Entries by YMI

ODJ: commoner to royalty


It is estimated that 3 billion people watched PrinceWilliam, heir to the British throne, marry KateMiddleton. If true, nearly one out of every two people on the planet tuned in to watch the well dressed duo tie the royal knot. While the actual number of viewers was probably much less, still the London wedding was watched by millions across the globe.


Why all the hype? I suspect it wa

May 11, 2013 

READ: 1 Peter 2:4-9 

You are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession (v.9).
 

It is estimated that 3 billion people watched Prince William, heir to the British throne, marry Kate Middleton. If true, nearly one out of every two people on the planet tuned in to watch the well dressed duo tie the royal knot. While the actual number of viewers was probably much less, still the London wedding was watched by millions across the globe.


Why all the hype? I suspect it was partly due to the fact that Kate was a commoner—as William’s mother Diana was. She wasn’t of royal descent. As William’s chosen bride, Kate the commoner became Katherine, the Duchess of Cambridge—and one day she is destined to be the wife of the King of Great Britain. Her life will never be the same. She now lives an extraordinary life of honour, privilege and influence. 


For those of us who know Jesus as Saviour and King, Kate’s story bears a striking similarity to our story. We too were commoners chosen by God to become royalty. To a group of early Christians, the apostle Peter wrote, “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people” (1 Peter 2:9). 


Peter’s royal pronouncement is not limited to first-century Christians. It applies to believers of all ages. And becoming children of the King comes with tremendous privilege and purpose. 


Each day we have the honour of representing King Jesus by working for the goodness of His kingdom. Peter went on to note, as a result of becoming royalty, we can show others the goodness of God, for He called us “out of the darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). 


The more we former ‘commoners’ grasp our royalty and go to work for God’s kingdom, the more we will be transformed and overflow with meaning and life.—Jeff Olson


MORE
Read about one of the ways Jesus told us we can live out our royal calling (Matthew 5:16).
 
NEXT
How have you been revealing your royalty in Jesus? How does it affect our values and purpose when we consider who we are in Him?
 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODB: Waiting To Cheer

In his very first Little League baseball game, a young player on the team I was coaching got hit in the face with a ball. He was not hurt but was understandably shaken. For the rest of the season, he was afraid of the ball. Game after game, he bravely tried, but he just couldn’t seem to hit the ball.In our final game, we were hopelessly behind, with nothing to cheer about. Then that young man st

May 10, 2013 

READ: Ephesians 3:14-21 

. . . to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. —Ephesians 3:19 

In his very first Little League baseball game, a young player on the team I was coaching got hit in the face with a ball. He was not hurt but was understandably shaken. For the rest of the season, he was afraid of the ball. Game after game, he bravely tried, but he just couldn’t seem to hit the ball.

In our final game, we were hopelessly behind, with nothing to cheer about. Then that young man stepped up to take his turn. Thwack! To everyone’s surprise, he hit the ball sharply! His teammates went wild; his parents and his teammates’ parents cheered loudly. Even though we were still losing the game, I was jumping up and down! We all loved this kid and cheered him on.

I imagine that the Lord cheers us on in our lives as well. He loves us deeply and desires that we “may be able to comprehend . . . what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge” (Eph. 3:18-19).

Some think of the Lord as unloving and waiting for us to slip up so He can punish us. So we have the privilege of telling them of His deep love for them. Imagine their joy when they hear about the God who loves them so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for their sin and who wants to cheer them on!

— Randy Kilgore

Help us, heavenly Father, to see the many
ways You love and encourage us; then help
us to love and encourage those around
us so that they can see You in us.

The nail-pierced hands of Jesus
reveal the love-filled heart of God. 

ODJ: my greatest enemy


A Christian leader was once asked: “Who is your greatest enemy?” He replied, “Every morning I see him in the mirror.” Perhaps that’s the real reason why some of us are facing challenges in our marriage, school, work or church. The person who’s giving us a hard time isn’t our spouse, our boss or someone else. We are our own worst enemy.


Today’s reading in Galatians 5 e

May 10, 2013 

READ: Galatians 5:16-26 

Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives (v.25).
 

A Christian leader was once asked: “Who is your greatest enemy?” He replied, “Every morning I see him in the mirror.” Perhaps that’s the real reason why some of us are facing challenges in our marriage, school, work or church. The person who’s giving us a hard time isn’t our spouse, our boss or someone else. We are our own worst enemy.


Today’s reading in Galatians 5 explains why. Review the list of relational woes that Paul mentioned in Galatians 5:20-21, “hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, [and] envy.” The general impression created by these words is an absence of peace and joy, and the common feature is a root of self-centredness or egocentricity. 


Paul says that these are “acts of the flesh” (v.19 NIV). And he goes on to tell us that there’s a better way to live. He wrote, “Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves” (v.16). In other words we need to surrender control. Our conduct needs to be directed by the “Holy Spirit [who] produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (vv.22-23). 


With that said, consider that the word “guide” in verse 16 can also be translated as ‘walk’. Bible scholar Leon Morris comments, “Even though walking was slow and unspectacular, walking meant progress. If anyone kept walking, she or he would certainly cover the ground and eventually reach the destination. So for the apostle, walking was an apt metaphor. If any believer was walking, that believer was going somewhere.” 


How can you experience love, joy and peace in your life? Walk by the Spirit!—Poh Fang Chia


MORE
Read Romans 8:3-14 for additional reasons why we ought to walk in the Spirit and not obey the desires of our sinful nature.
 
NEXT
What activities will you you be involved in this week? Visualise how it will look as you choose to yield to and walk by the Spirit. How will your attitude, words and behaviour change?
 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODB: “Don’t Worry, Dad!”

Last summer, my husband and I hosted a concert and fundraiser for childhood cancer research. We planned to have the event in our backyard, but weather forecasts were dismal. A few hours before the event, we began calling our 100+ guests to inform them of a change in venue. As our friends and family began feverishly toting food, decorations, and equipment from our house to our church gym, our daugh

May 9, 2013 

READ: Exodus 14:19-25 

The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. —Isaiah 58:8 

Last summer, my husband and I hosted a concert and fundraiser for childhood cancer research. We planned to have the event in our backyard, but weather forecasts were dismal. A few hours before the event, we began calling our 100+ guests to inform them of a change in venue. As our friends and family began feverishly toting food, decorations, and equipment from our house to our church gym, our daughter Rosie took a moment to give her dad a hug and remind him on behalf of the kids and grandkids that they were there for him: “Don’t worry, Dad! We’ve got your back.”

Hearing that expression is comforting because it reminds us that we’re not on our own. Someone is saying, “I’m here. I’ll take care of whatever you might miss. I’ll be a second set of eyes and hands for you.”

As the Israelites were escaping a life of slavery, Pharaoh sent his army of chariots and horsemen to give chase (Ex. 14:17). But “the Angel of God . . . and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them” (v.19). In this way, God hid and protected them throughout the night. The next day, He parted the Red Sea so they could safely cross over.

God tells us “Don’t worry” as well. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).

— Cindy Hess Kasper

God’s hand that holds the ocean’s depths
Can hold my small affairs;
His hand that guides the universe
Can carry all my cares. —Anon.

Our work is to cast care; God’s work is to take care!