Starving Sons #DeathtoSelfie

deathtoselfie

Starving Sons
Week 2 #DeathtoSelfie Series Notes
Elevation Church

1) Growth in age doesn’t mean growth in character.

2) Beware of unsatisfied appetites that become exaggerated emotions
– Esau compromised because he was hungry
– He agreed with Jacob’s offer because he was hungry
– Beware of the quick fix that is available in your times of hunger

3) Beware of the temptation to give up what you want most for what you want now.

  • What will you choose? Birthright (inheritance) vs bowl of beans (immediate gratifications, or weakness)
  • It is bad deal to choose bowl of beans (now) to birthright (spiritual inheritance)
  • It is in the Bible, you have an inheritance as a child of God

What are those inheritance?
Peace, joy, love, patience and long-suffering, self-control, other fruits of the spirit, etc

However, if we choose those bowls of beans, those indulgence to our weakness, to what we want now, then we exchange our inheritance.

You may ask, what if you have already exchanged your inheritance? You have already exchanged your birthright and you wanted to take it back? Is there any 2nd chance?

God tells us about the story of the prodigal son.

The prodigal son takes his inheritance away and enjoyed his life. When there is nothing left, he waws starving. But he remembered his father who is rich.

He goes back. What his father does is incredible. He accepts the lost son, runs from the veranda when he saw him, hugged him and kissed him, and called his servants to give him the best.

The lost son says he doesn’t deserve it, but the father says he is still his son.

Jesus is the firstborn son who has not taken the bowl of bean soup for a bread during the forty days fast because He is already the bread of Life. He has the inheritance and He is transferring that to us — we just have to believe. God accepts us because we are still his sons and daughter. We deserve to die because of our sins, but if we believe in what Jesus did on the cross 2,000 years ago — that Jesus has already atoned our sins — then, in return, He has made us clean. Just like the prodigal son, He accepts us and gives us our inheritance.

Don’t exchange your inheritance to a bowl of soup. Don’t exchange temptations to worries, to grumble, to porn, to immediate gratification of desires with your inheritance from God, your eternal life.

Waiting on God

Let me share a chapter of my love story.

Ten years ago, I was a gal innocently going through the motions of life. I was a high school student, A lister, a nerd (as they say) and just a normal looking person who is wishing for a God-written love story. But the world has its way of teaching us what love is – contrary to what the Bible teaches us in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 (CEV):

Love is patient and kind, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude.
Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil.
Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.
Love never fails!

I remember my teacher in my Christian Value’s class talking about the three (3) types of love: Eros, Phileos and Agape. Eros – emphasizing on physical love, Phileos – characterizing love of a friend and/or family, and Agape – which allows us to see unconditional love (an example would be Jesus ^_^). That time, I just want to experience Agape, never fully knowing what the other two may really mean. As time goes by, I come to experience and see the difference of each.

Maturity

I am just an ordinary girl with no idea about crushes and love. I am consumed with studying, and improving myself as a person. Back then, I hate make up and dressing up. Instead, I find comfort with jeans. It was when I was in third year college that I felt this weird feeling of admiring the opposite sex, feeling giddy just to see him and sometimes getting so tongue-tied when in front of him. Every morning, I would think of him, and every night, I would dream about him. More on the physical type of love, and before I knew it, I had already fallen in love with him.

The danger of this one was that it was rooted in admiration of physical attributes. We became friends, and eventually, became lovers. We were so consumed with each other that we rarely had time to focus on ourselves, and other things important to our life. Eventually, we separated and I was left heartbroken. I was left wondering what went wrong, and if I had chosen wrong.

Heart
seyed mostafa zamani / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Time passed by and the search for someone to be with me forever never really left my heart. I focused on other things for the mean time — academics, work, family and friends. They say being single is a gift from God because this is the season where we can give back your talents to our Creator and allow us to enjoy our relationship with Him before our relationship with the one whom He chooses. They are right, because being single allowed me to realize so many things about myself — my likes and dislikes, how I adjust with people and problems, and most especially how I apply what I learned to new things that happen to me. This season is a gift, and I am forever thankful for it.

However, there will still come a time when one would want to enjoy life with someone by their side. I am at that season. But I also know that my God is a big God who knows my needs (and my wants) and I know He will deliver at that right time. It is very hard on my part as I know I am burning with desire to marry, but then, I also know, that if I am not able to enjoy every single moment of my life alone, I also won’t be able to enjoy it with someone else.

