Sunday, June 7, 2020

Jenny's Daily Journey (JDJ): Obedience in Discipleship

Church Discipleship Assessment | Life Giving Words of Hope ...
Source: jeffdavis.blog
One way that we can be ministers of the good news is to become disciples of God's teachings. We are called to become servant leaders, willing to share the gospel with everyone. As we walk in faith as believers of Christ, how can we exercise our obedience to God in the area of discipleship? We can take note of the following points to ponder as a guide in our discipleship journey.

Being obedient and always available is essential in the ministry. In 2 Timothy 2:2, it was written "And you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men  who will be able to teach others also." All of us have a lot of priorities in life, we have to finish our household chores, meet the deadlines at work, submit all requirements in school, visit a friend, have time with family and the list goes on. Every day we are bombarded we a lot of tasks to accomplish and yet, we do not dedicate time for sharing the gospel to others. As Dr. David Schwartz said in his book "The Magic of Thinking Big", there is a disease called "excusitis", the failure disease, we make a lot of excuses every time we are called to serve. As he emphasized in this book, "There is no excuse for excuses."  If you really want something you will find a way to do it, but if it's not, you make a lot of excuses why you can't do it.  If we want to evangelize a community it requires commitment and if it's absent you will not learn how to lead another person to our Lord Jesus Christ. Even if you are busy, a true desire for discipleship will be demonstrated by working schedules so this can take place. 

The involvement of the Holy Spirit is very important. In Psalm 127:1, it was conveyed that "Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor it in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain." In everything that we do in discipling, it is not worthwhile if we do not have the Holy Spirit present in our midst. We recognize that any discipling ministry, individual or corporate, must have the Holy Spirit at the center of their journey to be effective. Our strategies, materials, knowledge, skills, and attitudes may be excellent, but without the Holy Spirit, everything will be fruitless. With His presence, everything will succeed and failure will not be an option. One plants the seed, other waters. God alone gives the increase! His involvement and leadership is an absolute necessity. 

Prayer is effective. Prayer is a necessity is doing the ministry. We should be diligent and fervently pray to those we are ministering to and to others we plan to reach out as well. They need our prayers. We can give them full support in this action.  Prayer is the way we communicate with God and ask for His guidance in doing the ministry. In everything that we do, we should always pray and asks direction, because He will lead us to the right path always. 

Today, in our 6th day of prayer and fasting, we can start sharing the gospel and also tell them your real-life experiences on how you received Christ as you Lord and Savior. From there, you can establish a connection to people, from your profound personal stories of hope, love, patience, understanding, faith, perseverance, and trust to God. Gradually, we can harness our skills and become true disciples of God. Let's start planting seeds now and reap the fruit of our labor in the future, by engaging, equipping, encouraging, and edifying one another. 

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Jenny's Daily Journey (JDJ): Hope for the Next Generation


Source: quotefancy.com

When we talk about generation, it's a collective term that describes a group of people all living at the same time. It also refers to the body of living beings constituting a single step in the line of descent from an ancestor.  Moreover, its the average period, generally considered to be about thirty years, during which children are born and grow up, become adults, and begin to have children of their own (wikipedia.com). In order to distinguish one generation one from another, Neil Howe and William Strauss define generational cohorts in the U.S. from 1900 on as follows.

2000–: New Silent Generation or Generation Z
1980 to 2000: Millennials or Generation Y
1965 to 1979: Thirteeners or Generation X
1946 to 1964: Baby Boomers
1925 to 1945: the Silent Generation
1900 to 1924: the G.I. Generation

Different generations have different circumstances, experiences, attitudes, and ways of life. This is brought by different events during their time from the 1st and 2nd world wars until the fast-changing technology today that brought a different kind of living standard. Moreover, from generation to generation, we only have one thing in common, all of us are united in our belief to God and our savior Lord Jesus Christ. But as the generations become entangled with studying and working hard, earning money, and have a decent living, more and more of them are not drawn to spend time in church. As a believer of Christ, we have a mission to spread the gospel to the next generation. This leads us to think of what has God commanded us to do to save the next generation? Today, we will learn from Psalm 78, that we need to train our children not only that they may know God's truth, but that they may, in turn, pass it on to their children yet unborn. 

With the task of spreading the gospel, we need to invite the next generation to hear God's words. In Psalm 78:1-4 it says:

"Give ear, O my people, to my teaching, Incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark saying from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the old, and his might, and the wonders that he has done."

