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 26, 2014

Blessed be God, the beneficent, the merciful (بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم )


S: Psalm 3 A psalm of David, regarding the time David fled from his son Absalom.

O lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me. So many are saying, “God will never rescue him!”

But you, O lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. I cried out to the lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain.

I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side. Arise, O lord! Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked! Victory comes from you, O lord. May you bless your people.

O: David was very much at fault for why Absalom rebelled against him. When Amnon raped Absalom's sister Tamar, David didn't take action. Eventually Absalom murdered Amnon in revenge. Because of that, Absalom fled. Eventually, David allowed Absalom back from exile, but refused to see him. All this caused Absalom to come to hate his father, though David was generally a good king.

So Absalom engineered a coup and David had to flee for his life. It was during this period that he wrote this psalm. In spite of the problem originating in his own negligence, he still trusted God, and God did deliver him eventually.

A: We are not perfect, just like David. We mess up. But David ultimately was committed to the Lord. That was why the Lord saved him in spite of all his messing up along the way. Yes, David had to suffer the consequences of his sin. But ultimately, he was saved.

So when we mess up, we must not flee from God. God is beneficent and merciful, as the Arabic greeting "بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم" says. He desires our renewal and repentance. So, when we mess up, we should not assume God is against us for good. We must repent and get back to relying on God, as David did.

P: Father in heaven, we thank You for Your mercy. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Both God's power and our action


Zechariah 4:4-7 Then I asked the angel, “What are these, my lord? What do they mean?” “Don’t you know?” the angel asked.“No, my lord,” I replied. Then he said to me, “This is what the lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the lord of Heaven’s Armies. Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will become a level plain before him! And when Zerubbabel sets the final stone of the Temple in place, the people will shout: ‘May God bless it! May God bless it!’”

O: People often quote the part of verse 6 that goes “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts.” However, note that Zerubabbel wasn’t sitting idly by while all this was going on. He was actively doing what God wanted him to do.

But it is also true that if Zerubabbel were just to have relied on his own strength, the task would never have been completed. “Unless the LORDbuilds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORDguards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)

It's not an "either-or" situation ― it is a "both-and" situation. Jesus wants labourers in the harvest, but He is the Lord of the harvest, not us.

A: We mustn't be sitting on our hands, but at the same time, we must recognise that God is the one in charge, and it is by His power that we accomplish anything.

P:God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Compassion Intentional


S: Jonah 3:6-4:3, 11 When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He dressed himself in burlap and sat on a heap of ashes. Then the king and his nobles sent this decree throughout the city:“No one, not even the animals from your herds and flocks, may eat or drink anything at all. People and animals alike must wear garments of mourning, and everyone must pray earnestly to God. They must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence. Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will change his mind and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us.”When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.

This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”


(The Lord said) “But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”

O: Jonah was a patriotic Israelite, and Nineveh was their enemy. So Jonah wasn't happy when God told him to go warn the Ninevites that judgement was coming -- he wanted the Ninevites to be destroyed by God! Although God didn't explicitly say that if the Ninevites repented, He would forgive them, but this was implicitly understood by both the Ninevites and Jonah himself.

This is why Jonah headed in the opposite direction -- to Tarshish.

A: We need to see our “enemies” through the loving eyes of Jesus. He told us, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:43-45)

People are not our enemies - Satan is our enemy. People are deceived by Satan, and God doesn't want them destroyed, but rather, that they might see the error of their ways and turn back to Him. (Ezekiel 33:11)

“If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink. You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the Lord will reward you.” (Proverbs 25:21-22 / Romans 12:20)

I struggle with this when I am hurt by others. I want revenge, but God calls us to a higher standard.

P: Father, it's hard to forgive, but You have called us to forgive even as You have forgiven us. Renew my heart, O Lord. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, April 5, 2014



Then I will purify the speech of all the nations,
so that everyone can worship the LORD together.

Zephaniah 3:9

The LORD your God is in your midsts
A warrior who saves
He will exult over you with joy
He will renew in His love
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy!

Zephaniah 3:17

O: We usually think of ourselves rejoicing over God, but here we have a scene where, after God has purified us — both Israel and us, the Gentile nations — God Himself is rejoicing over us!

What a wonderful party that will be — us and God in mutual celebration!

A: Even today we can have a glimpse of this: As we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, what a glory He sheds on our way. When we do His good will, He abides with us still, and to all who will trust and obey.

So, 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 to sin, help me to remember how much better it is to trust and obey You, and to be able to rejoice together with you. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)