Weekly Soap

We made it, We survived.”

To quote the gospel-great Hezekiah Walker, we have survived the month of February and thank the Lord for that!

Secondly, How’s your heart?

If you read the PKE from last week, we talked about daily heart checks to remind ourselves of where we stand with others and oursleves. However today, I want the Weekly Soap to have emphasis on our relationship with the Lord.

Specifically, what happens when we love God?

Let’s Dive in!

Scripture:Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalms 97:10 NIV.

Observation: The verse makes it plain about what we as people of God should do. We cannot love God and love sin. We must love God and hate evil. Notice the word choice in this scripture. Hate in this scripture is used to highlight the disgust we should have about evil/sin. But why? In the next part of the verse, we should hate evil BECAUSE God protects and delivers his people from the evil in this world, things not of Him. God is faithful to those who are faithful to Him and even to those who are not (2 Timothy 2:13) It also reinforced that because God cares, we have no reason to fear. We don’t have to fear events, people, or things that are in this world, because God’s got our back To quote Andy Mineo’s lyrics from Lost, ” He didn’t say that we wouldn’t go through it, He just said that we wouldn’t be alone.”

Application: Often, I always pray that I flee from evil or temptation when the time comes, but this scripture puts it into perspective for me. It’s not about asking God to help you flee; you also willingly must run. Here’s a better thought process behind hating sin:

Loving God with all our heart should be our desire, something we strive after every day. Whether it be by reflecting on the word or praying, we are building a long-standing relationship with God that cannot break. The same way we understand a significant other’s likes and dislikes, we understand what God likes and dislikes: God hates sin.

So what do we if we come in contact with something our partner dislikes? We avoid it like a rotten tuna sandwich sitting in the sun on a hot day in the middle of August! We should be the same way with sin.

If I sin, it’s like hurting someone I love repeatedly. That’s neither healthy nor acceptable in a loving relationship. God doesn’t hurt us because his grace and mercy follow us.

So, why then do we continue to sin if we know it hurts our relationship with God?

God always remains faithful to us, even when we cheat with sin. However, this isn’t a one-sided relationship, it’s a joint effort. It’s time for us to cut off our affair with sin and focus our primary relationship with God. He is our life-giver, deliverer, protector, our everything. By loving God, we receive so much more than if we love sin.

Prayer: Father in Heaven, I thank you for being my protector and deliverer. I did not realize how much you keep us from daily, but I am so grateful for you doing just that. Lord, you don’t ask for much except that we love you and hate sin. So today, I decree and declare that I will do just that. I pray that when I face tough spots in my life where temptation may come that I turn towards you. Let me be constantly reminded of your love, grace, and mercy. Thank you for looking out for me. I love you, Lord, with all my heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


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Be Blessed!

Chan

The Heart

February may be one of the shortest months of the year, but it has been so impactful this far. From previous posts, love has been the overarching theme. The Weekly Soap touched on how we should love God, and love others the way we love ourselves (Matthew 22:34-40). The Song of the Week gave us “Wild” , a song about the overwhelming love of God.

So I guess my question now is:

How’s your heart?

With the outpouring of love or the opposite for the past couple of days, how are you doing? Are you treating yourself? Are you giving love? Receiving it? Whatever your status, let’s talk about what’s in your heart.

Take a minute and think. How many times have you heard the phrase “follow your heart”? Is following your heart always the best decision? Be honest.

As a PK, my parents taught me to hug every person in the church as soon as I came in. I had no issue carrying out this task because it was something I loved to do. I’d hug everyone so tightly that you could feel the love transferred from me. As I grew older, hugging lost its luster. Before I even entered through the doors, I wished no one would come up to me at all. I didn’t want to fake the funk, nor did I want to even attempt it. Soon after, my mood followed this same pattern.

It bounced from grumpiness to anger to frustration and back again. I wanted no parts of what was going on in service. It became so bad that I had soured towards people in my church. I remember making it my mission to avoid others. By ducking into the bathroom or occupying myself with technical work, it allowed me to escape hugging people. This went on for years. Every Sunday, I continued to spiral in this apathetic mood towards the church and my faith.

But, I couldn’t recognize how far I was falling down the pit because my heart kept telling me I was right.

God had to put me in a place where I had to run a heart check on myself. After many heartbreaks and unnecessary sacrifices, my mother preached one Sunday from Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NIV):

The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?

10 “I the Lord search the heart
    and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
    according to what their deeds deserve.”

These two verses alone hit me like a ton of bricks. Immediately I felt so much conviction, but a revelation on why my life produced such ugly results.

Our fleshly heart is sick and “beyond cure” meaning it can lead us to believe that the same can of Coke that can clean toilets is also good enough for us to drink (no shade to Coca-Cola products). Now, I’m not saying that your choice of drink is wrong, but our heart’s desire may not always match what is best for us. We know that Coke tastes good. We know what it can do, but if we continue to drink it, there are adverse effects: diabetes, obesity, even tooth decay. Like verse 10, the Lord gives us the reward of our conduct; for every action, there is a reaction for what your heart carries out.

Yet, the only cure for our sick heart is God.

When we have the word of God in our hearts, it extends our life (Proverbs 3:1-2), we are blessed (Psalms 119:2), and He gives us the desires of our heart when we align with Him (Psalms 37:4).

