Monday, August 23, 2010

Daily Journal for Tuesday 24th of August 2010

Qualifications of a Disciple of Jesus

S - "You cannot be my disciple, unless you love me more than you live you father and mother, your wife and children, and your brothers and sisters. You cannot come with me unless you love me more than you love your own life." Luke 14:26

O - Jesus says words that are very difficult to hear. "You cannot be my disciple unless...", "You cannot come with me unless..." Here we can wonder, is this the same Jesus who said, "If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and rest."?

Jesus says that putting him second, third, or anywhere but first in our lives disqualifies us from being his disciples. This can make us feel like we've got prove ourselves by being better, being stronger, working harder, but notice what Jesus says... "unless you love me more than." It's not just about priorities, it's about having a deep love for Jesus. Unless I love him more than the people I love the most, my father and mother, my wife, my children, my brother and sister I can't be his disciple. This demands that I not only say he is Lord, but I love him as Lord more than even my own life. In order to genuinely love him I need to have adequate time worshipping him, praying with him, reading his words to me in the Bible, serving him, enjoying him.

This call from Christ is to not work harder, do more things, get busier. No it's much harder than that. I and called to reflect on God's love for me, live in it and ensure that I live my life with him first in everything. Then my parents, my family, my dearly loved friends will experience my love as it should be, flowing from God's love.

A - I need to continue to fan into flame my love for Jesus. I need to spend more time expressing my love in worship, prayer and in quiet reflection. I want to spend more time lost in wonder and worship, enjoying Jesus. This week instead of jogging a message playing on my ipod I will listen to my new Hillsong CD and respond with joy to God's love. I will also spend half a day on a hill in Wodonga, unhurriedly communicating in prayer and enjoying God's presence.

P - Father, thank-you for sending Jesus. Help me as I seek to continually love him first, even more than myself. Amen.

Daily Reading - Luke 14

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Daily Journal for Thursday 12th of August 2010

Growing Wiser and Stronger

S - Jesus became wise, and he grew strong. God was pleased with him and so were the people. Luke 2:52 CEV

O - Each day that unfolded in Jesus, the twelve year old's life, became a another day to either choose to do the right thing or to not. He chose to do the wise thing. As he acted wisely, he grew strong. And as he grew strong God was pleased with him. And the people were also pleased with him. They were delighted in his knowledge, they were amazed at the answers he gave. Soon they would realise that he was the light of the world.

A - Jesus lived in such a way that he became wise. Jesus lived in such a way that he grew strong. How can I grow in wisdom today? How can I grow in strength today? Feeding my mind and taking care of my body is so important to pleasing God and people. If I am unwise I will not be able to help people and lead them well. If I am unhealthy I will not have the energy needed to serve well, the endure in the race, and to finish well.

Growing wise involves reading, understanding and living out God's Word in my own life first. It involves listening to and learning from others. It requires that I read widely and reflect often. Being wise requires the self-discipline to change what I know is wrong and start doing what is wise instead. It means praying for wisdom from the one true God who knows everything.

Growing in strength involves resting as well as working. It means getting enough sleep so that I am not tired throughout the day. It means exercising regularly (everyday for 30 minutes!) so that my heart is strong and my energy levels are high. It means eating well, fruit and vegetables. Less bad fats and more of the good type. It means finding life-giving hobbies and activities other than work so that I laugh often and am full of joy!

P - God, I want to please you, I really do! I want to feel your smile, your delight. Help me to grow in wisdom and strength so that you and all those who know me are pleased with my progress! Thanks for Jesus' incredible example of growth and strength. His continually trust and dependence on you is what I long to emulate. Amen.

Daily Reading - Luke 2

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Daily Journal for Wednesday 4th of August 2010

Love the One You're With

S - "That's why a man leaves his father and mother and gets married. He becomes like one person with his wife. They are no longer two people, but one. And no one should separate a couple that God has joined together. Mark 10:7-9

O - A child grows and becomes an adult. They leave their father and mother who have nurtured, loved and cared for them as best as they could. They become like one person with their wife or husband. Instead of being on their own they are now 'one.' They are united physically through sexual union and they are united emotionally to mutually love, care and support each other and they are united by God who has put them together. They are like one person, a union, a single identity. This is a joyful thing! It's very good when I am loving and serving and bringing out the best in my wife. To do this continually and genuinely I need more than my own resources. I need to look to the one who joined us together, to God, for the strength and commitment to keep loving even when it's hard.

To then look lustfully at another woman, to be comforted emotionally and physically by another woman, to be loved intimately by another than my wife would cause a break in the oneness, the unity, the togetherness with the one God has joined me together with. It would cause incredible pain, great loss and much sadness.

A - I am married! God has given me one wife to love, to be one with, to enjoy and journey with through life. She is one with me, I am one with her. Today I want to give, say, and show my deep love to her. I her to know my love and commitment to her by the way I express it and value her. This is good and is God's will for me in marriage.

P - Father, as you have demonstrated your love for me in sending your Son, I want to demonstrate my love for you by loving the woman you have joined me together with. May you be glorified by the way I love my wife. Amen.

Daily Reading Mark 10

Monday, August 2, 2010

Daily Journal for Tuesday 3rd of August 2010

How To Be Truly Great

S -  "After Jesus sat down and told the twelve disciples to gather around him, he said, "If you want the place of honour, you must become a slave and serve others!" Mark 9:35

O - To people who want to be first Jesus says become a slave and serve others. To be honoured, honour people. The disciples were arguing about who was the greatest. Jesus says the greatest one is the one who serves others. Today is no different to then. Society is so so self-focused, self-obsessed, self-absorbed and ego driven. Even in Christian community people can seek positions of authority or power for any reason but to serve.

A - I want to be great in God's eyes. I really do want to have a place of honour in God's kingdom. The passage clearly say that I must serve others, become a slave, value, love, connect, care and seek to really honour others. Why? Because people matter to God. Jesus is my clearest example here. He said that he came not to be serve but to serve and indeed he did.

This week I am going to serve someone and tell no-one what I have done. I'm going to also thank three people who have really helped me by serving and helping me. I'll send them a note or an email.

P - Father, I want to be truly great in your eyes. Help me to value greatly those who you love. Help me serve others not myself. Help me do today what you have shown me through Jesus' example. Amen

Daily Reading Mark 9