Scripture:
1 Thessalonians 3:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:3
Tue, 2 August 2022

A Growing-in-Love Journey

Observation:

What significant observations can you make about the love of the Thessalonians?

Deeper Reflection
PAUL HAD BEEN PRAYING FOR THE THESSALONIANS THAT “the Lord [will] make you increase and abound in love for one another” (v.12). And now their love for one another “is increasing” (2 Thess 1:3). God was answering Paul’s prayer. God’s answer to prayer for growth in love is never once and for all. We do not stop praying for growth in love, for growing in love is a long journey.For 30 years now, I have not once raised my voice at my wife. Ephesians 4:2-3 enables me to do this: “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” We do have conflicts, but we have not quarrelled.Once I came across a book entitled, “Raise Your Kids, Not Your Voice.” After my son was born, I began to raise my voice – at my son, not at my wife. I struggled for 15 years to apply “love is patient” (1 Cor 13:4) toward my son. But the breakthrough and turning point came in a very surprising way. One night, my son was very rude to his grandmother. I shouted at him angrily, and did something to him that I had never done before. I slapped him – and it was so hard that his spectacles flew off. Since then, practising “love is patient” toward my son became a reality in me. God works in strange ways. I learned that to be patient toward my son was a growth journey by itself, even though I am patient and gentle toward my wife.
Application:

What are the challenges in my journey of growing in love and how will I face them?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for pastors and staff: To abound in love with knowledge and discernment
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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Daily Devo
Daily Devotional Journal
Scripture:
Daniel 10:11-12, 14-19
Tue, 26 September 2023

A Man of High Esteem

Observation:

What significant observations can you make about Daniel being called “man of high esteem” (vv.11, 19)?

Deeper Reflection
One of the heavenly beings called Daniel “man of high esteem” (v.11). This honour was bestowed on Daniel emphatically, in that it was repeated twice (v.19). This “high esteem” did not come from man, but from God Himself. God gave this honour to Daniel toward the end of his life when God called him to “enter into rest” (Dan 12:13). As a youth, Daniel “made up his mind not to defile himself with the king’s choice food” (Dan 1:8), and as an old man, he was faithful to God in spending time with Him in his “three times a day” devotion, even if it means to be thrown into the lions’ den (Dan 6:10). Daniel was finishing well in his life with “humbling yourself before your God” (v.12). When we think of finishing well in terms of successful accomplishments, we must be careful that we are not exalting ourselves.It is not for us to see ourselves in any way as a person of high esteem before God. It is for God to say that to us (2 Cor 10:17-18). Daniel never saw himself as a “man of high esteem”. A key emphasis in Daniel 10 is Daniel being greatly overwhelmed by the holiness and glory of God represented by the heavenly being with an awesome appearance (Dan 10:5-10, 15-18). And it was in this encounter with God when he was called “man of high esteem” that Daniel said, “How can such a servant of my Lord talk with such as my Lord?”50 (v.17). The man highly esteemed by God saw his unworthiness before God.
50 I have theologically translated “my lord” to “my Lord”, since the heavenly being is a representation of God.
Application:

What does being highly esteemed by God mean to me?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for pastors and staff: To be able to see oneself as God sees
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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