Sometimes this journey can get a bit rocky, but His word remains my sure foundation.
DAY 8: COMPASSION
Passage: Luke 7:11-17
Reflection – Lord, I need your compassion in my situation. Breathe new life into the places which look and feel dead. Help me to: (Hebrews 12:2 NIV) fix my eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
DAY 9: ARE YOU THE ONE WHO WAS TO COME?
Passage: Luke 7:18-35
Reflection – Sometimes I doubt whether or not Samuel will be healed in this lifetime. But then God’s word says that all that come to Jesus were healed. It also says that “by his stripes we are healed”. Not only that, there is evidence today of people being healed. These all should lead me to curb my doubts.
DAY 10: RECEIVE GRACE IN FAITH
Passage: Luke 7:36-8:3
Reflection – Lord I need your grace when it comes to my family. I can see that I have been very impatient and short with them lately. Please forgive me. Please restore our relationship and bring harmony and peace back into our family life.
– Ames –
Slowly making progress…
Day 7: LORD, BUT JUST SAY THE WORD
Passage: Luke 7:1-10
Reflection – Lord, please give me the faith of the centurion; help me not just to say prayers to you but to also be still to listen to your response and then have the faith to walk in obedience even when it doesn’t make sense.
One thing I know that you have been pressing on my heart is to quit watching TV programs that do not build up my spiritual life. I’ve been resisting and giving excuses but Lord, I want to do your will. I don’t want to let an addiction to TV keep me from my God-given destiny! Please help me to overcome the desire to just sit down and vege out. Help me to make better use for my time on a regular basis. Amen.
– Ames –
Day 3: Meet my Best New Friend
Passage: Luke 5:1-32
Jesus looks past our exterior and sees the potential of who He can created us to be. He calls us out of darkness into the light.
Reflection – Lord, open my eyes to the opportunities you give me to shine your light in the dark spaces around me. Help me to see past the exterior and see people through your eyes. Give my your compassion and help me to extend your love to those who the world has rejected.
Makes me think of this song.
– Ames –
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This morning, I was really convicted by the Word of God.
Background: I decided to try out one of the reading plans from the Bible app, YouVersion yesterday. My default Bible at the moment on the app is The Message because it’s one that you can download for free. I chose one of The Overflow Devo by Propaganda which looked interesting and started there. For some reason, I began reading Day 2’s yesterday instead of Day 1 so when I realised that this morning, I went back to see what the start of the reading plan was meant to be. This was the passage I read:
Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.
– Colossians 3:23-25, The Message
The accompanying video:
This passage in Colossians really hit home because I know that even though I’ve said with my mouth that I want to honour God with my studies, it hasn’t translated into how I’ve approached my work in the last few weeks. The way The Message version has worded God’s Truth here has been a wake up call. Forgive me, Lord. No more getting by with just doing the bare minimum and producing shoddy work just in hopes of a pass. Our God is a God of excellence and when He put His Name on us, our work should bear witness to that.
And on that note, off to do my best work.
– Ames –
That’s how I would describe how I feel right now. I must have been living out such a dampened version of myself for so long that I’d forgotten just how amazing it is to be completely free and fully alive in Christ! I imagine this is how some people feel like after they have received Christ for the first time after living in darkness for many years… to have the light switches flicked on and the world become bright, beautiful and technicolour :).
By the grace of God, I grew up in a strong Christian home. There hasn’t been a day where I was not aware that God loved me and for that I am so thankful. However, because of such a strong foundation, there was also no miraculous conversion story – my faith journey had always been a steady one of gradual growth and maturity up to October 2009. This is not necessarily a bad thing but I think I began to settle into a comfortable kind of Christianity, where prayer and reading the Bible was more about what I wanted and thought I needed and very little about practically reaching out to the lost souls that are crying out for a Saviour. I think I became complacent and started living out from a place of working for my righteousness rather than depending on God’s grace in all areas of my life. It became time for God to shake me out of my self-focused Christian stupor.
I remember once secretly wishing that I had an awesome testimony like the drug dealers and prostitutes who suddenly surrender their lives to Christ after an encounter with God. I wished that I would have an amazing story to tell people where they would just get blown away with God’s grace and love. Be careful of what you wish for as you might just get more than you bargained for lol.
Found this interesting:Pre-forgiveness is prerequisite before you can truly forgive someone | Rick Thomas.
From my personal experience, I think I just jumped straight to ‘forgiveness’ because it was the ‘Christian’ thing to do rather than work it through with God and allow Him to ‘adjust my heart so that I could genuinely forgive. In hindsight, that’s probably why I swung from being ok with stuff that had happened and resentment, bitterness or discouragement.
“You will be like a kite in the wind. Your response to the offender will depend on how you’re feeling, the type of sin sinned against you, the kind of relationship you have with the person, their attitude, your attitude, and the cravings of your heart.”
I think I am at Step 4 now-“The sin has been neutralized so you can discuss it from God’s perspective, your perspective, and the former offender’s perspective.”
“We must, by the grace of God, filter the events of our lives through the filter of God’s sovereignty. We then humbly accept those events as part of His good work in our lives. If we do this then we have a mature understanding and practice of biblical forgiveness.”
I can see now how God has used what has happened… to be expanded later.
My first assessment task for semester 2 is tomorrow… yet I find myself prancing around the house to the rhythm of ‘You Two’ (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has been on replay in our family), sneaking bites of freshly baked almond cookies (yum!) and feeling generally carefree (after some solid studying though)… I think my mind is jumping forward to the other side of the assessment where I’ll get to spend some sunshine time with my dearest BFF and then my Universe guys… simply joys :).
Yesterday actually turned out to be an off-day and by the end of it, I felt so deflated and almost in tears… I was just frustrated at my seemingly lack of ability to verbally share God’s love with those walking in darkness around me. Then a timely word during family devo from Jeremiah 29:12. I had heard of and memorised the verse before it but I never recalled reading this verse: “In those days, you will pray and I will listen.” I put my head down and just wept. Suddenly, all the pressure I’d put on myself to ‘perform’, to do, do, do for God evaporated. I was reminded that apart from Him, we can do nothing. In and of ourselves we’re powerless to live the Christian life. It’s only by His spirit in us, teaching us and working in and through us, that we’re empowered to take ground for the Kingdom. That’s probably where this amazing peace about all situations has come from.
I’m learning (once again) to celebrate the progress that has been made. I’m not where I want to be yet but thank God I’m not where I used to be (in many areas of my life). Instead of doing things out of my own strength, I’m learning to turn things out of my control over to Him and trust that He will provide all my needs.
A flashback from the past seemed to seep into my mind last week and as I thoughtlessly began to relive the hurt again, I stopped – ‘Wait, I shouldn’t be affected by this anymore’ and dismissed the thought. When it began to resurface again, I started to pray, ‘Help me forget, help me forget.’ Soon the thought diminished and all was well again. I guess there are times when I think I can handle this practice of forgiveness by myself and am humbled once again that I’m not supposed to :). The goal is to forget completely though how ‘completely’ I’m not sure. But I trust He’ll work out the limits and let me know ;).
And suddenly tomorrow’s assessment is today’s assessment.