Journey: Day 4-6

Still keeping up with the Journey devo though been a bit slack with the posts…

Day 4: CHANGING CULTURES
Passage: Luke 5:33-6:16

“Jesus did not come just to ‘patch things up’ but intended to establish a completely new way of living.”

Jesus went again the grain of what culture expected and shook up the religious people of the day. In the same way, as a Jesus follower, we are to stand out of the crowd, marked by a different way of living.

Reflection – things I would like to change:
my gym or lack of gym habits, establish some new routines; help Samuel more at home.

Day 5: IN THAT DAY
Passage: Luke 6:17-26

Reflection – I want to live with fearless abandonment towards God. May my eyes be heaven focused, knowing that this life is just a temporary one.

Day 6: KINGDOM LIVING
Passage: Luke 6:27-49

Reflection – So much in this passage… Loving those who reject you is so counter-intuitive. And yet that is what Jesus preached and lived; living that went beyond feelings. That’s how he calls us to live – only made possible through the revelation of God’s unfailing love.

Lord, let my life reflect yours. Show me areas where I need to empty of self so that you can fill it with you.

– Ames –

thoughts on worship

I’ll be sharing on the topic of worship this weekend and one of the things I want to convey is that worship is so much more than a singing songs to God. That’s part of it and an important part of it but I believe that “worship” is a lifestyle. It should be something that is effortless and integrated and interwoven into the fabric of your life. It’s the undercurrent of how you live your life.

As I observed the life around me as I took public transport today, I saw “worship” play out in various ways around me. A man took out an exercise book and as I leaned over to see what he was looking at, I caught glimpses of a passage from the Bible that had been written in different coloured pens or crayons. Behind me, I caught bits of a conversations of a group of friends who talked about attending church. The lady I was seated next to on the train was reading a Christian book on her Kindle.

So what is this thing called “worship”?  It means turning attention and focus towards the One who is worthy of all honour, praise and adoration.

Still needs more expanding…

“God is spirit and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” – John 4:24

– Ames – 

 

 

content

That’s the word that comes to mind as I reflect on the day… though not everything went to plan, they worked out perfectly because of Romans 8:28 –>

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I love to picture it like a jigsaw puzzle… We pick up a piece and think it’s supposed to fit in a certain place, but then God picks up another piece and says, ‘Here, this is the one that’s meant to go in next.’  He reveals it to us step by step, enough that we know which piece to put in place, but not enough to see the full picture yet until the masterpiece is finished.  Then we’ll be able to stand back in awe of the wonderful picture that he was putting together for us, for our benefit, for us to enjoy… for His ultimate glory.
God, you are so good.
– Ames –

excellent

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 –

early morning musings…

It’s almost 2am and I just finished my first draft of a lesson plan.

Mind you I did start quite late in the evening and probably procrastinated a lot of that time away in the process.

However, I guess somehow I underestimated (once again) how much time it would take me to complete the task.

I think it had to do a bit with how near impossible it was to map out ‘Human Rights’ as a topic in a 1 hour lesson plan but also how I seem to think that I can just wing it because I have some teaching experience.  Sitting down and actually working out when I’m going to say what and what students are going to do when has made me realise that (surprise, surprise) I’m not as capable as I once thought.

This seems to have been the lesson of the last few months.  Every time I seem to think I’ve got things under control, I’m knocked off my feet and have to crawl into a foetus position for a few moments before trying to stand up again (OK, that was a bit exaggerated but this late night/early morning has got me feeling a bit dramatic).

Where there are trials though, God’s provision and grace shines much brighter.

I fell on my knees in prayer this morning and later in the day, I received a call for another job interview.  Somehow I feel like those two events are connected.  I think God’s more inclined to “show up” when we acknowledge that we’re in over our heads and we need him to intervene.  If everything was fine and dandy, why would I be so desperate to pray to him?  Now I’m not saying that God causes us pain so that we’ll draw near to him, but I believe that He uses all circumstances to grow us, to stretch us, to mature us so that we can continue being perfected in every way like His Son, Jesus.  I think it’s also so that He gets the glory and we don’t lol.  And because I know that, I can be grateful that I’m still in this waiting period because it means that there’s more that He has yet to teach me in preparation for some big things in the future :).

How exciting is that?

OK better stop here while I’m still making sense…

Adieu.

– Ames –

the detonator and the bomb

‘Evangelism without prayer is like a bomb without a detonator and prayer without evangelism is like a detonator without a bomb.’

– Dutch Sheets, The Prayer Summit

I think 2012 has really been the year that I’ve seen the power of prayer manifest more greatly than all years preceding it.  Perhaps it’s because it’s the year that God has birth some big dreams in my heart and the hearts of those around me that we know would be impossible without divine intervention.  I’ve directly witnessed and been involved in the salvation stories of more people than I had in all the years before.  We’ve seen an old fire for campus ministries relit and fanned into flames again.  Our church has almost doubled in size in the last 9 months.  We’re seeing families on the brink of divorce be restored and bloom more beautifully than ever before.

Praise God.

But there is still work to be done.

Throughout the ages, prayer has been the key to all great revivals so why go doing things the hard way?

Pray and let’s see an explosion of God’s favour and manifestation on this generation!

– Ames –

take courage

Trust God in good times and hard times, and pray and let Him have His way. Surrender and let him work his beauty through your life. Ask Him to shape and mould. Do not be discouraged. God is changing you! He is the Creator of the Universe, God Almighty. His love is everlasting and his mercy stretches our sins from the east to the west, just as the arms of His perfect Son stretched on the cross for our salvation.

Do not be discouraged. Take courage in the knowledge that God is a good God, all the time He is good.

– Invisibly Refining, One Passion One Devotion

Thanks, for posting that, Claire.  I really needed to hear that.  Thank you God for using various means and people to encourage me.

I need courage right now.  Courage to believe that though my plans may not be coming to fruition, God’s plans are and His plans are 100 times better than mine and more wonderful than I could ever imagine.  It’s time for a life lesson in waiting and trusting.

So much for no more emo posts.

– Ames