Monday, December 15, 2014
O- This is an interesting passage from James whom I believe was Jesus' brother and whom became the leader of the church in Jerusalem. He was not one of the original 12 Apostles but he did have much influence on the early church. He speaks of authority and experience in walking out the new faith in Christ and leading a life according to the new testament. In chapter 1 we find him laying out principles of growing in strength and character as a Christian. Then he reveals this simple and penetrating truth on what we must do to continue to grow. We must be great listeners, thoughtful speakers, and not let anger over ride our actions and the righteousness of God.
A - This verse is for me a needed constant reminder to change the pace at which I do things instinctively. I must allow myself to listen longer, to understand the meaning and intent of what is being said. I must pause and process, to ensure in the context of the situation, the context of God's word, and the prompting of the Holy Spirit I must speak truth in love, and this will all slow my anger and ensure my response is one that seeks to achieve God's righteousness.
P - Dear heavenly Father,thank you for the things you are doing in my life. Thank you for this refreshing season of restoration, and relief. Thank you for helping me endure the season of trial and come out on this side, still available to continue my path of seeking your will for my life. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
O - The message from the author is that we are not to get drawn back into the world, now that we have be saved and found a new place of contentment, peace, and provision. But the world will tempt us again, but if we trust in God's promises we never have to fear the changing sands of this world.
A - The application for me is real and relevant today, and forever more. Today I face the wind storms of doubt, and opinion, and conjecture and fear regarding my career. Today I seek the opinions of others, those I trust, some in authority, and finally of my God who leads me. I reminded gracefully that there is only one who can lead me through this season. It is my Father who is heaven sitting on the throne; His son, who intercedes for me, and made a way for the Holy Spirit to dwell in me and guide my every step.
P - Lord I surrender all, today, now, and forever. The path that wanders from you and is full of self reliance, and worldly distraction is one full of fear and doubt. I seek to now to follow you and your ways. I pray Lord for peace and confidence to act in accordance with your will and to correct my behavior to that of peace and love for those you put in my life.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
17The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing," and "The laborer is worthy of his wages." 19Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. 20Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning
O - In context Paul is giving guidance to Timothy who is leading a church that Paul and Timothy had helped found. He has been giving Timothy guidance on the qualities and qualifications of Elders and members of the church, and help govern a Christ honoring local church. Should an elder meet all the criteria of service and then let him serve and do not allow his service be interrupted by quarrelsome issues. Paul speaks of how to handle quarrels against an elder, and similar to the gospel by Matthew he warns that two or three should be the basis of an accusation against an elder, so as to prevent distraction but maintain an accountability.
A - I think of my own Pastors, Wayne Cordeiro and Rod Shimabukuro, they are worthy of double honor and are working hard at preaching and teaching. They should be afforded whatever provision the congregation wishes to bestow on them, and should be sheltered from the chatter of individual complaints, but rather be subject to accusation of two or three honorable elders. For me I must seek to not be disqualified as an elder through my own behavior at work and at home. I must continue to seek God and his truth for my life, and participate in the good work He is doing in my local church, at my work, and at home.
P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for this gift you have given me of an opportunity to redeem my life for your purpose. I pray during this stressful time that you would guard my heart and mind, and tame my tongue to ensure I don't lose the opportunity to serve you. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.
Monday, December 8, 2014
Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; 14and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.
O - Paul here confesses his past, even as a Pharisee' he sinned against God, and fought against God's plan. Confessing his own unbelief and ignorance of the truth he helps us all understand just how great and abundant God's grace and love are.
A - The application for me is to recognize just how fortunate I am to have had God's grace. I like Paul was confident in my beliefs and convictions when I was young and did not know Christ. But now today I realize even more each year how short I fall. I am both convicted and victorious at the same time today. Victorious over what I could never win, convicted because I exceedingly want to please and obey Christ in me.
P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for continuing to do a good work in me , during this season of change and growth. I pray for a cleansing of my old ways that lead me to sin against my fellow man and not witness your love and grace. I pray that you would help me lead my wife and daughters well in this season.
Saturday, December 6, 2014
8Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
O - Paul's exhortation in Philipians 4 is not only "be anxious for nothing" but to do this through prayer and trust in God, and by focusing on Excellence and Truth. The trials of this world, and specifically those trying to lead a life in Christ, has both resolution (Christ's completed work) and means to the end.
A - I am thankful for these words of reminder to focus on what is excellent. I throughout my life have fallen into deep pits of being anxious, and had God remind me to pray through them and trust in Him. The second lesson I usually need to be reminded of is that I need to focus on truth and excellence. When anxiousness takes over me, I can often only see that which is not excellent in my life, and am very susceptible to untruth's perceived or received. I am even reminded that when it is not me going through the anxiousness I must encourage other, especially my wife, to focus on the truth and the excellence in who she is.
