Wednesday, January 31, 2007

31 Jan 07

Proverbs 31
I see two interesting points in today's reading. First, there are many verses throughout the Bible that discuss the negative consequences of consuming alcohol (tempered by only a few that discuss benefits), but this section is more philosophical/psychological than physical/medical. Summarizing: Kings should not let anything compromise their ability to discern truth. As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I am declared a prophet, priest, and king, so I believe this statement applies to me as well.
Second, there are several verses throughout the Bible about wives, marriage, etc., but this section is perhaps the most detailed profile of a godly woman. Indeed, I have been truly blessed with both of my grandmothers demonstrating these principles, and furthermore, both my mom and my mother-in-law demonstrate this profile as well. I have received many blessings from their godliness. But perhaps the most wonderful and humbling blessing is that my own wife, even though she is young, is already wise beyond her years. Verse 10 says, "Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies." This is especially humbling because I know that I can not find a virtuous and capable wife; it is the Lord who has blessed me with a compassionate, capable, and loving wife. My mother-in-law taught her Proverbs 31:30 a a young girl, and I believe she is living it: "Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not
last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised." As Valentines approaches, I am humbled by her love, and I want so much to praise her as she seeks the Lord, as verse 31 instructs.

Luke 19
In the story of Zacchaeus, Jesus calls him by name (I might be speculating, but I think it is another demonstration of Christ's omniscience). At Zacchaeus's party, he makes a profession of repenting from wicked behavior and turning to righteous behavior. Consequently, Jesus assures him of Salvation. The take home message: repent in Faith, and you will receive Salvation.

At the end of the Parable of the Ten Servants, Jesus makes an engaging statement: "26 “‘Yes,’ the king replied, ‘and to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away." I think we Americans should take this as a grave warning: we who are, on average, the wealthiest people in the world should be very concerned about the welfare of those less fortunate. I encourage you to seriously consider how you can be a more faithful steward of the resources God has given you.

Some people think that Jesus was just a good man, or even a prophet, but in the story of the Triumphant Entry, Jesus demonstrates His Divinity. First, He demonstrates omniscience by telling His disciples where to go to find a colt, and what to say to get the colt. Second, He accepts Messianic praise from His followers. The Pharisees wanted Jesus to rebuke His followers because He was identifying Himself as the Messiah and God by accepting their praise. Jesus responded by saying that the stones (i.e., His creation) would burst into cheers if the people were silent. Well, quoting the song, "Ain't no rock gonna cry in my place!"

Lord Jesus, thank you for the godly women you have blessed me with, especially my wonderful wife. Jesus, thank you for authoring my Faith and leading me to repentance, and please help me be a diligent steward with the resources you have entrusted to me. Jesus, I praise you for being omniscient and caring about the details of my life. I pray that my life will be a song of praise that glorifies your Holy Name.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

30 Jan 07

Proverbs 30
I love the imagery in vs. 4-5:
4 Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fists? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who has created the whole wide world? What is his name—and his son’s name? Tell me if you know!
5 Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection.

Whew! That's good! And, by the way, I do know His name and the name of His Son; Jehovah and JESUS!

Luke 18
This chapter records several provocative discussions of Jesus about various topics. First, He talks about a nagging widow that convinces an ungodly judge to give her justice, and then he assures us that our Father responds in love and quickly. However, in v. 7, Jesus emphasizes perstistency in prayer. Then, in v. 8, He wonders how many He will find with Faith. So my question is, why do we have to be persistent with God in prayer? Why isn't one mention enough? Or maybe prayer isn't for God in the first place. Maybe God uses prayer to change us from the inside and grow our Faith.

Second, Jesus talks about the prayers of two men and about a humble tax collector being justified where a self-righteous religious person was not.

Third, Jesus welcomes the little children to Himself and encourages us to have Faith like a child.

