“Keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” - Ephesians 4:3
September 14, 2012
What I learned from this devotion that in every fellowship in our lives may be it actual family, friends, church, and everything else… we have to be united under God’s banner. As a Christian, I have to be accepting of the fact that everyone is unique and that everyone has different needs. Unity can be achieved if selfishness within the fellowship does not exist.
In my situation, it shouldn’t matter which church I go to because Jesus himself prayed for unity among Christians - John 17:21 “That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You.”. Christians should be united instead of doing things that ‘cause disunity. Who cares who the founder(s) of our church is, it doesn’t matter what name our church is called. When we set our eyes focused on God, only Him matters, only His glory matters, only His victory matters.
At the end of the day, it is all about God.
There is one body, we have one Lord. United in the Spirit, we are going forth.
“Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.” - 3 John 1:11
September 11, 2012
What I learned from this verse is that just as much as we should be careful of who our friends are… we should also be careful at who we follow, who our leaders are. Coming into things, we should be well versed with what is good and what is not but having a leader is a very sensitive situation. Following a leader requires trust and from that trust, if the leader is corrupt… we soon find ourselves believing that what they’re doing is right because of that trust - how we trust that since they are our leaders, they know better therefore we trust their actions even if sometimes it is already wrong.
I learned that I should be more aware of the people around me and also be more focused on Jesus. That way, since Jesus is my standard… I would know if the person I am following is of God or someone who has not seen God.
Continue to imitate what is good, follow what is good. Don’t be blinded by what is false because at the end of the day, we cannot point fingers and say it’s because of him or her that I sinned. We are accountable for our actions.
There’s a saying:
Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.
Being a Christian, this could be changed to…
Tell me who your LEADERS and friends are and I will tell you who you are.
What I learned from this is that being a Christian, we should see that without God, we are nothing. The moment we acknowledge that we are poor is when we start to see that we need God. How can we get the idea that we need Him when our thoughts is clouded by our own pride? Out of that desperation is when we truly seek Him. How there is no other option left but to believe in Him. The moment we recognize this, that is when we can enter the kingdom of God.
Being poor in spirit if you think about it lets us completely direct our attention to God… acknowledging that “God I need you.” as in needing God for who He is but not what He will do or won’t do. Just like what it said in utmost.org, when living water flows out of us, we shouldn’t focus on the outflow but focus on it’s source instead. Focus on God and not His works just like our love to our friends and family… we love them for who they are and not what they do.
What I learned today is that just because we know the bible based on what it is written… doesn’t automatically mean we know Jesus.
It could be viewed like this: we can read about Justin Bieber and know everything about him but it doesn’t mean that we know him. Knowing everything about someone vs knowing someone.
Reading the bible is very important don’t get me wrong but read it in a way where we’re getting to know Jesus and not just knowing about Him. Let not be our knowledge of Jesus surpass our personal relationship with Him.
You don’t want to end up just being a fan… I’m sure you would want to be a friend instead.
Receiving God really does have a different effect in my life. It changes how I think, talk, live, react to things. Being conscious of God’s existence and sovereignty, it gave me a new life. My perspective completely changed because I am now sensitive to my own sanctification and salvation - the things that are happening in my life is a chance to make me a better person and the person that God wants me to be and also if I am living a life that is pleasing to God.
The verse said “must be born again” and that doesn’t mean we must go back inside our mother’s wombs and come out again (lol!) but what it means is that we must get rid of our old self, let go of the things that hinder us from getting closer to God.
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him” —Hebrews 12:5
August 14, 2012
It is definitely hard to not be discouraged when God disciplines me, when He rebukes me and takes away things that’s making me comfortable and lose sight on Him. But instead of it being seen as a punishment, I now know that I should see it as God working in my life. He rebukes me because I am currently not the person He wants me to be and in order to become that, I must go through the fire, to be cleansed and purified so I will be blameless.
One of the traps I used to fall for before was when God rebukes me, I rebel… I say things like “Oh well, I can’t help it. I prayed and things didn’t turn out right anyway. So I’m simply going to give up on everything.” but I realized that this thinking is wrong. Do I simply give up on the people I love because they didn’t support my wrong decisions? Just like gold that has to go through fire to be made pure, I shouldn’t give up on God when He’s in the process of sanctifying me. He has an amazing plan for my life and if I give on Him, then I might miss out on the chance of bringing glory to Him with my life.
“Let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good …” —1 Peter 4:19
August 10, 2012
I learned a few things today:
On the hard tasks, there are 2 ways of looking at it… one would be seen as choosing suffering and the other is choosing Jesus. Although it leads to the same action, the mindset is different. As Christians, we shouldn’t be seeing anything for God as suffering for Him but instead looking at it as doing these things for God for His glory or being used for His glory.
Looking for sympathy during times of hardships only weakens me. If a person sympathies with my low times and I accept it, I will begin to think that God is being harsh with me which then would result to self-pity.
God will be God and will do whatever He pleases. He always does things for our good so we just have to trust Him. We fully cannot judge why these things are happening or why we are where we are but just got to have faith that God is doing something in our lives for His glory.. and what more could a Christian want?
“If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine …” —John 7:17
July 27, 2012
What I learned from today’s devotion is that as a Christian, if I do want to seek Jesus and do what He wants me to do then I have to make the effort to communicate with Him and learn more about Him.
Read the bible and pray - those things are the foundation of my faith and as the verse says, if I want to do God’s will, I will only know if I get to know Him. It’s straightforward really, how can I know what God wants me to do when I don’t read the bible perhaps? It’s not like I will just have a spark of genius and know that that is God’s will for me. How would I know?
As a Christian, I witness many to be begging (including me) for God to manifest, take over and reveal His will but many (including me) fail to see that we/I just really got to take the time and pray and read His word to know what He wants for us/me.
Simply put, you want to know God’s will for your life? Read the bible.
“Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart … . For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man …” —Matthew 15:18-20
July 26, 2012
The verse today is very very straightforward. It is a constant struggle to remain pure and sometimes we are not aware of our impurities because we choose to ignore them and claim innocence instead. Just because we didn’t say or do it doesn’t mean we’re in the clear for our thoughts is something God CAN see.
When I feel guilty it means that the Holy Spirit is rebuking me and I used to ignore this and say “I can be pure don’t worry”. But being pure using my own strength is impossible, it’s meaningless. Surrendering to Jesus is what one must do. Because we can only achieve the purity that God wants for us if His Holy Spirit is living within us.