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Showing posts from May, 2013

Gone Dry

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Coming back home after eight months of university has definitely been refreshing, but it has also taken a toll on my spiritual life and growth. I'm not sure what it is, but i'm going through a period of dryness, lack of passion and growth, and everything seems stunted. Maybe it's all my investment into job hunting, maybe it's the distractions around me, or maybe it's just the lack of the constant community I had in Guelph. Something just feels wrong. Not having that will or passion to do my devotions, praying and knowing that it's not whole-hearted, and I'm not sure how to tackle it. I've talked to a few people, and they're reassured me that everyone goes through this, and we should just push on. If we stop completely thinking we need a break, it could very easily just pull us deeper and further away from Christ and that growth. So instead of doing my chapter a day format with my devotions, i've turned to a new devotions app i've recently

Do Good

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We are foolish and disobedient, slanderous and guilty, but the kindness, love and mercy of our God has saved us through our Saviour Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection, giving us a new hope of eternal life. We must continue to turn from sin, trust in God, and devote ourselves to doing what is truly good. That basically sums up the final chapter of Titus 3. Its the basic foundation of our faith and of the gospel, and is needed for us to be reminded of each and every day. I find that living a holy and godly life is extremely difficult, to deny yourself, your desires, cravings and pleasures to live for God. Our Father's love should be enough to move us to live for Him, but I continue to struggle with fully grasping the concept of Christ's death for me, long before I was born. I know it will take time, but I hope I will one day fully see the beauty of the cross, the power of his death and resurrection, and the strength we have walking with a victorious Saviour. I continue

Learn, Practice, Teach

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Similarly to Titus 1, the following chapter addresses what is to be taught to other groups, from older men and women to the younger men and women as well as slaves. Paul keeps mentioning in this letter that we are to learn from this so that we can live a life worthy of the gospel, and living in a holy manner so that no one can say anything bad, because we are representing our God well. I think regardless of what age you are, this passage has something to say to you. Older Men. They are to be taught to be temperate (restrained), self controlled, and worthy of respect (v.2). As the older generation, an example must be set for the younger generation. Older/Younger Women. They are to be taught to be reverent (respectful), to not be addicted and obsessed with wine, not to be slanderous and to teach what is good (v.3). Take note that it says "too much wine", which doesn't mean no wine at all, but to know when is abusing the substance. As many older women are potentially

Misrepresentation

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Do our actions support our belief and our faith? Paul uses the book of Titus to address this as one of the main issues, the importance of faith and practice, as well as belief and behaviour. It's one thing to claim that you are a believer, but what good is it when you're lifestyle does not reflect that accordingly? Whether if it is swearing, or self-harm, or in this case in Titus, false teachings, avoid these things! God is not pleased with people misrepresenting him and it does more damage than you think. Representing God in a false manner can easily have people understand what Christianity is about, ultimately hindering them from wanting to accept the good news as well. Just as it says in the book of Revelation, 15  I know your deeds,  that you are neither cold nor hot.  I wish you were either one or the other! 16  So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. - Revelation 3:15-16  God rather you just not follow Him at all th

The Fight

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The world, especially the western world has become more and more invested in the idea of self, me, I. You can see it everywhere, its all about you, the iPod, the iPhone, iTunes, Apple definitely has it in the bag. We're starting to only think about ourselves, what we want, what we desire, what is best for us. Paul warns us in 2 Timothy 4 that people will eventually start twisting the truth to what they want to hear, to direct it back at themselves. Let us not follow that but go against it, knowing that we are here because of God, because of his love, grace and mercy, so we choose to follow Him. When we end up changing our mindset to me me me, it becomes idolatry, idolatry of yourself, and it's sinful to have such a mindset. It's very easy to slip into temptation's grasp, but be reminded and encouraged to fight the good fight (v.7). To finish the race. I think it's okay if we mess up, we're not perfect and God loves and forgives us, but it calls to "figh

Terrible Times

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1  But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.   2  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money,  boastful, proud,  abusive,  disobedient to their parents,  ungrateful, unholy,   3  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,   4  treacherous,  rash, conceited,  lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—   5  having a form of godliness  but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. - 2 Timothy 1-5 Starting off a chapter like that caught me off guard, but Paul warns us very clearly of what's to come towards the end and Christ's return. I've definitely seen a few of those around, and i'm sure things will only get worse from here. As followers, avoid such things; just as indicated in verse 5. Instead, live for God; the overarching theme in the book. Love God, and love his word. But be warned again, Paul tells us in verse 12 that those who want to live a godly life will be p

