Tag Archives: Bible

[Giving it All] Day 2: Your Priorities

Reading: Matthew 26:8-12

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.

Reflection:

What’s wrong with the disciples? Was it wrong to give the money to the poor to help them? The problem here is that they missed the point of why the woman poured out the expensive perfume on Jesus’ head (Matt 26: 6-7).

We are like the disciples at times. We sometimes miss the point of why God allows things to happen in our lives. We sometimes fail to see things in God’s perspective. We tend to get angry with God without even seeking Him.

What the disciples saw as a waste, Jesus described it as “beautiful”.  The woman acknowledged who Jesus was and without having second thoughts offered her perfume to Him. She knew that  Jesus was very much worthy of the expensive perfume.

woman perfumeSource

Is Jesus worthy of your precious time? Is He worthy of your resources and services? Putting God first in your life is never a waste. In fact, it is the most worthy thing you can do in your life. Your life will never be the same once you have set your priorities right, with God being the first.

Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”  This is the great and  foremost commandment. The second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)

How do we put God first?

  • Making time for God. Have a quality time with God by reading the Bible and prayer.  When Jesus was on earth, He always wakes up early in the morning and even avoids the crowd when He needs to spend time with the Heavenly Father.  ( In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Mark 1:35)
  • Acknowledging God and His Word as your authority in life. The values and principle we live by should always be aligned with what is in the Bible. In our day to day, we will always face trials and temptations that is why it is important that we know what is right in God’s eyes through the Bible.  The standard of this world especially today is very immoral. We need to have a clear stand of what standards do we follow – the world’s or God’s. (And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2)
  • Choosing God in all circumstances. Compromise is very dangerous in our spiritual walk. When we start giving in little by little to the wrong things, we will eventually find ourselves justifying the wrong and making it look right. God does not allow temptations that we can’t handle. Temptation is not a sin but when we stop choosing God and gave in, then that’s when it becomes an act of rebellion against God – aka sin. But God does not let us overcome temptation on our own. He will always sustain us. ( No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13)

With God being the first on your priority list, loving our neighbors is the second most important. Who are these?

  1. Family – next to God should be our families. In the 10 commandments (Exodus 20), the first 4 talks about our relationship with God. The 5th commandment talks about family – “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.”
  2. Ministry, Work – our ministry in church and/or work should never take priority before our family. When we fix our weekly schedule, there should always be an allotted quality time with family. Work takes us most of the hours in our week that’s why other activities should be properly planned. Ministry is also important as this is our service to God and other people. But if this takes up more time than spending alone time with God and quality time with our family, then, we need to drop it. God first, Family second.

If you want God to help you set your priorities right, you can say this prayer.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you dear God for reminding me today of how important it is to put You first in everything that I do. Thank you for Your Son, Jesus who taught us how to live a life that honors You.  Lord, help me to make my priorities right. Give me strength and teach me discipline that I will be able to spend more time with you in my day to day. Guide me also that I may be able to spend more quality time with my family. Teach me to properly plan my week so that the other things that I need to do will not take the time I should be spending with You. This I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to him,  and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-7

Song:

Forever by Hillsong

Work, Walk With Conviction

Nobody likes difficulties, failure or disappointments in life especially when it comes to our work.  As we spend most of our day in our workplace, we only can wish that each day gets smoother and better. But then, reality is, sometimes, it gets worse than the previous day.

I can’t say that I have fully maximized my experience working in corporate. I might have not tasted yet the much deeper hardships others have been through especially those who have worked for how many decades in different fields and companies.

However, one thing that will always be common for everyone regardless of the years of experience is principle. As much as we don’t like a stressful, challenging, difficult work, these are times that we can choose to be grateful because we get reminded of what we truly value, what we truly stand for. These are the times that our convictions are re-affirmed or formed, our principles are re-aligned, our character molded to be better.

In one of the leadership programs I had attended two years ago, we were asked to create our own Teachable Point of Views (TPOVs). These are the things that you stand by no matter what circumstance you are in, not just in work but in life as a whole. As I formulated my own TPOVs, I realized they were the values I have formed and lived by because of my own disappointments, frustrations and failures. These values are aligned to the principles in the Bible that God has asked us to follow and obey.

My Teachable Point of Views –  The 5 S

Stewardship

If you can’t be trusted with little, how can you be trusted with more? Trust.

“Well done, my good servant!” his master replied.  “Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.” (Luke 19:17)

“I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” (Luke 19:26)

Submit to Authority

If you don’t feel like doing it, do it as long as it won’t compromise your values. Respect.