So instead of trusting my heart, I had to trust in God (Proverbs 3:5-6). Hardening my heart towards my church family or even acts of love did a disservice to me and my creator. It’s a commandment to love one another, and I wasn’t following through. I asked for forgiveness from God and a repentant heart, so it would make me new (Ezekiel 36:26). I had no reason to feel bitterness, especially when no one had provoked me. But, a change like this doesn’t come overnight. It takes an effort to turn away from a wrongful path. Joel 2:12 says that “return to me will all your heart with fasting, weeping and mourning.”

After all this, I hope that you run some diagnostics on your heart. Ask God to reveal what hides in your heart. Pray that what you desire in your heart matches the will of God. If you spiral or become malicious towards someone or something, ask yourself:

How’s your heart?


Don’t forget to like, subscribe with your email, or comment on this blog! I would love to hear your feedback!

Be Blessed!

Chan

Song of the Week

Before we get to the Song of the Week, I have to say thank you for the many comments last week on the Weekly Soap. It was the most comments that I have received this far and I am so grateful to you all.

Now, let’s get to the Song of the Week!

In December 2018, I ran across this album titled Hotel Sessions by Local Sound. I had no idea who this group was or what they were about, but the message was clear: they were singing about the love of Christ!

Right off the back, I was sold with the stripped down versions of their songs. Specifically, their song Wild. The song starts with a simple 808 beat followed by layered chords from an electric piano. Instantly, the Da-Da-Da’s caught my ear (I love a catchy one syllable melody), but there was more to this song than its feel-good beat. The lyrics described what makes God’s love so wild.

The overwhelming love that God gives us surpasses all that we could ever imagine or think (Ephesians 3:20). But what does this look like?

  1. From the very beginning, He claimed us in our mother’s womb (Jeremiah 29:11).
  2. It pulls us from darkness (1 Peter 5:7)
  3. It never fades or fails. (Jeremiah 31:3; Psalms 136:26)
  4. There is no fear in His Love (1 John 4:18)
  5. He made the ultimate sacrifice out of love (John 3:16)
  6. God is Love. (1 John 4:16)

Looking at some of these scriptures of love, I am so glad our salvation does not depend on man. Why? Because how many people can genuinely say they love unconditionally? Are we able to die for the stranger on the street the same we might die for our family members? CAN we even think about dying for our family members?

The message here is:

God’s love is extraordinary!

Reflect on it this week as you bop to this song! Think about where you’d be without His love. Think about where you are because of it.

This is the stripped down version of “Wild” by Local Sound.
This is the EDM-Pop version of “Wild” by Local Sound.


Don’t forget to like, subscribe with your email, or comment on this blog! I would love to hear your feedback!

Be Blessed!

Chan

Weekly Soap

Happy February! It’s a brand new day and a brand new month and I am so thankful to God for it. This month, there are many holidays, celebrations, etc. that we observe, but I wanted to focus solely on one thing this month: LOVE.

Now I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, how cliché!”

But hold up!

How many of us crave love or want to give love in some form or capacity?

With that being said, why don’t we learn from our Father in Heaven what it means to love, how we’re supposed to love, and most importantly what love is.

Scripture: 34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 34-40

Observation: Although the question asked may have come from curiosity or to tempt, Jesus gave the answer that covered the basis of all law. He told us to love God with every fiber of our being, which is our heart, soul, and mind. Loving God is always first which includes knowing to not put any other thing before Him (Exodus 20:3-5). Secondly, Jesus called us to love our fellow brothers and sisters like we love ourselves. Check out 1 John 3:16. Overall, the two commandments that Jesus spoke among the people were the foundation for all the other laws written. They could not follow everything else if they didn’t love the Father or the people.

Application: Now that we know the greatest commandments of the Law, how do we carry this out? Jesus told us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (vs. 37). To do this, we have to allow God to move in our lives on every level. With our hearts, we seek the Lord daily to develop a lasting relationship (Psalms 24:6). In learning more of God, his Word penetrates our soul and transforms us. We realize that He has been faithful to us, even when we were not; who wouldn’t love a God like that? (2 Timothy 2:13). However, we can’t let our love stop there. In the same passage, we are called to love our neighbors, the surrounding people, strangers or not. Not to just love them, but to love them the way we want to be loved. What does love look like among fellow man? We look out for each other. We take care of each other. We are helpers one to another (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Take into account that the self-love described here is not selfish self-love. Our society tends to lean towards the “I’m gonna do me, and you do you” mentality, but this self-love requires an awareness of who we are and takes into account the welfare of ourselves. Self-love should reflect in love we share for others: to build, to grow, to learn.

Prayer: Father in Heaven, I am so grateful for the love you have given us. Thank you for teaching us the greatest commandments of all: to love you and to love others as we love ourselves. Lord, I ask right now that if I struggle with any of these that you help me. Help me learn to love you more. Help me love others. Help me love myself so I can love others. God, I know that your love covers a multitude of sins, so let me operate only in the love of Christ. I pray that even now my heart is changing to be more compassionate than I was before. Thank you, God, for showing me the way to love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Don’t forget to like, subscribe with your email, or comment on this blog! I would love to hear your feedback!

Be Blessed!

Chan