Thursday, October 31, 2013

DAY 530 - Focus! Focus! Focus! (請按此處收聼廣東話Cantonese podcast click here)

**NEW link for the  15th: 13th 100 days 24 hours prayer campaign (We are going to use this 13th list leads up to the 15th. 13th from March 15 to June 22, 2013. 14th from June 22 to August 31, 2013, 15th from Sept. 1, 2013 to Dec. 9. 2013)

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                               Today's Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:32-40

** If you would like to learn a simple and good way of Daily Devotion method please read my “Count Down 5” from my Devotion on Fire blog:
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Please click this link to read 1 Corinthians 7:32-40

Bible Study

     Many Christians think that this passage is about how Paul opposes marriage. It is not! 

Bishop N.T. Wright says ( ) :
     In any case the present section is not about marriage in general, but continues Paul's urgent advice to a church pulled this way and that by conflicting social and personal pressures.
     Paul clearly doesn't think that it's impossible simultaneously to serve both the Lord and one's marriage partner.  He knows many married Christians, including most of the other apostles (9:5), and he doesn't imagine for a moment that the two callings are mutually exclusive.  But there was a famine on.  Times were hard, particularly for newlyweds, who would rightly be eager to build up their marriage relationship by pouring themselves into thinking what would make their newly acquired spouse happy...
     In times of social and economic distress it may simply be impossible to do both things well - to find out and do what will please the Lord, working for the gospel in whatever way one is called to do, and to find out and do what will build up a new marriage relationship.  And if that's the choice, Paul is clear: one's service to the Lord belongs first...
     In our own day there are many who have ignored his wise advice and have rushed ahead into marriage and into a new sphere of Christian work or service, assuming that because God has brought them together the complex business of learning to work for the gospel and the complex business of learning to live as a couple will somehow fall into place.  This simply can't be assumed.  The sorry story of marriage tensions and breakups among Christian workers in recent times bears witness to the dangers.  

N.T. Wright. Paul for Everyone:1 Corinthians. Louisville,KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, p.86, 88-89.

      So, how does this passage and Bishop Wright's point inspires you to have a new understanding of this passage? How could this new understanding affects you and your ministry? 

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage of scripture we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe":

Spiritual Journal

    What I heard from Jesus today is: Focus! Focus! Focus!

    What I got from Jesus today is a warning for those who are not able to stay focus on their priorities. Especially the focus on God's ministry. I helped quite a number of clergy and leaders in dealing with similar situation that young leaders want to do everything together, their marriage, new jobs, new home and new everything. Some can go well, but most of them made a mess. And some even had a broken marriage after one or two years time! So sad!

    Is it just talking about young pastors and leaders concerning with marriage. Well, it is and it is not only so. What I got from Jesus today is about how to focus on those things or one thing Jesus wants us to focus.

    To me, Jesus reminds me that I need to spend more time focusing on writing my two new books:
1. MicroMacro Discipleship
2. Break.Build

    Please pray for me so that I can get the two books to my publishers before the end of this year. Ha, ha, I need a miracle to do that! What I need is focus, focus and focus.

    How about you? 

Dear Lord Jesus,
Lead us to be able to focus on those priorities you have given us to focus on so that your Kingdom ministry will be extended. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) Matt Redman
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