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, December 27, 2014

The world is dangerous... but don't worry! Why?


S: John 167:32-33 “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

O: Christians are being persecuted all over the world today. Today, Saeed Abedini sits in an Iranian prison because of his faith in Jesus. He made a cross out of paper and put it on his cell wall, but his jailors made him take it down. In solidarity, Brant Hansen is urging people to make a paper cross and put it on their Christmas tree to remind us to pray for him and to encourage him and his family.

In Syria and Iraq, Daesh has killed many Christians and chased the rest out of the territory it controls. In Nigeria, Boko Haram continues to kill Christians and even Muslims who are not for their murderous agenda. In Somalia and Kenya, it is Al-Shabaab.

Even here at home in Malaysia, Perkasa, Isma and even the government has threatened Christians, banned the Malay and Iban Bible, told Muslims that they're sinning if they wish us Merry Christmas, etc. Nowhere close to being as bad as Al-Shabbab, Boko Haram and Daesh, of course. But Christians feel the threats.

Hebrews 11 has a list of Old Testament saints who suffered much for their faith, saying “the world was not worthy of them.” In the New Testament, we have a huge long list of martyrs. from ancient times till today.

Yet, Jesus told us from the beginning, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” But he also immediately followed it up with “But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

As I wrote about 2 life journal entries ago, if we are in Christ, we have no longer any need to fear death. That's why Paul could say, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

A: So, as we face this world that of great evil and great danger, we can rest assured that

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

- Romans 8:31-39

P: Father, when we feel afraid or anxious because the evil in this world, remind us of this truth. Keep us faithful and on Your path. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Why Jesus came


S: John 11:21-27 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”

“Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

“Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.”

O: As we come close to Christmas, people are focused on the baby Jesus. But the reason we celebrate the birth of Jesus was because of what He came to do: die to pay for our sins, and in doing so, conquer death. That is why He is the resurrection and the life, so that everyone who believes in Him will live, even if he dies.

A: So even as we celebrate Advent, let us remember why He came. Let us live in light of that wonderful fact:

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

P: Father, thank You for the Greatest Gift! May we live our lives in appreciation, sharing Your love with the world. In Jesus' name, amen.

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

Friday, December 12, 2014

O death, where is thy sting?


S: Luke 12:4-7 “Dear friends, don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot do any more to you after that. But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he’s the one to fear. What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. 7And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”

O: Most people fear death, even people who know the wonderful secret:
51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.

54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

- 1 Corinthians 15:51-58

I used to say, “I'm not afraid of death, though I might be afraid of the pain of dying.” Now that I am a father with young children, I am concerned for their well-being if something should happen to me before they get old enough to look after themselves. As Rich Mullins once said, “That’s one of the things I love about being single, everybody always goes ‘Oh, you’re single what a tragedy.’ And I go ‘Well, yeah, from about ten to two each evening it is a tragedy but that times a tragedy for most married people as well.’ One of the great advantages of being single is you can still pick up hitch hikers, if you are married you don’t want to get, you know, slit or anything, cause you have a family to support. If you single and you die it doesn’t really matter so you are free to do what you really want to do. I love that!”

But the principle remains. If we are in Christ, we should not fear death.
20 For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. 21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. 22 But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. 23 I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. 24 But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.

Philippians 1:20-24

No wonder the early church had to teach that suicide was a sin! But the point is, if you're trusting in Christ, you have no reason to fear death.

A: Therefore, we should live for Christ. Let's use our life as an opportunity to serve God and other people. Let us be brave in the face of danger for the sake of others and for the Gospel. And let us flee temptation, humble ourselves before God, and resist the devil.

P: Father, help me to live bravely for You. I need to daily flee temptation, humble myself before You and resist the devil. In Jesus' name, amen.

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