Tuesday, December 23, 2014

OT DAY 107 - Life Is Not Fair! Life Is Good! (請按此處收聼廣東話Cantonese podcast click here)

Let us praise the Lord:

Love the Lord, all you his saints!
    The Lord preserves the faithful
    but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
    all you who wait for the Lord!
                                                            Psalm 31:23-24
Today's Reading: Genesis 49:1-28

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Bible Study

      There are at least four points I have got in this passage. The most important point among the other three is somewhat like a thunder to me as well as to many people. Because quite a number of people lose hope or angry with God after they experience unfairness in their lives. Do you think life is unfair? 

Let's take a look at what Professor John Goldingay says (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Goldingay) :
     The importance of "fairness" in Western thinking may make Jacob's differentiated blessings troubling to us, as it has raised questions at other points in Genesis.  Why aren't all the brothers given equal (even if different) blessings?  I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that Jacob's blessings correspond to the way human life always works.  Different people have more brain power or more physical skills, or live in more favourable climates or more peaceful times.  For the brothers and for us, the question is what we do with what we have.  

John Goldingay. Genesis for Everyone - Part Two. Louisville,KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010, p.176.

      If you can give thanks with what you have and not disturb with what you do not have, what kind of difference you will make to yourself and those around you?   

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe":  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmax47l2hLU

Spiritual Journal

    The title I heard from Jesus today is: Life is not fair! Life is good!

    What Jesus tells me today is the key to live a good life. Once we understand and live out life is not fair but life is good, we will step out of our darkness and anger entering into the light and power of God's mighty Kingdom following Jesus as Lord and King.

    As I said above, I received four points in this passage and they are:
1. Sins take away the blessings we should have
    The sins of Jacob's first three sons took away the blessings they could have. What they did so wrongly disqualified themselves from receiving the blessing as the elder son. So, Judah received the most important blessing and Judah is the one from which David and the Davidic line would come. Jesus comes from this line (Matthew 1: 1-3).

2.  The strength and faithfulness to bless your children when you are about to die
     Jacob is the first one in the Old Testament who deliver significant discourses and blessings when they are about to die.  Moses, Joshua, and Samuel do the same thing. It shows the faithful relationship of that dying person with God as well as their trust in the power of their blessings that will bring to their children. Do you think you can have that kind of relationship with God and faithfulness when you are about to die?

3.  The power of blessing your children daily
    This is something most of Christians do not know. I receive this kind of practice a few months before our first son Ignatius was born. Michelle and I touched Michelle's tummy to bless our baby each day. We lay hands on both our two sons for many years and sometimes we go into their rooms, kneel down and lay hands to pray and bless them. You never know that kind of prayers would do to our children. The fruit is that both Iggy and Athan have become good disciples of Jesus!

4. Life is not fair! Life is good!
    God is good! All the time!

    If you believe that truly, you have to know that your life is good, yet it might not be fair. God can and will use all those kind of "unfairness" to take away your pride and selfishness wanting to lord everyone and everything in your life to let Him to be the real Lord of your life.
    So, when you feel that life is not fair, that is the time for you to take your examination paper to see if you pass or fail. Once you can pass that kind of paper, you are becoming a better disciple of Jesus and less desire to lord other people and things. Jesus is Lord!

    God is good! All the time!
    All the time! God is good!
    Praise the Lord! Alleluia!

Dear Lord Jesus,
Help us to understand that life is not fair but life is good. Because you are good and in you we can get through all those kinds of unfairness to become better disciples of you. Lead us Lord Jesus.  In Jesus Name we pray. Amen.

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