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. (Ephesians 5:5-8)

Show willingness

Don’t be a difficult person to work with. Show some care.  Relationship.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  (Philippians 2:3-4)

Secure one’s self

Don’t let position, title, wealth or your physical appearance define you. Character. 

“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Let God define who you truly are.

Servant leadership

Go out of your way if you have to.  A true leader serves. Humility.

 “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28)

I hope this could also help you think about the things that you truly value. If you have compromised and failed at some point, just press on and re-align yourself again to what you believe in. I have failed for so many times but God has been very gracious to me. God helps me pull myself back again and make sure I will strongly stand for what I believe in. I’m a work in progress, still learning a lot but grateful that I am kept grounded by my convictions.

Relationship

Yesterday and today, I’ve been blessed with all the learning and teachings during the Leadership Conference at CCF. The theme of the conference is Make HIM Known. There is so much to take in that I could not even write everything about it. All I need to do is to go through the points again and put them into practice.

What amazed me the most on these two days are the scientific facts which proved that there is no such thing as randomness. Everything was created for a reason, for a purpose. It was designed but can’t be done by mere human. It can only be done by the only Creator, the Mastermind, and the greatest Designer. It made me realize that God allowed science to discover different facts not to be amazed by science but to prove that everything written in the Bible is true. Even before science discovered different principles, God has created them already.

God is just amazing. Now, I ask myself, what makes it so difficult to trust God when wherever I turn my eyes, all I can see are His good works?

I watched the movie, “Les Miserables”  tonight. I was actually moved by the movie. I didn’t have a clue what the movie is all about. It was a story of a man who was treated with grace and was changed because of it. He turned his hatred by choosing to love. I like the last part when he said something like loving another person is seeing the face of God. That’s what God wants from all of us, a relationship, for us to love Him back as He manifested His love through Jesus Christ.

My quiet time with the Lord for the past 2 weeks haven’t really been consistent and well spent. And I miss hearing God when I don’t spend time with Him. A relationship is never one way. Both have to make time and I didn’t. But God is always there waiting. I’m grateful. Hopefully, I could really spend more time with the Lord in the coming days. I miss my quality time with God. I miss the intimacy.

Written Jan. 26, 2013

Little Ignorance is still Ignorance

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Every time I go to a bookstore, I always check the notebooks/journal shelf. I really like looking at them, in all different designs, sizes and styles. I believe those who enjoy writing journals would understand me. 🙂 Anyway, as much as I am so fond with the cute designs and pretty colors, I also like clean, classic looking, “leather-ish” covered. If you know what I mean, like the Moleskine notebooks. But every time I check the price, wishing it would go down, just really hurts my pocket. A little one costs almost a thousand pesos. That would be like hundreds of cute journals!!

And so, I would put it back to its shelf.

I have two types of journal, one is for my personal chitchats with God and anything my mind wants to express. The other one is when I do my quiet time and personal study which I use most of the time. Let’s call it journal B. 🙂 Recently, while staring at my journal, I was like, “This looked like a Moleskine notebook.” My journal B has been with me for a long time. It was given after completing a class at the church I used to attend when I was in Vancouver. I just started using it this year. Because it was made personalized with prints at the cover, I just really thought it was a church specific type of notebook. And so, when I noticed it just last week, I turned the other side and yes, that picture up there is my journal. I was like, what???? Haha…

Ignorance, totally or a little bit still means one thing. Still ignorance.

This actually didn’t happen to me once when it comes to my material things. Like a branded top or an expensive pair of sandals. I’m totally clueless of their worth until someone will just tell me or I’ll discover eventually. But then, I thought, well it is okay since at the end of the day it would just be a top or a sandal. All the same.

Upon pondering on these thoughts, I came to think of ignorance on things about God. That one would totally be not okay at all. Because at the end of the day, knowing about God and not knowing about God are totally two different things.

Not knowing God’s promises and His character means having a wrong perspective of God.
Knowing a little about Him, that He is loving and gracious but not knowing that He hates sin means living a deceitful life.
Knowing that there is a Bible but not being aware of what is written means missing the blessing of knowing God.
Not knowing how important we are to God and that we are uniquely designed for a purpose makes us feel insecure that we keep comparing ourselves to others.

By a mere notebook, I got reminded how dangerous ignorance is. God gave us all possible means not to be ignorant about Him, that includes sending His Son, Jesus to this world. God did not give us room to make excuses for ignorance.

It will take forever to know God, so let’s better start now. 🙂 Let’s not be ignorant or stop playing ignorant! 🙂