Studying The Text: 1 Kings 22:13‭-‬24

I must say that Bible reading is not an easy task where you use just your feelings to absorb the meaning of the texts. Reading the Bible is studying the Bible, it requires some technical aspects of it. Therefore, I am compelled to also journal the texts which I find needed further research to help me fully understand the passages and stay true to the correct way of interpreting the texts.

Instead of giving commentaries, I will just list down the site(s) I read as my references. Since I consider this blog as journal, I might want to read these entries again in the future and probably will want to recall where I read about the explanations to my queries.

What do I have to make about Micaiah’s vision?

Reference(s):

Soli Deo Gloria!

-Rhia

My Realization About Serving In Ministry

Early morning rehearsal (taken from previous service)

I woke up at almost 9pm. I slept about 7pm to catch some sleep since I have been awake since 5am today. I am not a morning person but I needed to be up early because I was scheduled to serve as camera operator today in our church. Yes, this is one of the sacrifices I have to make serving in a ministry.

At the start of our devotion today with my co-volunteers, I was asked why are we here? My reply was: we serve as an overflow of God’s grace in our lives that we want to be a blessing, help where there is a need and serve God. For sure any volunteer will say the same. It is the primary motivation why we do what we do.

While the reason I mentioned above is so true, I would like to dig deeper. As I think of it, God does not need my service, I am not doing Him any favor. He can orchestrate things to accomplish His works even without my participation. If I do not volunteer, He can always have someone do the work. Therefore, another reason why I serve is because it is an area where He can develop my character.

The Message – short video playback (taken from previous service)

The more I analyze, waking up so early is not actually a sacrifice. I see it as God’s way of teaching me the discipline of honoring my time commitment. Before I became a follower of Christ, I am usually an hour late in my appointments. But that was one of the things the Lord dealt with me early on when I became a Christian. I cannot be notoriously late because I am carrying God’s name now. I also learned that more than my will to follow God’s discipline, I need His grace even more.

Grace. There is no difference on the amount of will I possess before and after my conversion. What changed is that I get to acknowledge the grace of God in my life. Whenever I reflect how my day turns out every time I serve, it never fails to amaze me how His grace carried me thru.

Just to enumerate, here are the struggles I face when I volunteer:

  • Sleepiness. I cannot help to sleep earlier than 12:30am but I have to wake up 5am. Four and a half hours of sleep is not optimal for me, causing me to feel sleepy. Thank God that even I feel sleepy while operating the camera, the Lord covers me so I do not mess up!
  • Tiredness. Volunteer work starts 7am and ends almost 2pm with more than an hour of break. I usually cover 2 services, each service I am actively operating the camera for more than an hour. I am not a professional camera operator so it can be physically exhausting for me. Thank God that He never fails to sustain me!
  • Holding pee. I still feel nervous every time we are about to start the service, I always need to go to the restroom minimum of 3 times. But once the service starts, I need to hold the nature’s call. Thank God I can pray about it and know what to do!
  • Maintaining stable hands. To do this, I need to concentrate hard, have a good motor coordination while controlling my breathing. A slight shake can impact the experience of those who are watching the service. Of course, I want to honor the Lord by giving an excellent effort. Thank God that He helps me each time!

Like I have always said, it is only because of the Lord why I am able to serve. I do not have talent, my skill of handling camera is very basic and yet I am  able to deliver. At the end of the day, I see the Lord’s hand working on and through me. I am just a witness of His goodness, a recipient of His grace.

End of worship service (taken from previous service)

Finally, being around with other fellow believers serving makes me feel so blessed. They are not just companions but God uses them to keep me grounded. Our group devotions keep me rooted with the Word while I learn from the stories how the Lord moves in their lives.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him,
1 Timothy 1:12 NLT

Soli Deo Gloria!

-Rhia

Solomon’s Benediction, My Prayer

And he stood and blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice, saying, “Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant. The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. May he not leave us or forsake us, that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules, which he commanded our fathers. Let these words of mine, with which I have pleaded before the Lord , be near to the Lord our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires, that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other. Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the Lord our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day.”
1 Kings 8:55‭-‬61 ESV

As I read my Bible this morning, this passage Solomon’s Benediction, made an impression on me. However, I find it difficult to put into words my reflection on this. I feel that the text is too good to make coherent thoughts for a journal. Then it hit me, this is the kind of verses that I can pray. Solomon’s Benediction, teaches us specific things which we can appreciate God for and should ask Him for.

I admit that sometimes I do not know what to say in my prayers. I struggle with repeating the same phrases every prayer that often I feel it becomes a routine or a script. I do not know if it just me, but for me phrases used often have a tendency to lose its meaning, atleast to me.

With today’s reading the Bible, I thank the Lord for reminding me that I can use His Word to learn in my prayer life.

Soli Deo Gloria!

-Rhia


Dear Father God in Heaven,

Blessed are You Lord for You are the Lord who gives rest to His people, we can always rest in Your presence. Thank You Lord for You are a promise keeper, none of Your word fails since the ancient times up to my days, that’s why I can always hold on to Your promises. May You Lord be with me today as with Your faithful servants which You did not leave nor forsake. Lord, You hold my heart in Your hand, may You touch it that it will always walk in Your ways and keep Your commandments with obedience. I know Lord You have a purpose for me, empower me Lord for the purpose for which I am called. Help me that my life can be a testimony that there is a God like You who is sovereign. You alone deserve all the glory, honor and praise.

I pray these in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

A New Godly Challenge I Have To Take

Recently, I strongly feel that the Lord wants me to grow on loving His Word more and more. I have again the zeal to read the Bible from cover-to-cover and meditate on the passages I read. Not so long ago when I was a new Christian, I had this same eagerness until I let myself drift away and next thing I knew was that I had kind of dry spell in this area of spiritual discipline (you can read more about this here). But as I see it now, God allowed me to be complacent, lazy and be broken so I would thirst on His Word. I praise Him for that!

Gladly today, spending time with the Word is no longer just a filler or something I do when I have nothing else to do. It is natural for me to spend hours for my quiet time and always be amazed every time. Actually, I am more burdened if I rush because that means I am reading without understanding. You see, reading is easy but understanding is bringing the text to the mind and heart. Meditating God’s word is a huge undertaking and I give the Lord all the credit why I am able to do it. Even on this, I have my dependence on Him not on my availabity and ability!

Furthermore, for a couple of days now, I have been contemplating of memorizing Bible verses seriously. What is difficult about memorizing Bible verses? Well, in my grade school years, I studied in an Seventh-Day Adventist school where we had to memorize a lot of Bible verses to pass our Bible subject. My brain felt tortured and every exam was a painful experience. Though there is nothing wrong about this, as a matter of fact I am deeply thankful now as I look back that early on I had an exposure to the Scriptures. However, I think that I had develop an anxiety over Bible verse memorization. I feel that my memory will fail me every time and that I will associate the passages to the wrong chapter and verse references when I have too many already stored in my memory. So to be safe, I cared less of memorizing altogether.

Nonetheless, everywhere I look these days it seems that there is this voice telling me that if I truly believe the Word and know its worth, I shall start to memorize and keep them in my heart. Therefore, I have resolved that I should and must give it a shot! In doing this, three things are for sure: a) God will be honored and pleased b) I will be more equipped against sinning c) I do not have to do this to impress anyone.

Thinking all about this, I have nothing to lose but only to gain. I hope that the Lord will sustain me in my desire and enable me whenever I will be discouraged of my limitations. His grace is sufficient, I must not forget that!

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord ; teach me your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
Psalms 119:9‭-‬16 ESV

Soli Deo Gloria!

-Rhia