God’s Chosen Servant”

“God’s Chosen Servant”

Thursday, March 28.

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. Isaiah 42:1

Here in Isaiah 42, God is telling the nation Israel that he called his chosen servant to bring justice and free those that are in bondage. This was a lesson for Israel and remains a lesson for us today. Here, the subject of idolatry is lifted. In idolatry, we serve that which does not deserve it. But at the heart of the Christian message, it is Jesus Christ that we are supposed to serve.

How can we seek God and begin to replaced the idols in our lives? We find the answer in verse. We must behold the one who God delights in. To behold actually means to see and consider. Isaiah calls Israel to see and consider the Lord through his servant Jesus. Are we considering Jesus today?

Memory verse: Isaiah 42:7

“Hell is seeing the person you love suffer.” Hartigan

“The Name”

“The Name”

Wednesday, March 27.

“For he deliver the needy when he calls, the poor and he who has no helper…May his name endure forever and his fame continues as long as the sun….May his glorious name continue forever, and the whole earth be filled with his glory. Psalms 72

Whenever Israel inaugurated a king, this prayer would be said. The prayer in Psalms 72 was not only to acknowledge the king, but to outline standards for his leadership. The Jews believe that it was through the king that blessings came from God. The king was to uphold divine standards of righteousness. He was to protect the poor. Prayers for the safety of the king meant safety for the subjects.

It was however a difficult task for many kings. No king has been able to fulfill divine standards. Many has lost faith in leaders. But we all have a King who is the King of kings. He is Jesus of Nazareth. Let us put our trust in him as we celebrate his life, death and resurrection.

Memory verse: James 4:17

“Where there is love, there is no sin.” Unknown

“God Is Trustworthy”

“God is trustworthy”

Thursday, March 21.

“My God, my God why has thou forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me from my groaning? Psalm 22:1

This Psalm depicts suffering. Isaiah talks about it. The Psalmist talked about it. Jesus Christ when he was dying also uttered those words. The Psalms was written many generations before Jesus uttered the very words. David was speaking prophetically of the time when Jesus Christ will uttered them on the cross.

Jesus Christ must have read this Psalm in the temple many times. He must have had it memorized. There is one thing Jesus knew. God is holy. God is a trust worthy God. If not Jesus would have live his life in fear or dread knowing what was in store for him. But Jesus stayed the course, died for our sins. Now we can all rejoice knowing that we have eternal life.

The Psalm ends with a praise. It expresses triumph and victory. Let us rejoice this season knowing that Jesus paid it all.

Memory verse: Philippians 4:13

“Hate the sin, love the sinner” Mahatma Gandhi

“Vengeance belongs to the Lord”

“Vengeance belongs to the Lord”

Wednesday, March 20.

“But you, O God my Lord, deal on behalf for your name’s sake; because your steadfast love is good, deliver me! For I am poor and needy, and my heart is stricken within me…For he stands at the right hand of the needy one” (Psalms 109:21-31).

In our world of injustices of war, genocide, human trafficking, and all kinds of vices, we all will be exposed to persecution. Sometimes our reaction would be to pay evil for evil. In the broken world of the Psalmist, he looked to God to deal with the issues that confronted him. The Psalmist chooses to allow a just and holy God to deal with those who have wrong him instead of seeking retribution for himself.

The reason the Psalmist runs to God is because God’s holiness does not tolerate injustice. We as Christians are created in God’s image. Our lives ought to be pattern after the Most High God. It is important for us to leave everything with God. God will fight our battles for us. If we seek retribution for ourselves, we are equally guilty along with those who melt out injustice toward us. Let us ask for God’s intervention always.

Memory verse: Psalms 109:31

“Vengeance is a little form of grief.” Nicole Kidman

“Stand Firm in the Lord”

“Stand Firm in the Lord”

Tuesday, March 19.

“Save me, O God! Fir the water has come up to my neck……I am the talk of those who sit on the gates, and drunkards make song about me.” Psalms 69:1-12

In this Psalm, David is lamenting in his troubles. His reputation is under attack. It is a Psalms of lamentation in which the champion of Israel whose name was once song as a song in the streets is drowning in his troubles (verse 1-3). David is in agony all by himself to the neglect by his family (verse 4). Israel savior, from whom will come the Savior of the world is in distress and no one hears him.

We all feel the same pain when our reputation is under attack. People will say all manner of evil against us. It does not matter whether we come from a culture where family or community name is prized. It does not matter if we come from individualistic society where everyone wants to make a name for himself, our name is our resume. Let someone play with our reputation, and we are in serious danger of our identity being destroy. Yet we will find people who does that, or we will be the very ones who assassinate the characters of others. In either case, we will move to protect ourselves.

David in verse 9 of this Psalms is about the Lord’s business. His happiness is about the Lord’s house. David vows not to let his own foolishness cloud the business of the Lord. In verse 13, David defends the Lord. It is with this same zeal that John spoke of in the fourth gospel (John 2:17): “Zeal for your house has consumed me.” The Son of David, Jesus Christ came into Jerusalem during the Passover and drives out the money changers. When Jesus Christ was later humiliated on the cross as a criminal, he prayed for his enemies offering them all the benefits of his good name. In Jesus, we inherit an eternal reputation that cannot be tarnished. In this Lent season, let us not seek to make name for ourselves by harming the reputation of others.

