Monday, October 09, 2006

Revere Him

Deuteronomy 13:4

"It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him."

Diets have been a fad for many generations. There are so many programs and ideas in how best to lose weight. When you watch the commercials, they will show you how individuals lost so much weight in so little time. If there is a program the proves that a person, especially the person selling the product, lost weight quickly and painlessly then people will follow. So many have obsessed over diet programs. Unfortunately, most have failed and then looks for the next best thing.

When we find ourselves in search of an answer and believes we found it, then we would do everything we can to follow the instructions to fulfilling our needs. Slowly our lifestyle changes along with it. If we see results, be invest more time and eventually it can be life changing. We share our successes with others so they can applaud our efforts, but also to have them join our successes.

As Christians, do we believe in the life changing experience of having Christ in our lives? Or have we "compartmentalized" our lives where this is only part of our "church life"? Most of us can say that we obey Him and follow Him, but is it when we attend church, volunteer at church, and with our church friends? Or does every actions of our lives reflect Christ in it?

We are reminded that to revere Him is not to sit at a pew and ponder on His magnificence, but to take action and worship Him. Worshipping Him is not just with lifting our arms and singing to Him. Worshipping Him is when our life itself is a song to Him.

Let us not just sing a beautiful song to our Lord with our voices, but also through our life.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Lifetime Race

Philippians 3:12-14

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (v. 14)

Ah, the new year has started and many are looking forward to a great year. People are chipper and have a great outlook. Unfortunately, it lasts for 2-4 weeks. An example is with the commercials. There are more ads about dieting and exercise during this part of the year than any others. This is due to the New Year's resolution most make. Unfortunately, most set too high of expectations only leaving failure to cope with. It is unfortunate that it comes once a year, and therefore an immediate sense of the inability to achieve the goal leaves it doomed to fail only to be attempted again at the start of the next year.

Fortunately, as Christians we are encouraged to live otherwise. Each new day is a new year. We do not take sprints or 100-yard races. We are reminded that this is a lifetime race. Every stride we take is equally important, and must be taken to reach the end goal. In a race, one may do very well during most of their laps, but if the last lap is not completed, then the goal is unmet and the race is incomplete. We must therefore pace ourselves and take every stride as best we can. Just as bodybuilders slowly increase their weights from the last one, we too should build from the last stride. Let us not be like a baby tossed to and fro, but continue to grow in our walk with our Father one step at a time. And if we happen to fall or stumble, let us get up and begin again to walk slowly and build our stride until we reach the end goal. Let us not lose sight or hope, for we have faith in our Lord and His strength will carry us through.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Learning His Ways

Exodus 33:7-17; Psalm 103:7

"The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.... If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways...." (v. 11, 13)

"He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel."

I remember in college during a philosophy class where we were discussion about sending a clock back to the early ages of man. If the time of history was when sundials were used, would man learn anything more about time if they stumbled across a 20th century clock? Would they learn anything about how a clocked worked?

Probably not. They would need to take time to look at it carefully, learn as much as possible, and then hopefully they will learn to open it without breaking it. Once opened and undamaged would they have a chance to learn about the clock. They will then need more time to learn how it worked.

Without acquiring any further knowledge, the clock would only be as useful as their sundial (other than the fact that it is portable if it was a small clock). In their eyes, it may simply be an ugly looking sundial.

Do we see God in these similar eyes as well? We are so eager to seek God when a particular action is required. Most of our prayers are about blessing us, our family, our homes, our work, our health, our food, and anything we seek or need. We tend to focus on the things that God had done in the past, the present, and hopes for the future. How about God Himself? How much time do we seek to know Him more? To know His thoughts and ideas? After all, God does provide, but He our Father to whom our image was created from. He seeks our fellowship... our relationship.

Let's decide to spend more time with Him. Especially during the Christmas season, let us remember how God indeed loved us so much that He sent His only Son. Let us focus on this love and spend time with Him.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Bodies as Living Sacrifices

Romans 12:1-8

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in a view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship." (v. 1)

I was given additional responsibilities at work that included an expansion of a new department. I was given the responsibility of developing and maintaining all college web sites and services. A major accomplishment we had completed was the implementation and enhancement of a content management system. In selling the concept, I had to explain the separation of duties: presentation, structure, and content. The whole idea was that individual departments were able to focus on the content and not worry about the other two.