P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart. I pray Lord that you would continue to speak truth and excellence into my life. I thank you for the gift of grace, and forgiveness, I pray that you help me lead and guide my wife in this season well. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Sunday, November 30, 2014
Monday, November 24, 2014
21Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" 22Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
O - Jesus is teaching the disciples all about the church on earth, and as it is in heaven. He is teaching kingdom of God principles, to be lived in the new church, and many of the principles the disciples are beginning to get but still yet not fully fathom the Kingdom of God. Here Peter shows that he is beginning to grasp the concept of forgiveness, as much of Jesus' earthly ministry he went around forgiving sins and healing people. So Peter likely thinking he understood, but yet still questioning God's level of commitment to forgiveness ask the question how many times shall I forgive the same person. Jesus answer the question in a way that reveals God's infinite grace, and our ultimate fallen nature. Jesus says not seven but seventy times seven. This is how much God loves us that he has given us forgiveness through Christ, and not through our own works, because we will always stumble.
A - The application for me is to recognize that I will never earn God's forgiveness and that I will continue to fall short of perfect obedience. I am so grateful to have Jesus to come to and confess my sin, and receive comfort and forgiveness. I do not use this as an excuse to sin, but just the opposite, as a reason to be faithful and righteous to follow and grow in the kingdom principles God has taught be through His word, His Holy Spirit, and His son.
P - Dear heavenly Father thank you today for your blessings on my life. I pray now for relief from the tensions and problems in my daily life that cause me to react poorly and sin. Help me to represent your love well. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
S JOB 12:12 NASB
"Wisdom is with aged men, With long life is understanding.
O - It is interesting to hear this Proverb coming from Job's mouth in the middle of his trials. Job is so complete in describing his suffering and experience when being tested by the devil, that we get to experience his spiritual, emotional, and physical journey. On this day it looks like Job in having discourse with his so called friends who are trying to tell him he or his family must have some sort of sin and need to repent to God, they go as far as implying Job is foolish. Likely these same friends had been living in the shadow of Job's prosperity for many years, and to see Job in this sorrowful state gave them an opportunity to criticize rather than support him while in need of comfort. Job's reply was likely to them who would give him poor advice on what he should do. He simply stated, I have been walking with God for many years, and my wisdom and understanding guide me today, and I will go with what I know of God, and from God in deciding my response, not of men that have little wisdom and understanding.
A - The application for me is to understand that in order to claim wisdom and understanding, I must spend years walking with God, and not when the time comes, avoid the tendency to listen to unwise advice. I too easily can get caught up in what other think and say, and internal reacting to their thoughts and opinions. As I have grown older and more experienced I am gaining a confidence in my relationship with God, his Word in my life, and the sum of my experiences.
P - Dear heavenly father, thank you for the years of speaking into my life, and shaping my wisdom and understanding. Lord I pray that I would humbly process this idea of being wise, and boldly follow your wisdom, and would filter those who would speak distracting thoughts and ideas. I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Friday, October 3, 2014
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Monday, September 29, 2014
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Monday, September 15, 2014
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Monday, August 4, 2014
John 6:28 (NASB)
O - The passage from Chronicles share the history of King Josiah who had after many disappointing Kings done right in the sight of the Lord. He rid the region of all of the false God's and began restoring the temple. During the restoration his priests found the book of the Law and Josiah was convicted by it and truly began leading the people of Israel as God had laid out to Moses. He recognized God's truth when he saw it, repented and began walking and leading in God's ways. In the second passage Jesus is speaking to his followers who were just really beginning to understand that He was the son of God and had eternal life for all that followed Him. For Josiah he had the Law to follow to try and be right with God. The people now wanted to know what work was left for them, and Jesus reveals the powerful message - to do the work of God is all they need, and the work of God is faith - in Jesus being their Lord and Savior.
A - The application for me is one being reminded that I am no different than the people of Israel who can wander from God's ways and need periodic course corrections. I choose to be like Josiah, and upon recognition that I have wandered to quickly repent and come back to God. The second recognition is that come back to God is no work at all it means to simply come back to Christ, to be led by, to follow , to be restored through Jesus whom God has sent on my behalf to restore this broken relationship.
P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for this wonderful morning reminder who you are. I pray that the lessons of it would be sealed to my heart. I pray this in Jesus Christ name, Amen.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
S James 1:22-25 NLT
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. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
O - I find it only interesting the book of James follows the book of Hebrews in the Bible. This is because Paul, in Hebrews, spent a good amount of time , reminding the Jewish converts that they are under a new covenant and things are now much different now that we have a perfect priest in Christ, interceding for us at the right hand of God. However, James comes in and says don't depart from the perfect things that God has already written in His word. Instead listen to the word, and let it reflect in you and on you, not forgetting what it has shown you.
A - I know the book of James can cause some to be confused as if it is the Gospel of works , instead of the Gospel of Grace. I believe James just realized that after receiving God's grace we are to grow in relationship to him. Who God is , is written in God's word, old and new testament. We must choose to allow His word to change our heart and mind, so that one day we will be able to share with others who God is, and speak truth by what we know and how we live.
P - Dear heavenly father, thank you for Designing me, and your kingdom perfectly. I pray that I would have continued opportunities to display what I have learned and cemented to my heart. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.