Soldier On

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How committed are we as followers to Christ? Paul calls us to be good soldiers in 2 Timothy 2, and just as soldiers do, to endure the hardships and trials that come their way. Soldiers are committed to the point of suffering and death, losing a limb, or even their lives for their country. In the same way, we should have that mindset. If you are willing to lose something so dear to you, even a loved one, or your own life for the Lord, it shows true dedication. Paul himself suffered for the gospel to the point where he was chained up as a criminal. But he is still following the Lord. Let us please the Lord with our devotion to him. I think so many times, I end up forgetting about my dedication to Him and end up falling into sin, wickedness and foolishness. I have challenged myself to remember the Lord in everything I do, to trust Him in everything and know his power and love for me. I hope that this constant reminder will help me move forward and build stronger my commitment to Chris

For The Gospel

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"And I know I'm weak, I know I'm unworthy To call upon your name. But because of grace,  Because of your mercy I stand here unashamed." - Unashamed by Starfield 2 Timothy is a book about persevering through all the persecution and sufferings that come with living for Christ and living for the gospel. He opens this letter by questioning if we are ashamed or not of this living gospel. There are plenty of trials that come with speaking the truth; it causes controversy, it causes conflict, it may not be what people want to hear, but it is the truth that we believe in. Are you ashamed? Are you scared? 7  For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid,  but gives us power,  love and self-discipline.  - 2 Timothy 1:7 We have power on our side, and we are strengthened by the one who defeated death and the grave. Don't be ashamed of our God, but instead join in with the suffering for the gospel, because God will carry us through it. I was watching

It's Not About The Money, Money, Money

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Money. The world today pretty much revolves around money. Society says its all about becoming rich, calling us to spend and keep spending; and although it does play a significant role in our lives each and every day, it most certainly is not everything. Do you have a love for money? Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 6 that it is a root of evil, potentially leading us away from our faith (v.10), scripture also says that our desires to be rich will lead to destruction and ruin (v.9). Or are we content with what we have? There are so many levels of richness. Us living in north america, europe, first world countries hold the richest people on the planet, if you look around you, you'll see how much you really have compared to the rest of the world. And then there are billionaires, lottery ticket winners who almost literally have everything. But I've always been reminded, what does this get you in the long run? 7  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out

With Love, Respect & Honour

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Paul here is addressing to the elders, the widows, and the slaves. Although some of this may not be completely applicable in the moment, it can be expanded to how we are to treat others, especially in the church. Scripture tells us to exhort elders, and not to rebuke them, they are to be loved and respected. So many times we call ourselves a community of believers, a part of God's family; similarly, we are to treat younger men as brothers, and younger women as sisters, "with purity". I remember learning about dating within the church, and how we should treat each other, following a rule of "would you do that to your brother or sister" when it comes to "how far you can go". Paul emphasizes on the word "purity" because it should not be "how far we go" but how pure we are. We should be striving for purity, not striving for not getting caught. As Paul heads on to the topic of widows, I think this can be applied to everyone as well.

Labor and Strive

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9  This is a trustworthy saying  that deserves full acceptance.   10  That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God,  who is the Savior of all people,  and especially of those who believe. - 1 Timothy 4:9-10 This verse caught my eye today. I'm reminded to put my hope in the Lord, to continue to strive and work because he is our almighty Father who has saved all believers in Him. As great as it is being back for the summer, it's definitely been difficult finding a job, and it's odd because I realized that I need a job, so I apply, but once the opportunity arises and an interview comes about, I get overwhelmed with anxiety and nervousness and I feel like backing out. But I will continue to strive to place my hope in Christ. I've said so many times to myself that I will trust God with everything, but sometimes when it truly happens, where is my faith? In the moment is where I truly have to apply it and find rest in Him knowing his pl

Overseers and Deacons

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Overseers and Deacons are the main focus in this chapter, and Paul sums up the requirements of holding such titles within the church. At first glance, both roles seems rather similar in requirement and role, but I looked it up and found the difference between a deacon and an overseer here . In a nutshell, an overseer is like a shepherd, who looks over the church's ministry, providing spiritual oversight, where as a deacon serves in the physical means of the church's ministry. Paul has strict requirements for both the overseers and deacons, for overseers: 2  Now the overseer is to be above reproach,  faithful to his wife, temperate,  self-controlled, respectable, hospitable,  able to teach,   3  not given to drunkenness,  not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome,  not a lover of money.   4  He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.   5  (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, h