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Posts Tagged ‘Devotions’

One question that weighed heavily on my heart tonight was why so many Christians emphasize digging into God’s Word. Why should we crave the Word? What does it even mean to crave it? Why should we read the Bible every day and hide it in our hearts? As I pondered the questions, God brought to my mind several thoughts.

We desire the Word of God because it draws us closer to His heart.

When we hear the Word of God, it inspires and rejuvenates us, sparking life within us and opening our eyes, heart, and mind to receive a refreshing drink of God’s Spirit.

When we read the Word of God, we become allured by God’s thoughts: what He desires, His joys, and what saddens Him.

When we memorize the Word of God, it becomes ingrained in the constitution of our mind and being; imprinted upon our spirit. It transforms our mind to be synoptical with that of the Lord’s; it convicts us of evil, inspires us to love, and equips us with the courageous faith God grants those who relentlessly seek after Him.

The irresistible longing for God that drives us from the inside out to seek His face and know His thoughts comes from His grace.

So take freely of it, receive it, process it, and dispense it.

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The end of my junior year in high school is rapidly approaching. During my search for potential colleges, I came across Biola University’s application form. The personal statement prompt is as follows:

At Biola University our common foundation is our faith in Christ and becoming transformed into His likeness. In light of this fact, please describe: a) the circumstances surrounding your decision to become a follower of Jesus Christ, using various Bible passages as the framework for your salvation and eternal life in Christ, and b) using specific examples, describe your process of spiritual growth over the past three years.

This prompt is probably one of the most difficult I’ve seen. It forces me to reflect back on my years as a believer, and determine where I have grown since being saved. Though slightly intimidating, I believe that working on this prompt (provided it isn’t changed with the next year’s application), will prove beneficial in mapping my spiritual growth.

A few thoughts that I’ve had concerning this process:

  1. I am reminded of the situation I was in before and after I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. It humbles me to remember that without the grace of God, I would never have experienced the relationship with Him that I have now.
  2. I am encouraged to reflect on how I’ve grown spiritually in the past few years. As a believer, my salvation should spark some fruit in my life that are evidence of my transformed life in Christ. It also makes me ask myself: If I’m not growing, why? How can I seek out areas to mature in, and actually address them?
  3. It forces me to look to the future, in that I am constantly striving to produce fruit through prayer, intercession, devotions, Bible studies, and/or any other methods of drawing closer to the heart of God, with the grace of God.

Only with God’s strength can I produce any evidence of His work in my life, but I also have a responsibility of my own to constantly submit to His will, so that I may live a transformed life.

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As today is my second day of Lent, I’ve had a few thoughts about what I’m doing.

I gave up movies/TV shows/other media outlets for Lent. However, I quickly found other sources of entertainment.

I noted, however, that my actions are sort of defeating the purpose of giving something up. My goal is to free up time, and by finding loopholes in activities, I’m still not opening up time to spend with God.

“You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.”

– Jeremiah 29:13

I’ve loved this verse since I first read it. It’s a constant reminder to me that the point of laying aside distractions isn’t to be more “spiritual” in “separating” or “distancing” myself from “worldly things”, but it is to be able to seek the Lord with all that I am: body, soul, mind and spirit.

I pray that in this Lenten season (and afterwards), I will be constantly reminded to give God my all, and not just some activities.

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Imagine my surprise when I found out today that Lent had started this past Wednesday.

To be honest, I’ve tried participating in Lent in the past few years, but it never really worked out. I either broke my commitment to give something up, or neglected my daily devotions, Bible study, and/or prayer and meditation. Most of the time, I’d forget I was even doing Lent… until the last few days before Easter Sunday.

I hope to make things different this year, however. I still do plan on giving something up – not for the sake of doing Lent, but because what I want to give up (movies/TV shows/secular videos/entertainment) are honestly things I can live without. In addition, they usually provide a means of subtle temptation, and I don’t want to have to deal with distracting and sinful thoughts when I should be focusing on the Lord.

However, this time I want to spend a lot more time on my relationship with God. Hopefully by freeing up more time, I can spend my leisure time blogging and fulfilling my goals:

  • Know, revere, and respect God in His holiness and majesty Too often I forget that God is a King. He is the Judge of my soul, and the Creator who placed me on earth. His offer of a relationship with Him should not be taken lightly; He is holy; I am sinful, and I should acknowledge that it is only in His great mercy that I even have a chance of praying to Him and spend eternity with Him.
  • Hunger and thirst for the Word I want to develop a craving for the Word of God. I want it to be an essential part of my day. In fact, I want the Lord to go as far as to wreck my day until I finally pick up my Bible to spend time with Him. If force is what I need to become disciplined enough to develop a ravenous appetite for the Word, then let it be so. I need the Word, and I want to do everything possible to be filled with it.
  • Passionate in prayer Prayer is powerful. There is no doubt that God works mightily when His people pray. I notice that too often I pray to God for help. God is not a call-in service, and prayer is not a telephone call. If I have the audacity to speak to the King of the Heavens and the Earth, I should be on my knees in prayer, asking for His mercy first, then intercession, and only after that ask for His help. I want to develop a righteous, faithful prayer life. Not because I want to be a better Christian, but because I want to draw near to the heart of God, and only through speaking to Him and meditating on His word can I succeed in this endeavor.

I’m going to need a lot of God’s grace and a good deal of accountability in order to keep it up this lent season. As to my devotions, I’ll be continuing what I’m reading now: through 1 Peter, then 2 Peter, and then perhaps Hebrews or Colossians.

Are you doing Lent this year? I’d love to know what you’re doing and perhaps help keep you accountable as well! 🙂

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