While working on this, I came to realize that although it was true, there can never be a complete separation of the three elements. The text is primarily content, but if a different color, font, and size are chosen, it does affect the presentation. Although limited, it does affect how the website looks and feels.

Similarly, although there is a mind, body, and spirit, there can never be a clear and total separation as we live today. The mind cannot survive separated from the body. The body is but a shell if the mind is no longer. The spirit cannot exist elsewhere praising God while the body is sleeping. Although separate, they currently depend on one another.

Therefore, we must also keep our bodies in shape. If we are healthy and strong, then we can serve God, serve others, and give God the glory. When we are sick, we have difficulties doing these things. Let us therefore eat healthy, sleep well, and exercise our bodies so we can also praise God with our best.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


2 Timothy 4:6-8

"For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (v. 6-7)

Several years ago there was a comical commercial about a man's last wish in front of a firing squad. His answer to the question was "pepperoni and mushroom." As you may have guessed if you haven't seen this before is that the commercial is about a pizza named "Tombstone." Okay, it wasn't really that funny at all. However, the commercial did work in that it left a lasting impression with me.

I also recall learning about a famous person who stated that you can live eternally... through the memories of others. Although we know the truth of eternal life is with our acceptance of the gift through the death and resurrection of the Son of God. However, there is something to be considered with regards to what lasting impression is left with others.

In both instances, it is about you and what you have accomplished that is left in the memories of others. If done well, then it can be a joyous long-lasting memory. If not, then most would want to forget about it. We all have good intentions. However, it is those who follow through with those intentions that leaves a mark. Otherwise, there is very little to remember by. If we consider those people that has left an impression in our memories, we will find people who took personal risks to achieve a goal they had set out to do. We all want to help others, stand firm for our faith, and attempt to better the lives of others. However, it will all go unnoticed if actions are not taken. It is a race with the intent to finish, but left incomplete. Who knows how it would feel to finish the race? How well would we have finished? Without finishing these questions will be left unanswered.

Let us therefore be encouraged... let us inspire one another, and finish the race. Let us be remembered for the actions we had courage to follow through with.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Prayer (Part 2): Learning His Will

Matthew 6:5-15

"And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." (v. 7-8)

Yesterday we learned that prayer is not about what we say, but to also listen to what the Lord has to say to us. It not only builds our relationship with the Lord, but it helps understand our Father's will. Prayer is not about attempting to convince God to do good things. It is not to plead to change His mind. It is to learn of HIs will for us.

It is not about just the listening part of prayer, but also about what we say or think. As we begin to pray, not only do we look at ourselves and our circumstance, but also about God. We must begin by having faith in Him, have some understanding, and then attempt to make our request in tune with His will.

It is true that we must ask in order to receive. However, it is ultimately for our benefit by drawing closer to Him and learning about His will for us. Therefore, if we seek to understand His will for us, then we must take time to pray to Him.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Prayer (Part 1): Joys of Listening

Matthew 6:5-15

"And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." (v. 7-8)

Growing up, I have always been either confused or wrestled with this verse. If God is omniscience and knows all things, then he knows my needs and especially my heart. The Bible verse states that God even knows our request even before we ask Him. It's comforting to know that He knows us so well. In fact, He knows us better than we do ourselves. Then why do we need to pray? Why do some people spend countless hours praying about things that God already knows. He knows when things happened and what exactly the needs are. It's not like He has bad memories and need to be reminded. It's not like God needs to be convinced since He is love. So, why do we pray?

It is so we can be in tuned with God. It is to know His will and to follow. One of the first fundamental mistakes we make and think about prayer is that it is all about our speaking with the Lord. It is also about listening to the Lord. At first, most of us feel awkward about the silence. However, it is about "being still" before the Lord. Emptying our minds of all things faithfully knowing that our Father will help us. It is about "listening" to what God has to say to us, and fill us with His blessings. If we do not take the time to listen, then our Father is no more than a prayer request box. We just keep dumping requests to Him, and walk away in hopes that it may be answered.

Our Father seeks our fellowship with Him. As a father, I usually know what my children wants. However, it is so sweet and warming to the heart when they would come to me and say, "Daddy, could you...." And then to see how my children warms up when I am able to provide their request brings further joy.

Let's not lose precious time with our loving Father. Let us spend time praying by speaking with Him and listening to Him.