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, August 15, 2015

Hedonism doesn't satisfy


S: Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.

O: My first impression of Ecclesiastes the first time I studied it years ago was very negative. The problem with this book is that this is a record of Solomon's thoughts when he was a jaded backslidden believer. He had started out with so much promise as a young man dedicated to God, but then, as time went on, he strayed away from God, partly due to marrying unbelieving wives who led him into spiritual adultery with other gods.

But reading it again this week under the guidance of Pastor Kris Langham's Through the Word Bible Audio Guide, I was struck by this passage. Langham points out the contrast between Solomon's hedonistic "I denied myself nothing" with Jesus' call to "deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24 / Luke 9:23)

Solomon, having drifted from God, searched for meaning in life. He tried pleasure, studying, work, wealth, and many other things. Nothing satisfies.

A: When life gets tough, sometimes I entertain the fantasy of throwing away everything and living for pleasure. Solomon's life is an example of how that doesn't satisfy. See also the lives of so many celebrities we know of. They have wealth, fame, anything they desire, but end up in rehab centres or even taking their own lives, because ultimately, it's meaningless.

We cannot find ultimate fulfillment in life by indulgence. Ultimate meaning only comes from eternal purpose. Godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6). To a lesser extent, it's like the pleasure of a family versus the hedonistic single life - as illustrated in this For Better or For Worse cartoon.

P: Father, when I'm feeling down, remind me of this truth, "If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it." (Matthew 16:25) In Jesus' name, amen.

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

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Corruption & Conviction


S: Acts 24:24-27 A few days later Felix came back with his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish. Sending for Paul, they listened as he told them about faith in Christ Jesus. As he reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control and the coming day of judgment, Felix became frightened. “Go away for now,” he replied. “When it is more convenient, I’ll call for you again.” He also hoped that Paul would bribe him, so he sent for him quite often and talked with him. After two years went by in this way, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. And because Felix wanted to gain favor with the Jewish people, he left Paul in prison.

O: Felix actually felt convicted at Paul's preaching. However, instead of responding to that conviction with repentance, he sent Paul away. But he kept calling him back because the message was so compelling, and also because he had hoped Paul would bribe him to set him free.

A: Even when government officials are corrupt, God still can work things out for good (even though Paul himself ignored the Holy Spirit's warning not to go to Jerusalem earlier.) Eventually Paul did manage to get to Rome and preach the Gospel there.

Here in Malaysia as well as in many other places, we are frequently faced with corrupt people in positions of power. While we should do what we can to change that, even if we are unable to change them, nonetheless, we can and should still follow God ourselves.

Do not despair! Ultimately God's truth prevails.

P: Father, when we feel discouraged, remind us that You are ultimately in charge.

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