The next generation has an important role in our society. We need to have the heart to serve them and guide them about God's truth to the generations to come. When we become parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children about God and his teachings from the bible. We should not hide the message of God and if we fail to do this we are guilty of concealing the Good News to them. If we want our children, to learn the word of God and live in righteous ways, we must be dedicated to teaching them to know the Lord and His words. Find time every day, to share the word with them, and tell them how to apply the lessons in everyday life. In this way, they will be guided in making the right decisions and be reminded of what is right and wrong. 

Furthermore, hearing the word of God will help the next generation put their confidence in Christ. When we have the confidence in the Lord, it is essentially connected to knowledge, remembrance, and belief of what God has done throughout our history. If we want our children, to follow what we say, we should be the first ones to make a move and be role models to them. Be an inspiration to your children, so that they will look up to you and they will also do that with their own families. Godly generation are the product of parents, leaders, and friends who set their hearts on the right track to knowing God and walk with God and speak the word of God upon them.

With this mission, we have great hope for the next generation. Now, what can you do in what God is doing in the next generation? What does God want you to do for them now? Well, we have the power to act and be an agent of change. All of us can be ministers of the gospel, we are equipped because we have the Bible to guide us in spreading the gospel to the next generation. You don't have to become a parent to do this, you can start in your community, your neighbors, friends, and siblings, in spreading the good news to them.  Everything is possible if we let our desires overpower our fear to make a move. We should let go of the fear of rejection because it does not matter,  when they will accept it or not, they have already heard the good news and it is up to them to absorb it or not, as long as you already shared the gospel to them. We should be patient and never give up on the next generation. They are our only hope for building an egalitarian society where people are living in harmony and working in synergy, to glorify and honor God.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Jenny's Daily Journey (JDJ): Fulfilling our role in church



The church as we commonly know is a place or building, where people gather to praise and worship God to listen in His gospel.  Church came from the Greek word "ekklesia" which means a group of people. This church does not only mean a physical thing we see but rather it pertains to a community with the sole purpose of praising and worshipping God. In building the church, we need to find out how Christ is building it so we can partner with Him. 

In Matthew 28:18-19, Jesus told the great commission to His disciples and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit". If the church was meant to gather a group of people united in worship, then Jesus Christ has commissioned the disciples to build the church through a partnership with people, Jews, and Gentiles. They were confident and never hesitated to go beyond their comfort zones and stepped up. They were never afraid and put their faith in Christ that they were successful in their mission. We, as a member of the church, we should not feel insecure, fearful, or incompetent as we minister, for Christ gives us his very own power and authority to build his church. Christ has given us his spirit - a Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline to do his work.

Moreover, Matthew 6:10 Jesus prayed and said "Your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven." This prayer refers to the ultimate rule in heaven and on earth. Believers should desire this and pray for it. Christ himself teaches what we should pray and this must be our hearts' desire. Let the kingdom of heaven enter our hearts and rule our minds and together as a church we can help each other to pray and honor God in our own little ways. 

Lastly, Jesus said to his disciples "If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all."(Mark 9:35).  Christ reminded us that we should initiate the provision of service to our fellowmen. It's okay if we are not served in return, what's important is where are of service to our church and community. It does not need to be even, and we don't need to count our efforts, because all of us are equal in serving. But as a leader, you should take the first step in influencing your people. This thing is about servant leadership in prioritizing our congregation first before ourselves. It is like when there is a banquet, we let our guests eat first and show hospitality in them, and we feed ourselves last. It is a matter of sacrifice for others in the name of service in the church. 

With these revelations of Christ in His church, we need to reflect on our role in the church and how God is calling us to fulfill it. First, we need to check how can we equip ourselves to share the gospel. It starts with us, through bible study and having a daily devotional. These small little habits that we can add in our daily routine will make a big impact on gaining wisdom and be able to minister and share the gospel to our family, friends, workmates, and community. Then, we need to acknowledge God's kingdom and placed Him at the center of all our works. Lastly, be a servant leader who does not mind being last and put a priority on the welfare of others.  We can do all these things because God strengthens us always. 

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Jenny's Daily Journey (JDJ): Proclaim God's Goodness in the City


We all live in a community, be it big or small, we dwell in an area where God has placed us. We have a lot of reasons why we live in this city, it may be due to ancestry, or some have migrated from other cities in order to study, work, or settle down here. Whatever the reason is, we are all part of a community working together to achieve our goals in life. God has a purpose why we are here in Davao City, and we should do our part as His sons and daughters. 

In Psalm 48:1 it was proclaimed that "Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God!". The Jews wrote about their vision of Zion as God's city and dwelling place in Psalm 48. This was written in response to the deliverance of Jerusalem from powerful enemies that threatened to annihilate it. This psalm joyously proclaims God's greatness as seen in the splendor of His city, which was miraculously delivered. Moreover, it was also written about how they praise the beauty of their egalitarian society in Zion. 

