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Showing posts from April, 2013

A Different Perspective

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1 Timothy 2 holds one of the most difficult verses/passages in the bible that has caused controversy, and frustration for people to understand. At a first glance it sounds sexist and outrageous, especially in today's society. 11  A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.   12  I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.   13  For Adam was formed first, then Eve.   14  And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.   15  But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love  and holiness with propriety. - 1 Timothy 2:11-15 I am not trained and am not well versed with theology, but I found one interpretation of this passage and found it understandable. You can visit the site here . I plan to just share what I got out of the short article and hopefully pick at your brain as well as you attempt to wrap your head around these five verses too. The writer of the

An Ever-Changing Story

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1 Timothy follows 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and in this letter, the theme Paul address is how true Christianity is shown; by lifestyles visibly and evidently changed by the gospel. As Christ is not physically on this earth, we, the believers are the ones whom Christ is shown through. Our actions, our decisions, our speech and thoughts, should align with our faith and what we believe in. God's power to change others is really magnificent and wonderful. I've heard several people ask about saying "can God really change me after all i've done wrong?" "i've gone too far, I cant turn back, God won't take me back", but the truth is, it doesn't matter what you've done, great or little in this world, it is all equal in the eyes of the Lord. God is patient and willing if you choose to turn back to Him. Paul puts himself out there first and shares his story (Acts 9). He tells that he was the worst of the worst. He persecuted Christians, he was viol

Don't Be Lazy

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Paul ends off the book of 2 Thessalonians with an encouragement I think today's society struggles with significantly. Idleness. Being lazy, not feeling like doing work, procrastination, and I agree that I fall under the same category too. Being lazy is easy, you just sit there, lounge around, and do nothing. But Paul tells us to work, "work for what we eat" as he says. Work so that we also do not become a burden for others, not to mooch off of those around you. And especially when we're working and serving God, to never get tired of doing good and what is right. Working hard also sets a good example for those around you. If you were lazy, it could easily influence younger generations, even older ones; could you imagine if everyone around you got lazy because they looked up to you? How would a world of lazy people even work? Paul himself set himself as the example first, not eating without paying, working, laboring and toiling day and night to not be a burden, bu

Love The Truth

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2 Thessalonians 2 continues to talk about the deception that will rise when the day of Lord approaches. Many people in Thessalonica had thought the day of the Lord had already come, but Paul reassures them and encourages them not the so easily believe what they hear or read. He talks about a man of lawlessness revealing himself, and this "man" is comprised of Satan's works of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders (v.9). Therefore, Paul once again asks of them, and us to stand firm in our faith and what we believe in. Not to be easily swayed by our surroundings, let it be media, friends or even our own deceptive minds. Ask the Lord for strength and he will strengthen you. Judgement is also mentioned again in this chapter, where it says the ones will "perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved." I found this line different and interesting because usually we come across it as "believe the truth", but here it states to "love t

Revealed in Blazing Fire

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2 Thessalonians is very similar to 1 Thessalonians where the theme is still on the second coming, and the first chapter shows that very evidently. Paul writes this book because the Thessalonians had thought the day of the Lord had come and where terrified, so he wanted to reassure them; he also wanted to strengthen them in the face of persecution, and he wanted to talk to those who have slacked off (since they were thinking they could in the Lord's return). As mentioned, the first chapter talked about the second coming, and with the Lord's return, we know that he will judge each and everyone of us accordingly. We are reminded that our God is a just God (v.6), that he is fair and right and will not cause any injustice among us. That isn't the only attribute shown, God's majesty is also revealed. Paul writes that the Lord will be revealed in blazing fire with the angels (v.7). The fate of non-believers and believers are also described. Those who choose against Christ

Seek & See

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I am in absolute reverence and awe of our wonderful Lord. He is good, his plan is perfect, and his timing and spot on. For some of you that may or may not know, im again in a job situation, torn between taking a one month day camp job, or risking it for other jobs throughout the summer. I have until sunday to decide and I told myself that if God did not open any opportunities, I would take the day camp job. Two days ago, I was reading through scripture and I landed on Psalm 130:5-6. It says, "I wait for the  Lord ,  my whole being waits,  and in his word  I put my hope.  I wait for the Lord  more than watchmen  wait for the morning,  more than watchmen wait for the morning." So I did just that. I had one week and I waited on the Lord, for his plan to unfold, and for me to see his work in my life. And he did just that today. In the morning, I didn't get a chance to do my devotions since I didn't want to rush before going to my doctor's appointment, but I