Memory verse: Psalms 69:13

“If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of me” (Dwight L. Moody)

“Prayer is the Key”

Tuesday, March 12.

“And Hannah prayed…”

1 Samuel 2:1-10 is found two stories. One of the stories tells about Hannah praying before God because she was barren. As a barren woman, Hannah desired a child and life with a meaning. She was rescued from herself by God’s mercy. The second story is about the people of God who had gone to Shiloh to pray.

In many cultures around the world, barrenness is one condition of a man or woman that shows a broken world. In Israel, this condition put pressure on a person to produce a heir or insure an inheritance. This kind of condition describes not only a person physical condition but a persons spiritual and social afflictions. And so Hannah reasoned that only God could rescue her. She prayed to God and God answered her. In any situation we find ourselves, God can hear us. We just need to pray.

Memory verse: Matthew 7:7

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” Martin Luther

The Passover

“The Passover”

Monday, March 11.

“And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt”  (Exodus 12:13).

The account of the Passover is a unique experience for the Children of Israel. While its marks the beginning of the exodus of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, it speaks profoundly to God’s people. This central story of the Old Testament reminds us that unless God intervenes and cover us, we remain in our sinful condition. We remain a rebellious creation.As a rebellious creation, we remain under God’s judgment and condemnation.

The one thing God wants from us is for us to trust. It is important that we trust God. We must know that God is merciful and that He cares for us. He is the God who wants to save us and not condemn us. On this six day of Lent, let us trust God that he can deliver us from our sins.

Memory verse: John 3:16

“Mistakes are always forgivable if we have the courage to admit it.” Bruce Lee

“From Dust”

Friday, March 8.

“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground. since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:19

In the passage found in Genesis, we encounter a God who respond decisively to sin committed by the first couple. God respond with a curse. This does not mean God is not a gracious God. God is gracious, but does not deal lightly with sin. Death entered the beautiful world God created through sin. All manner of sufferings and despair come through sin. To help humankind get out of this fallen state, one man had to pay.

Jesus Christ came thousand of years later to deal with the issue of sin. As Paul puts it, Christ came into the world and redeemed us from this curse by becoming a curse for us. During this season of lent, let us consider that we came from dust. Let us acknowledge our mortality and repent of our sins.

Memory verse: Galatians 3:3

“The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” D. L. Moody

“A Call to Pray”

Wednesday, March 6.

Matthew 6:5-7.  5.And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.  Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  6. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father, who is unseen.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  7. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”

President Ronald Reagan on May 7, 1982, proposed to the Congress of the United States of America, a constitutional amendment to allow organized prayer in public schools.  According to a New York Times article published May 18, 1982, President Reagan believed the amendment would “restored the simple freedom of our citizens to offer prayers in public schools and institutions.”  The president asserted “that public expression through prayer is an integral part of the American heritage. “  What is most beautiful about President Reagan’s statement was that it would be of immense benefit for children of the United States to begin each day of school with prayer.  Prayer is the most fascinating thing a person can ever carry out.  Prayer is a sacred ordinance.  It is sacred because our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ spend a life full of prayer, setting Himself apart to pray.  Jesus Christ undertook a customary life of prayer.  Throughout the Gospel, especially the book of Luke, the prayer life of Jesus Christ is made evident.  In choosing the 12 disciples, Jesus Prayed.  During the transfiguration, Jesus Prayed.  When the disciples slept, Jesus went to pray.  Even on His dying cross, Jesus Prayed. Jesus Christ thread the sands of time as both man and God.  He had all attributes of God.  In his humanity he experienced the harsh realities of this world.  But he prayed in time of crisis(Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, John 18:2). Jesus went to pray every time He needed to pray.  If Jesus Christ, the anointed One of God engaged in many prayer rituals, don’t you think it is a divine command to pray? Yes, it is. Let us engage ourselves in a continuous prayer life.

Memory verse: Ephesians 6:18

“Prayer does not change God, it changes the one who prays.” Soren Kierkegaard

https://firstchurchnewton.org/daily-devotions/1947/

Lust and Envy

Lust and Envy.

Tuesday, February 5.

  1. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid servant, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s. 18. And all the people perceived the thunderings, and the lightnings, and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off.  19. And they said unto Moses, speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20. And Moses said unto the people, fear not for God is come to prove you, that his fear may be before you, that ye sin not.  Exodus 20:17.

The issue of how we deal with our sins before God is very important.  The question continues to loom. How do we respond when confronted by our sins? How do we respond, when the Holy Spirit convicts us of our wrong doings?  Our response is depended largely on our awareness of the sins in our lives. It is important to know the sin that bothers us. The anonymous writer of Hebrews in chapter 12 puts it this way: …Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth easily besets us.”  This is the reason why during this time of Lent, we must identify the wrongs in our lives and confess to God.  We must consecrate ourselves. This morning we want to discuss one of the sins that is a hindrance to our Christian lives: Lust.

Most often the sin of lust is talked about in terms of sexual desires.  But lust is much more than that. The meaning and history of the word in Greek is “to be hot after something.” Using the word lust in this context simply tells us that it is any sinful desire that goes against the will of God.  It is our inordinate desire for something. It is that excessive desire for something which does not seems right. It can destroy us. Let us take heed.

Memory verse: Romans 23

“Some rise by sin, some by virtue fall.” William Shakespeare