There are three things we can learn from this scripture. First, the city that belongs to God proclaims his greatness and power. This is evident in Psalm 48:1, where they praised and worshipped God in the city. Let us make Davao City, a model city, where citizens are disciplined and submit to authorities. Hence, a city that honors God and welcomes every visitor who wants to live here and help them to understand the gospel, and praising and worshipping the Lord. 

Second, a city that belongs to God proclaims the beauty of His Holiness. In Psalm 48:2, the city was described to his holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, it is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King. With this verse, we are reminded to display God's holiness to a sinful and cruel world. The beauty of the city is evident on its strength, which is due to God's dwelling in His people. We have God's likeness and it is seen in our attitudes and how we deal with our fellow citizens and our visitors, without prejudice on ethnicity, color, job, and economic status. We are all equal in the eyes of God. We should remember not to discriminate against other people from entering the city, rather we should welcome them with open arms. With the recent events concerning the COVID 19 pandemic, this reminds us that we should not look down or avoid our medical front-liners who are sacrificing their lives to save us from contracting the virus. We should pray for healing to those who were infected and protection to those in the frontlines. 

Lastly, the city that belongs to God proclaims their joy in Him. The psalmist said the "His holy mountain is the joy of all the earth. To proclaim God's joy, we must be experiencing it as we rejoice daily in His great salvation. As God's people, we don't let the difficulty cause us to be hopeless and joyless. As a city belonging to the Great King, we are to extend God's joy to the whole world, and we can start in our city. 

With these lessons from Psalm 48, how can we proclaim God's greatness more effectively in this city? Let us start by sharing the good news with our family, friends, and workmates. Start by telling them a story of what are you before you received God and how you were changed by the gospel. Inspire people to do things that are in accordance with God's teaching. Be emphatic to them and listen to their stories also and be able to connect to people. In our own small way, conversing and sharing, we are able to contribute to the city's harmonious environment. Let us spread the message of love, faith, hope, understanding, patience, and perseverance. Thus, we can live in the City, where we work in harmony and in synergy.

Today, in our 3rd day of prayer and fasting, let us declare that Davao City will be a city that gives God the worship and praise He deserves. Pray for the virus to stop from spreading, for healing for those who are sick, protection for all the frontliners and all Davaoenos. Lastly, pray for our wisdom and provision for all the business sectors, universities, small business enterprises, other offices, and local government units. 

We are all in this together! Amen!

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Jenny's Daily Journey (JDJ): Leading to be a blessing


Bill Crosby once said that "In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure." It's easy to say this but it is hard to apply it in real life. You know its human nature to fear when we see things are out of control and we are afraid to step out of our comfort zones. We are afraid to take the lead and initiate the change in us, our family, our workmates, relatives, friends, and in the community. One thing is for sure, God has bestowed upon us the power to become a beacon of change and be a channel of blessing to others. What we need is to pray to Him, ask and He will grant the desires of our hearts. 

Today, in our 2nd day of mid-year fasting, we are reminded about the unwavering faith and leadership of Elijah in prayer and in sharing the word of God to his people. His leadership in prayer has breakdown barriers of fear and opened the dawn of praise and worship to God. There are a lot of lessons we can learn from Elijah. In James 5:17, the events in the old testament were referred and described Elijah as a man with a future like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months, it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain and the earth bore its fruit. 

This description of leadership and faith in Elijah was narrated in 1 Kings 18:30-36. Elijah reminded the people who God is - He said, "Oh Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel." He acknowledges God's lordship and counting on God as "I Am" and addressed him as Yahweh, the eternal, immutable, and independent God of the universe with whom all things were possible. Elijah's actions inspire us to allow ourselves to become instruments to remind the people of our nation about who God is. Are we up for a challenge to step out in our comfort zone and preach the gospel to our nation? What is God leading you to do regularly to be a blessing in our nation?

Now is the time to lead and be a channel of blessing to others and be an instrument of change. With the recent public health emergency of the COVID19 global pandemic, we have the opportunity to preach the gospel and convey the message of God about love, faith, hope, kindness, perseverance, and understanding. No matter how small or big our actions are, it counts. Everything that we do in our homes, offices, schools, and communities, and as we commit all our works to the Lord, all of these things shall be established. 

Let us be inspired by what Warren W. Wiersbe said, "Faith in small things will lead to blessing in big things." Always honor and glorify God in all things we do. Let us take a small step of action and we will have a giant leap of faith that will have promising fruition in the future. Keep the faith burning in us always, Amen!