My entry for this year’s second week.
Hunger is a condition in which a person, for a sustained period, is unable to eat sufficient food to meet basic nutritional needs. But what I’ll be talking about is the hunger of the spirit.
Spiritual hunger is our hunger for the Lord, His powerful presence, and His Holy Spirit. Being hungry for God just means we’re desperate for Him to be the center of our lives. And this week, I, being filled with His presence, satisfied my spiritual hunger– through prayer and fasting. I participated at CCF’s Prayer and Fasting Week, “Intercede”, with this year’s theme “Pray for the Family.” Last Monday up to Friday, I joined through livestream (through our slow internet, I haven’t missed one session, by God’s grace!). And just yesterday, Saturday, I attended the last session of Intercede at the CCF Center, because yesterday also was the first Elevate day of 2017, and I went up to the main auditorium from the multi-purpose hall to attend Intercede. This was the first prayer and fasting week I participated at, since I wasn’t able to do it last June of 2016, and I haven’t really accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior last January of the same year.
I fasted from dinner, because it’s the only time I can sacrifice food since I have to eat because of school. I also fasted from social media, to prevent any distractions as I devote myself to Him.
So here’s this week’s thoughts and main points from devotion:
Obedience to the Great Commission is an indicator for growing in love.
The Apostle Paul was delighted when he saw that the Philippian church had been active in supporting the work of missions and preaching the gospel. And to encourage them to continue their work, he wrote them a letter, which is now included in the series of Pauline epistles in the Bible.
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
By obeying the Great Commission, which is to make disciples (Matthew 28:19), people may see Christ in ourselves, and we ourselves would be increasing our knowledge of the truth (with the help of the Holy Spirit), and we would be practicing righteousness much more than before, because setting ourselves as good examples to our disciples plays a very important role. Also by making disciples, we give glory to God Most High.
There is no person too difficult for Jesus to change, nor a family too broken for Jesus to heal.
Let’s talk about the Apostle Paul again, but this time, as an example. He was then Saul, a ruthless and merciless persecutor of Christians.
It was in Acts 9 where the account of Saul’s encounter with Jesus is mentioned. There, a really bright light, which is Jesus, appeared to Saul, telling him “Why do you persecute me?” and made him blind. During that moment, all of Saul’s past views were changed. Jesus instructed Saul to go to Ananias to be healed. Saul could’ve stayed blind for his lifetime, but he had the faith, even if it was just the beginning point. He himself became a real Christian after going to Ananias and being baptized, and became known as the Apostle Paul we know today.
That’s how amazing God is– even the greatest sinner, or the most shattered family in this world can be changed and healed, for nothing is impossible through Jesus if we believe (Mark 9:23).
Jesus prioritized people, prayer, and preaching.
Jesus, during His time on earth, intentionally healed people of their sicknesses, however, His primary motive was to preach. Jesus knew the inner need of the people, and He never gave up. Jesus also had swept often into the wilderness to pray and spend time with the Father, leaving the disciples wondering where He was.
If Jesus, who is blameless and perfect, and the Son of God, did such things, how much more should we, sinners, do?
We can begin by knocking on the Holy Spirit to teach us in loving others and on how to be selfless. We should read the Scripture to see how Jesus prioritized people, and to know how we could follow His examples. For prayer, we can do a once-in-a-month prayer and fasting day, to fully devote ourselves to Him and to satisfy our spiritual hunger. For preaching, we should take every opportunity to share to others of Jesus’s unending love, so they too can be transformed. But before we do that, we should first examine ourselves if we ourselves are totally surrendered, because we are accountable to those we share Jesus to. We should boast in Christ, and not earthly riches.