Thursday, March 14, 2019

DAY 2 - New Guidance: Does Jesus Approve Your Lifestyle? (Please click here for English podcast)


Silence

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 week, 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

This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

     "A voice of one calling in the desert,
     'Prepare the way for the Lord,
       make straight paths for him.'"

     John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist.  His food was locusts and wild honey.  People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.  Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
                                                   
                                                                 Matthew 3: 3-6


Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through this passage of scripture 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

My Listening 
     Yesterday we talked about how John the Baptist and Jesus preached their first message.  Today we look at John the Baptist's lifestyle.  How he dressed, what he ate, where he served and what did he do. Matthew wants to give us a classic example of the lifestyle of God's servant.

He worked in the desert, the place where no one would go and his only work was to preach the message of repentance and to baptize people.  His main job is like any servant of God, to lead people to confess their sins and be willing to be baptized. 

    That's how John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus, the King, to come. We are called to follow John's example to prepare the way for Jesus. Matthew wants us to know that to be able to do that job we need a simple and basic life. That's the life Jesus approves and that's the life Jesus lived.

     What I received from Jesus today is: it's easy to listen but difficult to follow.

      I think most people in this modern world have been pursuing a more than normal lifestyle or even luxurious lifestyle. It is a culture of consumerism. I have been brain-washed by the world's value system since I got my first job in 1979 to buy the best of everything, even what I couldn't afford. I thought at that time the best invention was VISA because I could buy as much as I wanted even though I could not afford it. Jesus changed me slowly through the past 35 years, very slowly.  Why? Because I did not want to obey. That's why.

    There are two things I got from Jesus to encourage us to follow John's examples to live a simple lifestyle:
1. To be a servant and pioneer for Jesus we have to live a simple life.
2. One day God will bring His judgment for our extravagant lifestyle.

    Are you going to receive Jesus' new guidance today to live a more simple lifestyle? It would be impossible to change right away. You may start to change one step at a time. Ask Jesus today and He will tell you what you need to change first. Yes, you need to ask Him.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Tell us now what is the first step you need for us to change our lifestyle. Give us strength to change so that we can be able to be your faithful servant and pioneer.  In Jesus name we pray. Amen. 

Reflect on these questions: 
1. Do you see anything wrong with our world's lifestyle of consumerism? (i.e. wanting more money, better house, better entertainment). How do you struggle with consumerism?

2. Repentance is an ongoing lifestyle of change, and turning to God. How do you think God is challenging your lifestyle? And, is your lifestyle any different from the world's expectations?

3.  How do you think a simple lifestyle would affect your life with God and people?

Family Corner:

1. What is an important celebration/practice of your family? (i.e. Christmas dinner, gifts, writing cards, celebrations). What do you like about it?

2. How would you describe the lifestyle of your family? Is it simple? Or do you consume many things?

Praise and Thanksgiving
Let's give thanks for God with us. Let us praise Him:
10,000 Reasons


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