you choose to obey the Lord. Your life will be spared, and all will go well for you. But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the Lord has revealed to me: All the women left in your palace will be brought out and given to the officers of the Babylonian army. Then the women will taunt you, saying, ‘What fine friends you have! They have betrayed and misled you. When your feet sank in the mud, they left you to your fate!’ All your wives and children will be led out to the Babylonians, and you will not escape. You will be seized by the king of Babylon, and this city will be burned down.”Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “Don’t tell anyone you told me this, or you will die!

O: King Zedekiah knew that Jeremiah was really a prophet of God, so he sought him out to find out what God had to say about what to do about the Babylonian invasion.

Jeremiah knew that Zedekiah wasn't willing to follow what God said, but Zedekiah insisted that he tell him anyway. Indeed, history shows that Zedekiah did not follow what God said, and even his reaction here — telling Jeremiah to not reveal what he told him — shows it.

A: As James 2:19 points out, even the demons believe in God, "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder." And earlier in James 1:22-24, it says, "But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like."

We must not only seek out the Word of the Lord, we must also obey it! Otherwise, it's a pointless exercise. 2 Kings 25:7 tells us what happened to Zedekiah because he ignored what God said: "They made Zedekiah watch as they slaughtered his sons. Then they gouged out Zedekiah’s eyes, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon." What a terrible way to go!
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

P: Father, when I am tempted, remind me to be a doer of Your Word, and not a hearer only, deceiving myself. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

What's in a name?


S: Joshua 10:3-4, So King Adonizedek of Jerusalem sent messengers to several other kings: Hoham of Hebron, Piram of Jarmuth, Japhia of Lachish, and Debir of Eglon. “Come and help me destroy Gibeon,” he urged them, “for they have made peace with Joshua and the people of Israel.”

Joshua 10 describes how Adonizedek rallies Hoham, Piram, Japhia and Debir to unite and attack Gibeon, which had allied themselves with Israel. The Israelites then came to Gibeon's rescue, and the Lord granted them a great victory, the armies of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmut, Lachish and Eglon were destroyed, and Adonizedek, Hoham, Piram, Japhia and Debir were all killed.

O: The name "Adonizedek" means "The Lord is Righteous" or perhaps "The Lord of Righteousness". It's actually a name with a very good meaning.

Centuries before, Jerusalem was ruled by Melchizedek, which means "King of Righteousness" or "My king is Righteous". Melchizedek worshipped the Lord and Abraham actually paid a tithe to him when the Lord gave Abraham a victory. (Genesis 14:17-20)

Somewhere in the intervening centuries, however, Jerusalem appears to have deteriorated spiritually, and although the king still had a good Godly name, he was no longer good and Godly like his predecessor Melchizedek. Because of this, in spite of his good Godly name, God engineered his defeat.

A: It is more important to worship God in spirit and in truth than to have good Godly symbols. James 2:14-26 reminds us that faith without works is dead. If we worship God in spirit and in truth, our lives will reflect this in the good that we do.

If we find that we have fallen short of God's standard, however, we need not give up hope as God calls us to repentance. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9).

P: Father, keep us on the strait and narrow path of righteousness. Let us not rely on mere names, symbols or rituals of righteousness, but to worship You in Spirit and in Truth. In Jesus' name, amen.
I thought to put a video of the song "I have decided to follow Jesus" for this video because of the theme of following Jesus in spirit and in truth. When I went to YouTube to search for such a video, this very touching video surfaced about how our brothers and sisters in Christ are being martyred around the world. Though the video isn't quite in line with the theme in today's Life Journal, it's such a touching video, I decided to include it anyway.

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

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Is God on our side or are we on God's side?


S: Joshua 5:13-14 When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?” “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord’s army. ”At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”

O: Often, we asked God to bless our plans. We ask the Lord to fight on our side. However, the point is not, "Is God on our side?" but rather, "Are we on God's side?".

Who is on the Lord's side? Who will serve the King?
Who will be His helpers, other lives to bring?
Who will leave the world's side? Who will face the foe?
Who is on the Lord's side? Who for Him will go?
By Thy call of mercy, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord's side—Savior, we are Thine!

"Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORDwatches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain." (Psalm 127:1)

A: We need to know God's Word well, and check our plans against them. "When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful." (Proverbs 29:18). [By the way, this verse is often misapplied from the King James Version, "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." The word "vision" here is actually revelation from God, i.e. the Word of God, and not about having a vision/purpose. The second part of the verse makes it clear that this is what it's talking about, even in the KJV -- keeping the law, i.e. following God's instructions.]

This is another reason why remembering what God says is so important. "How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119:9, 11, 105.

P: Father, when I make my plans, when temptations come, when I have to make a decision, please remind me of what You have already revealed in Your Word. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Which prophet? Witch prophet?


S: Jeremiah 28:1-4 One day in late summer of that same year—the fourth year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah—Hananiah son of Azzur, a prophet from Gibeon, addressed me publicly in the Temple while all the priests and people listened. He said, “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will remove the yoke of the king of Babylon from your necks. Within two years I will bring back all the Temple treasures that King Nebuchadnezzar carried off to Babylon. And I will bring back Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the other captives that were taken to Babylon. I will surely break the yoke that the king of Babylon has put on your necks. I, the Lord, have spoken!’”

Jeremiah 28:15-17 Then Jeremiah the prophet said to Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you, but the people believe your lies. Therefore, this is what the Lord says: ‘You must die. Your life will end this very year because you have rebelled against the Lord.’”Two months later the prophet Hananiah died.

O: It is a serious thing to prophecy. In fact, the Mosaic Law says to execute prophets who prophesy falsely (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)

In new testament times, we don't use Mosaic Law, but the principle still applies. Claiming God revealed something to you which is not true is a serious matter.

I have seen this happen in many churches, usually with no reprimand nor repercussion on the person making a false prophecy. Even Christian leaders whom I respect, who are generally men and women of faith, I have heard with my own ears make false prophecies. Usually, it was their own personal intense wish making them voice their wishful thinking as a prophecy, e.g. a friend who is dying of cancer, and they prophesy that the person would live, but instead, the cancer patient dies.

I am not accusing these people of being a witch prophet like Hananiah. I do not think that these people making these prophecies were malicious, but they allowed their own wishful thinking to cloud their thinking and make these false prophecies.

In the modern Charismatic church context, people usually don't say, "Thus says the Lord" like Hananiah did. However, the effects can be still damaging, because everyone knows that they intend to say that God had revealed this to them.

I have personal friends who appear to have lost their faith in God because of such false prophecies.

A: I think we in Charismatic churches often are too eager to speak prophecies. Yes, we have a living God and yes, He still does miracles today. But if you think you have a prophecy, are you so sure that it was truly the Lord who spoke to you and not your own wishful thinking?

But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea. Matthew 18:6

P: Father, when You do give us a prophecy, may we be clear and sure about it. But when it is not from You, may we not claim it to be. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)
Image credit: This same image can be found on many websites, e.g. [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]