In The Night

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Scripture describes the Lord's coming as a thief in the night, quiet, quick, and sudden. We will never be able to predict when he will return, although I believe there are many signs to when the time is approaching, for instance, false prophets and war (Matthew 24:6-10). As followers we are known as "children of the light", and the bible uses the imagery of light and darkness to represent true believers and those who are lost. We must be ready for the day of our Saviour's return. We know and believe that it will happen, we just dont know when. Therefore we must make it our daily desire to live for the Lord in preparation and anticipation for that day. Paul goes on in 1 Thessalonians 5 many practical things we can do to act out our faith, but when it comes down to it, God will judge your heart, your faith and your devotion to Him throughout your life time. - be alert (v.6) - be self-controlled (v.6) - stand firm in your faith (v.8) - live in peace (v.13) - he

Leading a Quiet Life

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Our main purpose on this earth is the please God, and we should be showing that through our actions, words, and thoughts. In a nutshell, we please God by living a holy life; here in 1 Thessalonians 4, Paul takes note of four different things on how we should live. These things have been mentioned several times in the bible, and its repetition just makes it more clear to us how important it is to live in a holy and worthy manner. avoid sexual immorality and impurity. I think the world today has corrupted the concept of sex, and as God had intended it to be something special between a man and a women, society today was twisted it and has made it about self pleasure and self indulgence. God calls us to only have sex after one has married, as it builds a strong bond between the two. At the same time, if you are single, than it is also a challenge with the media all around you, but we must muster the strength to stand firm and live lives of purity.  “If you love me, keep my commands.&q

Eight Months Ago & Now

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Its 2:03am, its my last night in residence, and my first year here at Guelph is officially coming to an end. The past few weeks i've been thinking and reflecting on the eight months i've spent here, what i've learnt, how i've grown and how God has worked in my life. I think i've summed it up into three topics, categories, lessons, take it however you want. Home Away From Home I remember so clearly how I felt the weeks before I left for university. I felt like I had just established the perfect community and group of friends in Richmond Hill, at school, at church, and everything just felt right and the next thing you knew it, I was in a different city, with new faces, and a whole lot of nothing. It was definitely scary, but I knew that this would be a clean slate, to make new friends, to build a new community, but I still wasn't able to let go of the "perfect community" I had just found back at home. This left me depressed and lonely. I felt like t

Encouraged By Faith

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The past eight months have flown by, but I think the most encouraging bits were when I truly saw God working in real time, whether if it was the job situation or if it was sharing the gospel with random strangers. Paul continues to talk about being encouraged by seeing others come to Christ, but I noticed that in the wording, Paul never referred back to himself, because it was all God's work and timing that this was done. Hearing it from his perspective was also different because you can hear how much he yearned for his friends, the Thessalonians to come back to Christ; praying for them day and night (v.10), hoping that Timothy would return with a report that they are still strong in their faith (v.6-7), and hoping persecutions and trials did not pull them away (v.4). In the same way, we should have that desire to see others come to Christ, it saves them from a life of eternal punishment and grants them a life of eternal happiness. Think of such friends in your life who need to

Sharing The Good News

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Sharing the gospel has never been easy for me, especially through speech. I always made the excuse of saying "actions speak louder than words, so people will see Christ through my actions". But I have been reminded that this is the good news, and the news is spread by word, as well as deed. Paul shares about his ministry in chapter 2 of 1 Thessalonians, i've started to see what type of attitude we should have when it comes to sharing. perseverance regardless of the opposition (v.2) There is plenty of fear, trembling, and anxiety when we share, especially with strangers, or even friends. But our Lord is our strength and he is the one that is guiding us through it all. Paul pushed through and shared "regardless of the opposition", whether if they wanted to throw him in jail, or murder him; and I think it shows how urgent Paul felt it was and how much dedication he had to it. For us to be able to push so strongly through, we have to have that heart for God, th

Produced, Prompted, Provoked

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Now that i've completed the 40 Days in The Word, i've decided to go back into the New Testament and pick up where I left off, 1 Thessalonians. But this time, instead of focusing on the whole chapter and analyzing it all, i'll focus on the bits and pieces that stand out to me, while getting a full perspective by reading the whole chapter. The theme here in this book is the second coming, Paul comments on the Thessalonians faith in the first chapter, but the issue with the community in Thessalonica is that they needed reassurance of their salvation and destiny, so Paul uses this letter to restore their hope. As Paul praised them for their faith, it struck me again as a reminder as to how we should live as Christians. Almost every verse had a specific and practical way as to how to live, and what signs showed that we were bearing good fruit. "work produced by faith, labour prompted by love, endurance inspired by hope in the Lord" (v.3) we need to recognize a

