Monthly Archives: January 2011

Luke Study

I was never one to listen to podcasts of sermons… or really listen to any recorded sermon.

I tried before. I mean, it seemed like so many people loved listening to sermons, but no matter how many times I tried to listen I could never seem to pay attention because there wasn’t a person there standing in front of me talking and my mind would wander.  It’s also hard to keep my mind focused if there’s no visual. Perhaps that’s also why I don’t like talking on the phone either… not sure.

Anyway, recently God gave me a challenge.

At the AACF retreat this last weekend, Arthur Shieh spoke on Following God as He Wants to be Followed. He took us through Luke 14. He challenged us to go through the gospels and note every time Jesus gets angry – at who, why, where, when, etc. He also told us to go through Luke and note every time that Jesus interacts with the Pharisees. He also challenged us to look for Jesus’ secret to bringing people’s hearts to God… and ask ourselves what we’re missing now that people are so offended by the church instead of loved by it.

These already were pretty interesting challenges that I really wanted to take up.

And then God challenged me even more. He brought someone into my life that has been searching for God, yearning to have Him be real in her life. With prayer and the advice of my mom and another friend whom I highly respect, I decided that it would be cool to go through Luke with her so that we could take a close look at Christ’s life so that she would be able to see him as a real person and not just a historical character that other people talk about.

And as I started going through it… I realized how little I really know about Luke.

I’ve never read through the whole thing on my own. If you gave me a quote, I wouldn’t be able to tell you which gospel it was from. I didn’t really know much about the person Luke. I didn’t really know what set the different gospels apart from each other.

And so, with the advice of a person whom I respect, I decided to do something I’ve never done before. I looked up “grace to you”. I went to the section of resources and sermons and I began downloading  John MacArthur’s sermons on Luke.

So this Friday, for the first time I heard John MacArthur speak. For the first time, I listen to an audio sermon and paid attention the whole way through. And for the first time, I really thought about the character of Luke.

I pray that God will teach me some amazing things through my time of study and that He will give me the wisdom in leading my friend back to Christ 🙂


2011

Happy New Year!

For me, it always feels like this is when the year starts for me.

Every January 6th since my senior year of high school, I’ve devoted to God through fasting. It’s funny because after I made the promise, I’ve always felt like January 6th has been one of the worst day of the year for me to fast. It’s always around the time when friends are visiting LA and we want to take them around to eat. I always seem to have a lot of classes Thursday of winter quarter. There always seems to be some fun thing going on that I can’t do because I can’t eat (this may also be due to the fact that my roommate’s birthday is on the 7th). And this year I’m sick… so it would seem that not eating would probably make the being sick situation worse. On the 6th, many a time I’ve thought… why do I still keep it this day? Why don’t I choose a more fasting friendly day? Same idea right? Fast, spend time with God…

But then I thought… why does a day have to be fasting friendly? Why should my day of devotion be just what’s more convenient for me? So really, the idea is silly. God is number one.

Why did I choose this day? Well, on January 6, 2007 God took something away from me, something that was very important. And it hurt… it hurt so much more than I could have ever imagined. But it reminded me. It reminded me of God’s goodness and strength. During that time, God met with me and comforted me and reminded me that he is number one in my life (and for many good reasons). Without realizing it, things can easily become idols in my life. Whether it be school, people, things, and even my hopes and dreams can become idols. And so today. Today I fast and re-devote my self to God. Today I set my resolutions. I pray over my hopes for the year and my desires. I list out how I want to see God work.

And it’s cool. Today 2 things I’ve been praying hard for … for a long time were answered. For the last 2-3 weeks, I’ve been trying to contact these missions agencies… but neither of them were responding… I sent many e-mails and left messages. And then I just prayed. Today both of them contacted me at around the same time… at around lunch time.

Funny how God works.

It’s so good to be refreshed by God. Feels good to do some spiritual breathing. Breath out all the bad, breath in all the good. Refocus on our one and only Lord and Savior.