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, October 26, 2013

Cry out to God


S: 2 Samuel 22:6-7 The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path. But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I cried to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears.

O: Saul pursued David all over Israel seeking to kill him. David sang this song to the LORD on the day the LORD rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. (2 Samuel 22:1)

I have not been hounded by anyone wanting to kill me like David did, but I have faced many situations where I did not know how to solve my problem. And time and time again, after I cry out to God in prayer, the problem went away without my explicitly doing anything.

A: So always tell each other the wrong things you have done. Then pray for each other. Do this so that God can heal you. Anyone who lives the way God wants can pray, and great things will happen. (James 5:16, Easy-to-Read Version) (See other translations here.)

P: Father, we thank You that You are in control even when we don't know what's going on! In Jesus' name, amen.
In these days of confused situations
And in these nights of a restless remorse
When the heart and the soul of a nation
Lay wounded and cold as a corpse
From the grave of the innocent Adam
Comes a song bringing joy to the sad
All you cries have been heard and the ransom
Has been paid up in full, be ye glad

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

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

God does not enjoy punishing people


S: Ezekiel 18:30b-32 This is what the Lord GOD said. “So come back to me! Stop committing those crimes and do away with those things that cause you to sin! Throw away all the terrible idols with which you committed your crimes! Change your heart and spirit. People of Israel, why should you do things that will cost you your life? I don’t want to kill you! Please come back and live!” This is what the Lord GOD said.

Ezekiel 33:11 “You must say to them, ‘The Lord GOD says: By my life, I swear that I don’t enjoy seeing people die—not even evil people! I don’t want them to die. I want them to come back to me. I want them to change their lives so that they can really live. So come back to me! Stop doing bad things! Why must you die, family of Israel?’”

O: God does not desire the wicked to perish, but rather, that they would repent. As human beings, when we experience injustice, our natural inclination is to retaliate, to hurt the other person. Like Jonah, we don't want our enemies to repent and be saved; we want the judgment of God to destroy them.

But this is not God's heart. Romans 12:17-21 says:
If someone does you wrong, don’t try to pay them back by hurting them. Try to do what everyone thinks is right. Do the best you can to live in peace with everyone. My friends, don’t try to punish anyone who does wrong to you. Wait for God to punish them with his anger. In the Scriptures the Lord says, “I am the one who punishes; I will pay people back.” But you should do this: “If you have enemies who are hungry, give them something to eat. If you have enemies who are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this you will make them feel ashamed.” Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil by doing good.

A: Today, it is Hari Raya Aidiadha here in Malaysia. (Eid al-Adha) Yesterday, the Appeals Court in Malaysia made a terrible decision in favour of the UMNO-led supposedly "moderate" Muslim government to ban Christians and other non-Muslims from calling God the Father "Allah" in Malay, Iban and other related languages. This is in spite of the fact that Arab Christians have been calling God the Father "Allah" since before the advent of Islam, and in spite of the fact that Malay- and Iban-speaking Christians have been calling God the Father "Allah" since before there was such a country as Malaysia. Even Arab countries are incredulous at the Malaysian government's stance.

So this is a timely reminder for us as Malaysian Christians to not hate the people in the UMNO government. God does not desire for them to perish, either, but to come to repentance.

As people annoy us and do evil to us in our daily walk, we also need to remember this, and to see them with the compassionate eyes of Christ, instead of seeking revenge.

P: Father, help me to see people who do evil to me with Your eyes, and to remember that You would rather that the evil repent rather than die in their sins. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sticking with God's principles even when it's inconvenient


S: Psalm 119:105-112 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again: I will obey your righteous regulations. I have suffered much, O Lord; restore my life again as you promised. Lord, accept my offering of praise, and teach me your regulations. My life constantly hangs in the balance, but I will not stop obeying your instructions. The wicked have set their traps for me, but I will not turn from your commandments. Your laws are my treasure; they are my heart’s delight. I am determined to keep your decrees to the very end.

O: Yesterday, I gave a ride to a friend and we were stuck in a long queue at a traffic light. As is often the case here in Malaysia, some annoying people forcing their cars into the queue from the next lane instead of properly waiting their turn. I mentioned to him that I've had the fantasy of taking a gun out and pointing it at them, threatening to shoot them unless they stopped. Of course, it's a fantasy, but this led us to talk about Luke 6:27-36:
“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you. If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! 33 And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”

My friend was saying that he was upset with Christians who tried to interpret this passage metaphorically -- while acknowledging that he did not live up to it himself.

Last night, in our cell group, the cell group leader taught from this passage in Psalm 119. THe psalmist notes that he had suffered much, yet he remained determined to keep to God's principles.

A: It's easy to keep to God's principles when it's convenient. It's much harder to do so when it is inconvenient. I certainly am not there yet myself, and my friend admitted he wasn't either. However, it's what we should be aiming for.

P: Father, keep bringing us into conformity with Christ. There are many areas I'm not there yet. There are even areas I'm not really willing yet to follow You in. However, I'm willing to let You change my desires ☺. In Jesus' name, amen.

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