Now, Not Later

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Day 40 1  Blessed is the one  who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,  2  but whose delight is in the law of the  Lord ,  and who meditates on his law day and night.  3  That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,  which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.  4  Not so the wicked!  They are like chaff that the wind blows away.  5  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,  nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.  6  For the  Lord  watches over the way of the righteous,  but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.  - Psalm 1 When I was reading this and personalizing it by putting my own name in it, it again had that touch of being so much more personal, and something I had realized is that I had to keep saying it in future tense because it wasn't true in the present or in the moment. I really have to push myself to start appl

Pick One

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Day 39 1  Blessed is the one  who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,  2  but whose delight is in the law of the  Lord ,  and who meditates on his law day and night.  3  That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,  which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.  4  Not so the wicked!  They are like chaff that the wind blows away.  5  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,  nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.  6  For the  Lord  watches over the way of the righteous,  but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.  - Psalm 1 "The one who joins the wicked will not be blessed. But the one who indulges in the Word, indulging in the living water will prosper and be blessed. The wicked will wither and fade away. The Lord watches over the righteous and will judge both the wicked and righteous accordingly." While reading thi

Day & Night

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Day 38 1  Blessed is the one  who does not walk in step with the wicked  or stand in the way that sinners take  or sit in the company of mockers,  2  but whose delight is in the law of the  Lord ,  and who meditates on his law day and night.  3  That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,  which yields its fruit in season  and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.  4  Not so the wicked!  They are like chaff  that the wind blows away.  5  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,  nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.  6  For the  Lord  watches over the way of the righteous,  but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.  - Psalm 1 S - is there a sin to confess? P - is there a promise to claim? A - is there an attitude to change? C - is there a command to obey? E - is there an example to follow? P - is there a prayer to pray? E - is there an error to avoid? T - is there a truth to believe? S - is there something to praise God for

The Wicked & The Righteous

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Day 37   1  Blessed is the one  who does not walk in step with the wicked  or stand in the way that sinners take  or sit in the company of mockers,  2  but whose delight is in the law of the  Lord ,  and who meditates on his law day and night.  3  That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season  and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.  4  Not so the wicked!  They are like chaff  that the wind blows away.  5  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,  nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.  6  For the  Lord  watches over the way of the righteous,  but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.  - Psalm 1 Today's technique is "Picture It!" and I found that every single verse had its own scene and its own imagery. Here's what I thought of and what I got out of it. 1 - all three parts of the first verse talk about joining the wicked. Walking with the wicked, standing in the sinner'

Two Paths

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Day 36  6  For the  Lord  watches over  the way of the righteous,      but the way of the wicked leads to destruction. - Psalm 1:6 This is the final week of 40 Days in The Word, and each day will be a different technique, and today's is back to the first week, "Pronounce It!" watches: observing, analyzing the way: I think God knows that we are humans, we're flawed and that we cannot be perfect and cannot be fully righteous, but here he says he's watching the way, our path, how we are striving for righteousness the way of the wicked: those who follow their own selfish wicked ways destruction: death, eternal punishment, the city of Sheol (Proverbs 7:27) I'm reminded of the punishment for the wicked. To perish, to have eternal death. There are two paths we can take. We must walk down the path of righteousness. We do so by delighting in the law, and meditating on it day and night (v.2), then we will bear good fruit and will be made right with Go

Compass

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Day 35 19  And my God will meet all your needs  according to the riches of his glory  in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:19 How encouraging and reassuring it was to wake up to this verse today. It gives me so much peace being reminded of this. With all that has been going on lately, the uncertainty and feeling lost in the midst of life, God tells me that he will meet my needs. He will supply and provide what is best for me. It does say only according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus, meaning it may not be what you want or need, but what God knows you need. It's calming to know that he is watching out for me. As long as I do my part, trusting in Him, committing my plans to Him   (Proverbs 16:3), then he will do the rest, sustaining me until the end. I pray God will meet your needs too, give up your worries, your struggles, your anxieties, your situations to Him and he will carry you through. Let him be your compass and your guide. My Prayer: Lord, I pray you meet my

