Entries by YMI

ODJ: A Rewarding Investment

February 16, 2018 

READ: Titus 2:3-5 

Teach others what is good (v.3). 

Though mentoring is not a biblical word, it is a way of life,” wrote author Andi Ashworth. “In essence, mentoring is showing and telling, a lifestyle of receiving God’s gifts, learning to know, love and live what is good, and passing on that knowledge to others.”

Mary Wallace fulfilled this role in my life. From the age of sixty until her death at eighty-four, Mrs. Wallace took me deeper into God’s Word, helped me grapple with life’s toughest questions and modelled a life of faithfulness to God. I remember when she led two friends and me in a study of Genesis. Most Monday nights, for nearly two years, we studied it in great detail, asking questions and considering how the passages within pointed to our Creator and Lord.

As the apostle Paul expressed in Philippians 1:25, Mrs. Wallace was convinced that it was a gift from God to be able to invest in others’ lives, to spur them on to maturity, urge them to pursue wisdom and help them more deeply experience the “joy of [their] faith”. Her life demonstrated the joy that can result when mature believers “teach others what is good” (Titus 2:3).

Advancing in years doesn’t guarantee positive growth in our lives, for it’s not our age, but God’s grace, that brings about transformation. In Titus 2:3-5, we see that it’s God’s will for all of His followers to live in a way that “honours” Him (v.3) and demonstrates gratitude for who our Creator and our Redeemer is and all He’s done for us (Romans 12:1).

God has graciously invited us to experience rich fellowship and divine purpose as we pour into the lives of others. In His power, may we encourage brothers and sisters in Christ to live out the wisdom of the Scriptures.

—Roxanne Robbins

365-day plan: Exodus 32:1-29

MORE
Read Job 12:12 and consider what can come with age if we grow in our love for God and our understanding of the Scriptures. 
NEXT
Who’s helping you draw closer to God? What does being a godly mentor look like? Who can you begin to lovingly mentor in Jesus? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODB: Loving All

February 16, 2018 

READ: Leviticus 19:33–34 

The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself. Leviticus 19:34

 

I worship in a church located in a large, open field—a rare commodity on the island of Singapore (we’re just twenty-five miles long and fifteen miles wide). Some time back, people from abroad who work in my country started gathering on the church property for a picnic every Sunday.

This evoked a range of responses from fellow churchgoers. Some fretted about the mess the visitors would leave behind. But others saw this as a divine opportunity to extend hospitality to a wonderful group of strangers—without even leaving the church grounds!

The Israelites must have faced similar issues in their time. After they settled in their new land, they had to grapple with how to relate to other peoples. But God expressly commanded them to treat foreigners like their own kind, and to love them as themselves (Leviticus 19:34). Many of His laws made special mention of foreigners: they were not to be mistreated or oppressed, and they were to be loved and helped (Exodus 23:9; Deuteronomy 10:19). Centuries later, Jesus would command us to do the same: to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31).

May we have God’s heart to love others as ourselves, remembering that we too are sojourners on this earth. Yet we have been loved as God’s people, treated as His own.

— Leslie Koh

Father, You have made each and every one of us in Your likeness. May we love those from elsewhere and seek to reach out to them with Your love.

Embracing God’s love for us is the key to loving others.

 

ODJ: True Conviction

February 15, 2018 

READ: John 16:5-8 

It is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you (v.7). 

But how are we going to go on without you?” my youth group student asked on my last day as the pastor. I was touched, but I also knew that God loved these kids and would provide the perfect pastor for them, which is precisely what happened. Only weeks after my departure, a replacement was hired who was actually far better qualified than me for youth work. As much as I hate to admit it, my leaving was probably the best thing for that ministry!

Jesus expressed a similar sentiment in John 16, that it was actually a good thing He would leave the disciples and go back to the Father. One can imagine the incredulous looks on the faces of the disciples when He shared this! But the reason Jesus’ departure was a good thing is that in this way He would send His Spirit. As He said, “It is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you” (v.7).

When we think of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we typically focus on the Spirit’s ministry of comfort and empowerment, both of which are certainly crucial in believers’ lives. But in this passage, Jesus said the very first role of the Holy Spirit was to convict the world of its sin (v.8). This means that the Spirit reveals each person’s guilt before God and our need to be made right with Him.

The Holy Spirit came to continue the work that Jesus established and continues to work worldwide, presenting the life-giving ways of Jesus. Though Christ no longer walks on earth, the Spirit continues to open the eyes of people everywhere—helping them see God and their need to turn to Him for salvation from their sin. Praise Him for the conviction the Spirit brings!

—Peter Chin

365-day plan: Exodus 20:1-22

MORE
Read Romans 8:26 and consider another way the Holy Spirit helps believers in Jesus. 
NEXT
How have you experienced the ministry of the Holy Spirit in your struggles with sin? Why is it freeing for you to bring your sins to God in repentance? 

(Check out Our Daily Journey website!)

ODB: Following Where He Leads

February 15, 2018 

READ: 1 Kings 19:19–21 

Then [Elisha] set out to follow Elijah and became his servant. 1 Kings 19:21

 

As a child, I looked forward to our church’s Sunday evening services. They were exciting. Sunday night often meant we got to hear from missionaries and other guest speakers. Their messages inspired me because of their willingness to leave family and friends—and at times, homes, possessions, and careers—to go off to strange, unfamiliar, and sometimes dangerous places to serve God.

Like those missionaries, Elisha left many things behind to follow God (1 Kings 19:19–21). Before God called him into service through Elijah, we don’t know much about Elisha—except that he was a farmer. When the prophet Elijah met him in the field where he was plowing, he threw his cloak over Elisha’s shoulders (the symbol of his role as prophet) and called him to follow. With only a request to kiss his mother and father goodbye, Elisha immediately sacrificed his oxen, burned his plowing equipment, said good-bye to his parents—and followed Elijah.

Though not many of us are called to leave family and friends behind to serve God as fulltime missionaries, God wants all of us to follow Him and to “live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to [us], just as God has called [us]” (1 Corinthians 7:17). As I’ve often experienced, serving God can be thrilling and challenging no matter where we are—even if we never leave home.

— Alyson Kieda

Dear Lord, equip us to be Your missionaries wherever You have placed us—near or far, at home or abroad.

God will show us how to serve Him wherever we are.