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Posts Tagged ‘Devotional’

Keeping One’s Eyes Set on the Lord Jesus

Posted by Mats on 01/09/2009

There are many lessons that I have learned while jogging at night, but this is the one that comes to mind when I think about it: When we focus our life in what really matters, our problems either become insignificant or more bearable.

It often happened that  when I was about to leave home and go out jogging I could feel some part of my body aching (belly, feet, or some other). I used to have second thoughts about going out, but eventually I used to go out and do it anyway. While I was in it, I could still sense some part of me aching but as I went on, the pain vanished.

I remember one time not being at 100% before going out but upon coming back not even remembering what was aching! Even to this day, when I think of it, I still can’t remember where was the pain.

I believe that the spiritual lesson God taught me in all this is that, if we focus in what really matter, we will be able to do things we would never thought we were able. The same way my mind was moved away from my pain and focused in running and getting enough oxygen, our spiritual life can be much better if we turn our attention from our problems and focus in Who really matters: The Lord Jesus Christ.

I am sure we all know people who like to “worship” their misery: they talk 24/7 of it as if they are the most aflicted person who has ever walked on earth. Think about what they could do for God if they devoted that much energy in reaching out for the souls on their way to the damnation of hell.

Perhaps it’s time for us christians to stop crying and moaning and complaining so much, and just go out there and share the faith as we were commanded.

Sure, there will be hard times and disapointments but we are not to built a tent around our misery and stay there forever. We are to moan, cry and weep, but move on.

Is it easy? No, it’s not. Will we feel alone and misunderstood? Probably. But even if everyone abandons us, there is One Who will never leave us nor forsake us. Let us keep our eyes set on Him, the Author of our Faith, and go on speaking with all boldness about Him.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the Right Hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:2

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Joshua’s Long Day

Posted by Mats on 23/05/2009

May 17, 2009
 
“And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.” (Joshua 10:14)
 
One of the most amazing events of history occurred when “the LORD fought for Israel” to enable them to conquer and occupy the Promised Land, even to the extent that, on one occasion, “the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day” (Joshua 10:13).
 
Some quibble about the language employed, suggesting that Joshua thought the sun “moves,” instead of the earth. The fact is, the motion of any heavenly body must be given in terms of relative motion (since all objects in the universe are moving in some way). Scientists normally assume the fixed point of zero motion to be the one which makes their equations most convenient to use, and this usually is the earth’s surface at the location of the observer. Joshua’s language was . . . quite scientific!
 
Furthermore, many scholars have documented numerous traditions of a “long day” (or “long night,” in the western hemisphere) about the time of Joshua. The biblical story is well supported as a real fact of history. There was a long day!
 
Such an event required the direct intervention of the Creator Himself. He who had started the earth rotating in the first place, when He separated day and night (Genesis 1:3-5), now slowed it down again until it stopped, and the daylight continued until Joshua could rout the Amorites.
 
God may not usually answer prayers and fulfill promises by such a mighty miracle as this, but He does answer prayer and keep His Word, and this unique event shows He is willing and able to do whatever is needed to accomplish His will. “The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went. . . . Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people” (Habakkuk 3:11-13). HMM 
 
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The Weaverbird

Posted by Mats on 21/05/2009

Genesis 1:28
Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’

Intelligence – as much as is needed and no more – is widely found throughout God’s creation. So intelligence alone is not what makes man special.

Consider the weaverbird. The nest of the weaverbird is woven of strips of fiber and grass. Using beak and feet, the male uses loops and knots to weave its hanging nest. Then, the nest is inspected by a prospective mate. If she doesn’t like the nest’s construction, she turns down the hopeful male. The male then rebuilds the entire nest.

Some males have been seen re-building their nest two dozen times before being accepted by a prospective mate. Certain weaverbirds actually build cities of nests protected by a woven roof. One roof was 15 feet across! Now, all this requires a certain level of intelligence.

So it is not intelligence that sets man apart from the animal kingdom. No, it is the fact that our Creator made us to have a special relationship with Him. Even though we are a pretty bad lot, God loved mankind so much that He chose to die as Jesus on the cross that we may be forgiven.

Anyone who has accepted Christ in faith has the promise of being made a new creation, beginning right here in this life and into eternal life in the next! That’s the wide gulf between man and animal!

Prayer: Dear Father, I thank You that You have given me being and life, and that when I was lost in sin, You still sought me out with Your gospel. Help me to truly live as Your new creation in Christ. For His sake. Amen.

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Christ: Our Example

Posted by Mats on 09/05/2009

May 9, 2009

“For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21)

Some have tried to pattern their lives after that of Jesus, simply by asking in every situation, “What would Jesus do?” But in the context of our text, the primary “example” which He left us was nothing less than His own sacrificial death!

Note the context: “For this is thankworthy |same word as ‘grace’|, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully . . . if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, yet take it patiently, this is acceptable |also the same word as ‘grace’| with God” (1 Peter 2:19-20).

To follow Christ’s example, therefore, is to be willing to endure unjustified suffering–even defamation and persecution–with grace and patience.

But that is not all; we must also do it in silence! “Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not” (1 Peter 2:23). “As a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7).

It is a natural reaction to want to strike back at one who has slandered or injured us, especially if such an act was an insulting response to kindness. But such a “natural” reaction was not Christ’s reaction. He could have called “twelve legions of angels” (Matthew 26:53) to His defense, but He chose to suffer in silence.

And why would He do such a thing? First, if He had not done so, we would have been lost in our sins forever. He “bare our sins in his own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24).

Second, He left us an example, that we “should follow his steps.” He was not just silent in His sufferings; “He suffered for us!” If we would really be like Him, we must be willing to suffer quietly on behalf of others, even when they are the ones who deserve it. This is acceptable with God! HMM

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