Fourth, Jesus says "It's hard out here for a RICH." OK, that's a modernized rendition. But it is interesting, as Jesus is quoting several of the Ten Commandments, he only quotes 5 of the 6 Commandments that govern people-people behavior (remember that the first 4 commandments govern people-God behavior). Interestingly enough, Jesus omits the "Do not covet" Commandment. How peculiar? The very thing this poor RICH is struggling with is financial vanity, whereby my natural response would be to point him to that last Commandment about coveting. However, Jesus's address is so much more engaging; it wasn't just, "Hey, don't covet." but rather pushing RICH to the limit of changing his identity to POOR by selling all he has and giving the proceeds to the poor. Remember Christ's words in Matthew 5:

3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of

Oh, I pray that I will focus on Christ's identity, pray persistently, have humility, embrace the children and have Faith like a child, and be poor in spirit.

Monday, January 29, 2007

29 Jan 07

I've always been impressed with Proverbs 29:1, "Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery." I wish I wasn't so stubborn. The good news is, God works miracles.

Luke 17:26-30 has some powerful implications:
26 “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. 27 In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all.
28 “And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business—eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building—29 until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

So, you see, it's time to get straight with God. We don't know when Jesus will return, but the world we live in now sounds awfully similar to Noah's situation and Lot's situation. Jesus is coming soon, so put your Faith in Him today. Admit you are a sinner, Believe Jesus, and Commit your life to Him.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

28 Jan 07

Proverbs 28
:13-14 Along the lines of the end of yesterday's post, humility is a key factor in our relationship with the Lord. It is when I am honest with myself and God, acknowledging my wicked behavior and turning away from it, that God shows mercy. But He will not show mercy to a pround heart. Oh, that I may have a "tender concience" with the Lord.

Luke 15
The Lord gives several analogies about finding those who are lost. I think it really drives home the significance of our evangelistic ministries. I pray that I will be bold about sharing the Lord Jesus with those around me.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

27 Jan 07

Proverbs 27
:17 "As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend." In addition to my wife, I have several close friends that challenge me to grow. I appreciate their insight and wisdom, and I hope I will become more humble to be able to accept and apply constructive critisizm when it comes.
:19 "As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the person." All through scripture, the focus is always about the heart as the true core of your character. I pray God's prophecy through Ezekiel will be true in me.

Luke 14
Jesus hangs out with some Pharisees at one of the leader's home, and then He cuts into their hypocritical behaviour after he heals someone on the Sabbath. Then He tells the leader of the house to invite guests that can't pay him back. "Then at the resurrection of the godly, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you." (v. 14) As we become more and more benevolent, merciful, and graceful, we become more and more like our Heavenly Father who as forgiven us and promised us eternal Life with Him - which we can never repay.

Friday, January 26, 2007

26 Jan 07

Proverbs 26
Most of this chapter is about fools and lazy people, and their are plenty of warnings against foolish/lazy behavior, but the verse that caught my attention was verse 20.
:20 "Fire goes out for lack of fuel, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops." My connotation of gossip consists of Person B telling Person C something mostly true about Person A, and then Person C tells Person D something else, and then ... So, initially, I was thinking that this verse doesn't apply to me because I don't "gossip." However, if you generalize it to almost telling someone the truth or simply assuming something is true about someone, then it makes a lot of sense in personal application. For instance, I know when I argue with my wife, I assume a lot of things about what she is thinking/feeling that may or (most often) may not be true. In this case, if I would seek the truth (yea, even The Truth) instead of insisting on my interpretations/assumptions in these silly arguments, I believe this proverb would resonate (i.e., quarrels would stop when I stop telling my wife what/how she is thinking/feeling and just LISTEN to her.)

Luke 13
:10-16 I am amazed at how the Pharisees were supposedly the "experts" on God, but totally missed him when he was PHYSICALLY STANDING IN FRONT OF THEM. In these few verses he has compassion towards a crippled lady and heals her on the Sabbath. "The leader in charge of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus healed her on the Sabbath day." What a hypocrite! Micah 6:6-8

Revelation 20-22
Chapter 20 is about the Millennium (thousand year reign). It's kind of weird because Satan is just locked up during that time, but he gets what's coming to him after the Millennium! Woohoo! Satan is going DOWN! Praise Jesus our Victory over Sin and Death! Another stark reality occurs at the end of Chapter 20 with the Final Judgement. Verses 12-13 describe being judged according to deeds, but verse 15 is the binary criteria: If you don't have Faith in Jesus, then your name is NOT written in the Book of Life.

