Sunday, February 22, 2015

DAY 5 - New Test: You Are Not A Loser (Please click here for English podcast)


1.   Put on your “brakes” and stop for a moment of silence
2.   Wait for God. Breathe deep for God's peace. Exhale your worries.

Praise and Thanksgiving

1.   Think through your day, all the times that made you smile
2.   Thank God for all those moments, and for all those people
3.   Open your heart to praise the Lord

           But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
               let them ever sing for joy,
           and spread your protection over them,
               that those who love your name may exult in you.
                                                 Psalm 5:11

Confession and repentance

1.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in you:

     “Dear Holy Spirit, shine your light into the places of darkness in my life. Show me my sins, everything that blocks me from encountering God. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

2.  Through the Holy Spirit, examine yourself for a short silence and then pray:

     "Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for our sins and being victorious over death and sin. I confess my sin to you(pause, to tell Jesus what the Holy Spirit has shown you). Forgive my sins by your blood and help me follow you. Holy Spirit, fill me that I may be able to receive your gift to love God and His people. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen."

The Word
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple  and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.  And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
    and him only shall you serve.’”
 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

                                                              Matthew 4:1-11

My Listening
     Jesus was ready. Yes, after thirty years of preparation He was ready for the test. The Holy Spirit led Him to be tested by the devil. Just like a coach brings his trainee to the competition, the test, and see if he can pass the test.

     But, Jesus' test is different. The trainee can fail the test without getting the gold, the silver or anything at all. But, Jesus' test was to pull Jesus away from his earlier confirmation of identity at baptism as God's son, the beloved one, the Messiah. Satan aimed at taking away what Jesus had received from the Heavenly Father. 

     Bishop N.T. Wright says:
     The first two temptations play on the very strength he has just received. 'You are my son, my beloved one!', God had said to him.  'Very well', whispers the demonic voice; 'if you really are God's son, surely he can't want you to go hungry when you have the power to get food for yourself?'
     Jesus sees through the trap.  He answers, each time, with the Bible and with God...
     The temptations we all face, day by day and at critical moments of decision and vocation in our lives, may be very different from those of Jesus, but they have exactly the same point.  They are not simply trying to entice us into committing this or that sin.  They are trying to distract us, to turn us aside, from the path of servanthood to which our baptism has commissioned us.  God has a costly but wonderfully glorious vocation for each one of us.  The enemy will do everything possible to distract us and thwart God's purpose.  If we have heard God's voice welcoming us as his children, we will also hear the whispered suggestions of the enemy.
             N.T. Wright. Matthew for Everyone, Part 1. Louisville,KY:Westminster         John Knox Press, 2004, p.25, 26.

     Have you heard that whispering voice lately? Are you sure that it's Jesus voice? If you know that it's from satan, do you know how to follow Jesus' way to pass the test? Or, maybe you don't mind failing because you think you are always a loser? 

     The topic I received from Jesus today is : 
     New Test : You are not a loser
     What I received from Jesus today is an encouragement. He wants to give you this encouragement so that you can pass the next test: 
     "Follow my lead to pass the test. Don't let satan to tell you that you are a loser. You are my beloved one! " 

     What Jesus gives us today is a warning as well as a key to pass your next test:
1.  There will be a test coming to you soon
     Luke 4:13 it says:
     When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
     You have to know that satan has his own opportune time to test us. And he will tell us again and again that we are losers. Many Christians give up the fight against him because they think they are going to lose anyway. Or, it can be easy to stop caring and give up.

2. Follow Jesus' lead and you can pass the test
    The only way to pass your next test and the coming tests is to follow Jesus' lead. Just as N.T. Wright says: He answers, each time, with the Bible and with God.
    How well do you know the Bible? How well have you stored up scripture in your heart? How willing you are to be with God that you can pass your next test? 

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you for telling us that we are not losers but your beloved one. Embrace us with your love and lead us to pass our next test. In Jesus name we pray. Amen. 

Reflect on these questions: 
1. When was the last time Satan tried to pull you away from God? Can you name one of those temptations? Did you lose or did you win?2. Do you tend to concede defeat to Satan and accept being a loser? Does failing become the norm? Or, how do you think God wants you to respond after today's devotional?3. Instead of "doing" things and trying harder, Jesus wins because of his identity as God's beloved son, by "being" in relationship with the Father. How do you balance "doing" things for God and "being" with God?Family Corner:1. In your family, do you share the struggles and tests that you face in following Jesus? If yes, share your current tests with your family. If no, why is it difficult for you to share about your tests?2. Does your family tend to put more value on "doing" things for each other, or on "being" with each other? How do you balance "doing" and "being" as you face challenges together?Praise and ThanksgivingLet's give thanks for God with us. Let us praise Him:10,000 Reasons may choose to follow my other daily blog: best way to keep you being with Jesus for these 40 days is to find two more friends coming together weekly using this blog/podcast and encouraging each others to use it daily. This is what I call "Discipler123" - One discipler having two friends being with Jesus daily for 40 days first then hopefully can continue for a period of three months.

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