The Source

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Day 34   13  I can do all things through Christ   who strengthens me. - Philippians 4:13 Even though life may seem lost at times, even though I feel like everything is crumbling around me, Christ still grants me strength to carry on. Regardless of what state I'm in, rain or shine, we have our faith to hold onto. We know that our rock and foundation stands beside us. This passage is great because especially in times of exams, there can be lots of stress and pressure, but we can call on God to carry us through; to give us wisdom to make the right decisions at the right times, to give us strength to focus and concentrate when we need it. Let Christ be your source of power when you are weak. Note how the passage says "all things", this basically sums up everything. We know who are Christ is, he is the one that was sinless, but most importantly, he did all things, he healed the blind and the sick, he walked on water, he turned water into wine, but most importantly, he ro

Crumbling

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Day 33 6  Do not be anxious about anything,  but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.   7  And the peace of God,  which transcends all understanding,  will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7 I woke up today feeling like everything in my life was crumbling before me. Almost every aspect of my life seems to be falling apart. For one, I don't have a confirmed summer job at the moment compared to before, and i'm back on the hunt, hoping I can find some sort of income to help pay for my tuition, as well as have something to do for the summer. On the other hand, today is day one of exam week, and I have no idea if my study methods are effective. Lastly, I literally have about 10 days left here in Guelph and its definitely really bittersweet to say goodbye (for now). I much rather school and the community here than a four month summer without. Everything just seems so unpredictable and un

Press On

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Day 32 12 ...I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. - Philippians 3:12b Sometimes we fall short of God's glory, and we fail to be perfect, but that's okay. We are flawed beings, but we should always be working towards being more godly, towards leading a righteous and holy life. God has not given up on us after all those times we failed him and we also should not give up on him too. The verse tells us to strive for that perfection, and when we do that, it's the clearest sign of a devoted follower. It's difficult sometimes. It's hard to wrap my mind around someone who loves me no more, no less when I have broken their heart countless times. I don't deserve his love, he could leave me whenever he wants, he has all the reasons to be angry at me, but Christ continues to reach his hand out to me. Sometimes it even gets to the point where I don't want to reach back because I've just been so wrong and unfaithful.

God's Work in Us

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Day 31 13  For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.  - Philippians 2:13 When I read this, what stood out to me in the verse was "to do what pleases him". It reminds me of Matthew 16:24, since that verse has been coming up in my mind lately. In Matthew 6, Christ tells his disciples to deny themselves and follow him. Our ultimate goal here on earth is to please God, and praise the Lord that he is working in us because we cannot do it just by ourselves. Just as the verse says, he gives us the desire and power to do so. I believe his work in us is much needed, we as humans, surrounded by worldly desires and the pressure of society, easily cave in and conform to what we want or what the world wants. But as I reflect more and more about denying yourself, I realize it's so much more, and that it is a next level type of surrender. You are denying your entire self, your wants, your desires, your hopes, your dreams, your plans,

Conduct

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Day 30 27  Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy  of the gospel of Christ. - Philippians 1:27a So many times we end up losing sight of Christ and/or the gospel. Especially in times of stress or exhaustion, it can lead to impaired judgement, temptation and we could easily fall into sin. At the same time, it could also lead an overall lack of trust in God. This passage reminds me to always be seeking Christ regardless of the circumstance or situation. "whatever happens" means all the time, and as devoted followers of Christ, we are to always conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel, and pleasing to the Lord. My Prayer: Lord, whatever happens, may I conduct myself in a manner worthy of the gospel. May I keep my eyes set on you, constantly seeking you and living for you. Help me be wholehearted in my devotion to you and may you continue to guide and remind me of your majesty all the time. Amen.

Sparking Good

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Day 29   6  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion  until the day of Christ Jesus. - Philippians 1:6 Its a new week for the 40 Days in The Word, and this week's method is called "Personalize It! Pray it!". This method is also rather simple, it involves changing the verse so it is directed at you. Change it to first person, or put your name in it. The praying comes in when you turn it around to change it into a prayer back to God. It really works, the first time I re-read the verse and put my name instead of "you", it felt completely different, and it did feel extremely personal to myself. It makes it that much more real, that much more current in today's time. Sometimes I think I take the bible for granted, and I take it as historical text, but it is so much more than that, it is timeless and it is the breathing, living Word of God. It remains and is true yesterday, today and tomorrow. As for th