God over Responsibilities or the Other Way Around?

These past weeks, I had been very pre-occupied with my school stuffs and the likes. Being pre-occupied which led to the point wherein I prioritize doing them first instead of meditating on God’s word, which I always did forgot.

Then one day, God first convicted me through a ministry devotional we had: a Bible story featuring Jesus, Martha, and Mary [of Bethany].

Luke 10:38-43

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!'”

‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'”

God convicted me for the second time through a poem:

No Time To Pray
Author unknown

I knelt to pray but not for long,
I had too much to do.
I had to hurry and get to work
For bills would soon be due.

So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,
And jumped up off my knees.
My Christian duty was now done
My soul could rest at ease.

All day long I had no time
To spread a word of cheer.
No time to speak of Christ to friends,
They’d laugh at me I’d fear.

No time, no time, too much to do,
That was my constant cry,
No time to give to souls in need
But at last the time, the time to die.

I went before the Lord,
I came, I stood with downcast eyes.
For in His hands God held a book;
It was the book of life.

God looked into his book and said
“Your name I cannot find.
I once was going to write it down,
But never found the time.”

Oftentimes, I become the thorny soil (Parable of the Four Soils: Luke 8:4-21). I absorb God’s word yet all worries about my responsibilities choke me that I forget God has to be prioritized first. There are also times wherein I rush my prayers because I’m so tired and sleepy. I realized God is displeased with such actions or thoughts. More hunger for the Lord is needed.

God reminded me to put Him first above everything else, and to seek first His kingdom (Matthew 6:33), for He is in control of everything: my studies, my responsibilities, etc.

Devo points:

Be blameless before God

Deuteronomy 18:13

“You must be blameless before the LORD your God.”

“As believers we should seek to be exemplary in every aspect of our lives, doing our best for the sake of Christ and His gospel.” – Jerry Bridges

Seeking to be blameless and away from sin is an effect of God’s grace. By this we can be able to be effective witnesses of God’s love and saving presence. People would see how naturally our faith does its work toward our thought, words, and actions. We do this not just for our own benefit, but for the greater glory of God, because what we think, say, or do greatly reflects our faith whether it is genuine or not.

The two principles of grace
(taken from The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges)

Principle # 1: Forgiveness of all our sins and the unconditional acceptance of our persons through the atoning work of Christ

Principle # 2: Deliverance from the dominion of sin and the enabling power of the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 2:8-9

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.”

God’s grace, as the unmerited favor given to us believers, brought forgiveness upon us if we truly accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, not if we rely on certain traditions or just because our religion tells us to. God’s grace not just brought forgiveness upon us, but it also teaches us to deny ourselves and live for Christ alone. By His grace we are made new, and we reject all worldly passions and desires we once had. Also, His grace enables us to be filled with the Spirit so we could live each and every day of our lives for the greater glory of God and that we might please Him.

Ungodliness ultimately gives life to our more visible sins

James 1:15

“Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

The cycle of sin is endless. As Christians, we should tighten our grip on Christ because the we become closer to being holy, Satan will always be there to make us fall and lose. And if we easily give in, more sin will be the result. We have to cling more onto God and His word. Asking God to fill us with His Holy Spirit and to help us respond spiritually to temptations are both important for us to be able to stand firm.

Jesus emptied the cup

Matthew 26:42

“…’My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done.”

Jeremiah 25:15

“…’Take from My hand this cup filled with the wine of My wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it.”

Jesus prayed to His Father about the burden of the ‘cup’ which was on Him. It was written in the 26th chapter of Matthew that Jesus prayed for it thrice: in verse 39 and 42, and was mentioned in verse 44 that He prayed it for the third time. So what does the ‘cup’ mean? Jeremiah 25:15 made it specific: it’s the cup of God’s wrath.

God’s wrath on us had been so heavy that the cost was the precious blood of His Son. Jeremiah 25:15 appears as a foreshadowing of the atoning work of Jesus on the cross, wherein the cup of God’s wrath was made empty as His love poured out.

The Spirit uses His Word to create joy in our hearts

Romans 15:4

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”

At first, we think that the Bible is just a book of strict laws made by God, but it’s more than that. As our spiritual hunger becomes deeper, the Bible comes in as a way for spiritual satisfaction. Pure joy rushes into our hearts once we try to understand God’s message for us revealed through Scripture. We also get to know more and understand things about God, His love, mercy, and justice.

HIGHLIGHT

IMG_20170319_150738_892.jpg
Bethel Music Live in Manila (3/18/17)

This has been the first major concert I’ve attended to, and I’m really grateful for it. Araneta Coliseum was filled with praises and God’s presence that night, and I’m still amazed by how Christians from different churches gathered together as one church, worshiping God for His awesomeness and power. My heart was also filled with joy when the people with great fears, anxiety, depression, and brokenness surrendered their heart to God, for He is the God of deliverance. Then the band played again the chorus of “No Longer Slaves” and it was just heartfelt. I’m still in awe.

#SongOfTheWeek No. 1

#SongOfTheWeek No. 2

#SongOfTheWeek No. 3

#SongOfTheWeek No. 4

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