Chapter 21
God hooks us up with a new world. He basically scraps the one we live in right now and plops down a new cubic paradise. I really like verses 22-23:
22 I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are
its temple. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God
illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.

Chapter 22
Awesome stuff! Whew! I can't wait! This whole crummy wrestling match between good and evil will be finished and we get to bask in the Light of the Son! He is coming soon!

"Amen! Come Lord Jesus!"

Thursday, January 25, 2007

25 Jan 07

Proverbs 25
:27 "Just as it is not good to eat too much honey, it is not good for people to think about all the honors they deserve." Humility is critical. I know when I think about all the accolades I should get for all the great things I do, I get very selfish (by definition). However, when I stay focused on God and who He is, it is much easier not to be selfish.

Luke 12
:15 "Beware! Don't be greedy for what you don't have. Real life is not measured by how much we own."
:21 "Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthy wealth but not have a rich relationship with God."
As a song by KJ-52 says, "There's more to life than selling records."
As Josh McDowell says, relationships are the fundamental stimulli that shape a person's belief system, which determines his or her value system, which in turn dictates behavior.

Revelation 17-19
Chapters 17 and 18 describe the disgusting nature of Satan and his evil/wicked followers. Justly/tragically, chapters 18 and 19 also describe the eternal destiny of those in Hell. If only the wicked would turn from their sins and have Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, then they could experience true life on this earth and the wonderful love of God, forever!
19:1-2 "Hallelujah! Salvation is from our God. Glory and power belong to him alone. His judgements are just and true..."
The end of chapter 19 gives a glorious picture of Christ Jesus, our Victorious Warrior. Oh, that we may keep this picture of Him in our minds continuously, that we may remember that He

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

24 Jan 07

Proverbs 24
:12 Don't try to shrug off responsibility. As the Men's Fraternity mantra goes "reject passivity, accept responsibility, lead couragiously, and seek God's reward."
:30-34 Laziness is bad. Another proverb somewhere else says "a lazy person is as bad as one who destroys things." It's like we are swimming upstream all the time; if you stop swimming, you are regressing. It's like energy & entropy (thermodynamics): we have to invest energy to preserve organization (lack of entropy).

Luke 11
:2-4 The Lord's prayer: some people reorganize/categorize it into ACTS (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication). For some reason, I recently have been struggling with adoration. I think I'm going to read the book of Psalms next month.
:34-36 "Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul. But an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness... If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight is shining on you." These verses make it clear that we need to take serious our childhood song, "Oh, be careful little eyes what you see ..." 1 Cor. 6:19-20 comes to mind as well. I pray that I will honor the Lord as I assymtotically approach perfect Holiness (i.e., pure and blameless life).

Revelation 14-16
I am impressed by the difference in which the 144,000 are spoken of as compared to the wicked people of the earth that reject Christ Jesus as Lord. Also, if this digital text is still around during the tribulation (a whole bunch of terrible plagues, earthquakes, and other craziness), then let me give some advice: DO NOT accept the mark of the beast (666) on your wrist or forhead; God is going to pour out even more wrath on those who ally themselves with Satan. This text really makes a stark contrast between God's Holiness, Perfect Righteousness, and Sovereignty as opposed to the wickedness of Satan and his followers; it really paints a clear picture for God's Just Wrath.

May these words from Rev. 15:3-4 be my lifesong, "Great and marvelous are your actions, Lord God Almighty. Just and True are your ways, O king of the nations. Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous deeds have been revealed." Praise our Father in Heaven for His Mercy and Grace through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

First Attempt

I suppose I am now an official Blogger, which is pretty exciting. I hope to contribute insightful thoughts to the public.