Waiting on God is very hard, I can assure you, but it is also a test of faith. A test of patience. A test of trust to the One who will give me that loving person. I am at this time of my life when God prunes a certain part of me because I am impatient and I am a complainer. I am thankful for the web where I can share my thoughts and the thought that I am not alone — that somewhere, someone else feels the same way as I do gives me encouragement. I know I am still a work in progress and this point of my life might be very important for the upcoming season where I’ll enjoy being with God’s choice for me. I don’t know what God thinks, but one thing is for sure – whatever is happening to me right now is what He thinks is the best for me. Maybe, someday, I’ll be spending the rest of my life with my other half, just like this couple below.

cute penguin couple - explored
Adam Foster | Codefor / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

So now, maybe we’re on the same boat and you are waiting on God. You might not be waiting for someone special, but you are waiting for God’s provision, or His answer to a specific prayer. My thoughts on that — still, wait on God. He might be lengthening the time being because He wants us to be patient, to trust Him, to have faith in Him more. Whatever that is, remember you’re not alone. We are on the same boat and just believe (as I do right now) that whatever we are waiting for, He is working on it and working something great on us. Just believe. 🙂

One thing I learned about love in the past ten years is this: Love is patient, love is kind. It isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It is always hopeful, and trusting. Love never fails. Even if my first love failed to make me happy, true love will never fail to encourage and give lasting happiness. That is what I learned in the past ten years — that is, love rooted in the physical attributes of this world will never last, but the love rooted in God will last forever and I am willing to wait on that no matter what I feel right now.

Reflections on the Beatitudes of Jesus

Matthew 5:3-12

“Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 What does it mean to be poor in spirit? Lord, what does it mean to be poor in spirit? They are the ones who value God more than themselves or more than their properties. They are the ones who choose to turn to God instead of men because they believe that it’s all God who matters in their life. They value the relationship that God offers and what God wants to do in their lives.

Who are the ones who mourn? They are the ones who have lost someone special to them, and the ones who still look up to God when these things happen in their life for they will be comforted. They will be embraced by the heavenly Father who knows how it is to lose a son when He gave His to save the world.

Who are the meek? They are the ones who humble themselves before God. Those are  the ones who give their self to God and do not complain because they believe that God will bless them with things they unexpect.

Who are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness? They are the ones who want to make sure that justice is done in the lives of people. Not the justice system of this world but the justice system of heaven. What God teaches us in His word, they hunger for it and thirst for God’s wisdom in their lives. They seek God’s righteousness in everything they do.

Who are the merciful? They are the ones who have forgiven their brother and released the debts their brother owe. They are the ones who fully believed that Jesus died on the cross, that He has already forgiven us of the gazillion sins that we have since our birth; that everything has ALREADY been paid by Jesus Christ and that He has already won the victory. They are the ones who chooses to forgive their brothers as many times as they can for the same offense done to them or the ones who forgive even though the person seems unforgivable and they are the ones who forgive because they know the grace given to them by our heavenly father.

Who are the pure in heart? They are the ones who seek God’s will in everything they do, who do not falter in their relationship with Christ, who chooses God’s way first before others, who chooses to stand up against the crowd of compromise even if it hurts because they know that giving their mind and heart to God is all that matters. They are the ones whom God is pleased because their lives are directed towards him; the ones who love God more than anything and anyone else and does not allow the enemy to contaminate their hearts with the fallen  things of this world. They are blessed because they will see God.

I want not only to be pure in heart. But I want to practice each beatitude stated in here. Because I want to please my Father.

Who are the peacemakers? They are the ones who values the love of God above all else that they don’t argue, they don’t complain and they understand the situation and put it in the hands of the Master. They are peacemakers because they  would rather not offend their brother nor sister nor they do not want to do anything that would hurt anyone but instead they want to practice showing love to everyone even if it hurts. They still do it though it hurts not because they are martyrs but because they believe that Jesus will take good care of the situation and would make sure that everything will be okay.

Who are the persecuted? They are the ones who stands up firm against the principalities of this world yet they receive no recognition; instead they receive mockery and insults from people who do not believe in God. They are the ones who believe that God has something better in store for them when they see Him in heaven that’s why they go on with their lives, giving their all for the glory and the advancement of the kingdom of God. They are the ones who love God despite of their circumstances and believes that the crown of life will be given to them someday.

Rejoice and be glad. I say it again, rejoice and be glad. I’ll repeat it. REJOICE AND BE GLAD. It would take a minute or two for this sentence to register in our minds. It takes repetition for us to understand; to remember. Why? Because great is the reward in heaven. What reward is that?

Those who practice the beatitudes have these rewards waiting for them in heaven:

Theirs is the kingdom of God.

They will be comforted.

They will inherit the earth.

They will be filled with righteousness.

They will be shown mercy.

They will see God.

They will be called sons of God.

Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Whether  or not they receive these rewards here on earth, surely, these things are waiting for them when they go to heaven. These are the things that will be given to them when the time is right of meeting Jesus our Lord. These are the crown of life that we should aim for, not because we want to be holy but because Jesus has shown us mercy and how holy He is. It would be a product of a grateful heart that has been shown love above all.