This year I started reading daily devotionals again but about two weeks ago, I decided to write about my reflections. I created a new Tumblr account where I could write down thoughts I had about the lessons I learn each day. I followed Joyce Meyer’s “New Day, New You” devotional from the Bible app. I want to blog daily about it, but at the moment, I can’t seem to make it “fit” my schedule. One regular blog post takes me hours to finish so I don’t know if I can do that on a daily basis, but I can certainly try. For now, I thought I’d do a summary thing, where I’ll compile what I learned from each devotional topic I follow.
Day 1: Willpower: The Fair-weather Friend
This topic hits close to home as I’ve recently realized that this is what’s slowing down my growth. I’ve gotten used to doing things my own way when I should have been praying for God to reveal what path I should take. I usually put everything off until the last second because I am doing something I would rather do than what I should be doing.
Procrastinating. Story of my life for the past 15 years. It’s a bad habit that’s hard to break. Willpower is not enough. I’ve tried and failed for so many years, but I am reminded that I have to surrender everything to God and have Him have His way in me. Just writing this down and making it official is making me tear up because I know it’s going to be hard. But it will definitely be rewarding.
Day 2: Let Your Mess Become the Message
Something I have always believed in is learning from experience. When we survive and learn from our mistakes, it makes us stronger, wiser, and more resilient. God does not give us hardships we cannot overcome. And just like clay, He is molding us into a masterpiece.
I am a sinner. I made a lot of mistakes and will be making mistakes in the future. Sometimes I pretend that the bad things didn’t happen. I now learned that it’s wrong to think like that. I shouldn’t run away from the mess I’ve created, but let God show me what I should learn from it.
From the devotional content, “We have to let God take us through things and let Him work in us so our mess becomes our message. Difficult things that we have endured in our past prepare us for God’s blessings in our future.”
Day 3: It’s Okay to Laugh
My mother is a firm believer of not having to worry about the intricacies of life. She would always say “God will take care of it, why should I worry?” I grew up with this belief so it’s easy for me to “laugh” about things. I guess for some people they take things too seriously and forget to laugh. But just because there are more important, more serious things to focus on, we should still find time to smile or laugh about it. God is alive. He has taken care of problems even before it crosses our path. This devotional is a reminder to take my faith walk seriously but still find joy in what I’m doing.
Day 4: Love: Your First Priority
God has commanded that we should love one another just as He has loved us. In another passage He tells us that we should also love our enemies. It’s hard. Loving someone you like isn’t easy, what more with loving someone you dislike or hate? It’s a struggle. It’s one thing I am still learning — to appreciate every single person in my life and love them unconditionally. Or at least appreciate each person that’s in my life.
Day 5: Choose Life!
What I take from this is to dedicate my life to serving God. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for out sins, by God’s grace we are saved. In return, I will dedicate my life choosing what is good and what is right in His eyes. The joy in serving God will be my strength and I will be strong so the devil may not influence me anymore. I am tired of living a life of sin. I do not benefit anything from it other than temporary happiness and a life of pain and heartache. It’s time to turn a new leaf and build a strong relationship with the Lord.
Day 6: But God…
As Joyce pointed out, in the Bible every time something bad happens there is a line that says “but God…” He would always do something to change the situation. I look at it as a silver lining. In a way this devotion reminds me to look for the bright side in every situation. Because God will always do something to improve our situation.
When we were living in Bacoor, life was good. Unfortunately, our place got flooded but God used some people to help us out. A neighbor took us in for a couple of days until the flood cleared out. One of mom’s friend helped us move to a new house. Mom and I were in between jobs for a year but God didn’t let us go hungry. We always had food in our table and enough money to pay for rent and utilities. We have gone through some hard times but God was always there for us every step of the way.
Day 7: Get Reappointed
This devotional discusses the possible effect of failure and disappointment in our life. I say possible because I’m not an overachiever and am used to failing but I do not let it affect me. I would feel bad about myself for a while, but it will pass. I guess it has something to do with my upbringing and growing up in Sunday school has given me a different outlook in life. I once told a friend that if someone else experienced the things that I have been through, they would be depressed by now. “What makes you say so?” he asked. I’ve thought about it and I guess subconsciously I know I need not worry about it because God has my back.
There’s a modern saying “when I feel bad I think about how awesome I am instead”. I have learned to adapt and improve over time. When I fail, I think of it as something I am not ready for or is not for me at the moment. I would shift my attention to something else and maybe try again later in life. I have always welcomed failure. I see it as an opportunity to learn and grow. I also know that things will happen in God’s time.
Day 8: Take a Praise Pause
We all live a busy life. This devotional is a good reminder for me to pause during my busy day to Praise God. If I can make time for unimportant things, then surely I can make time to thank God for the good or bad and big or small things.
A couple of weeks ago I came to the conclusion that I’ve spent my life chasing people, making them a part of my life even when it’s clear the feeling was not mutual. All my relationships fail. That’s when I realized it’s God I should be chasing and not people. I’ve known it all my life but I was in denial. I didn’t take my relationship with God seriously and that’s what I am changing. I am dedicating my life in service of Jesus Christ. Taking a praise pause shouldn’t be hard. It only takes a couple of minutes to drop everything and say a little prayer for all God’s greatness.
Day 9: Let It Drop
This devotion speaks to me in a big way. I am easily annoyed or irritated and sometimes it’s hard to let things go especially when I know I’m right and I feel I’m not being heard. I have been trying to let things go when I’m in the middle of an argument. I think of how petty it is and just keep my mouth shut. It’s hard, but I’m improving. Now I’ll remember to talk to God instead when I start getting mad about something.
Day 10: Oh Well
There are some things that happen in my life that is out of my control. This devotion is a great reminder for me that I can’t control everything that happens in my life. If I let it get to me, it would eat me up and make me bitter and miserable. I don’t want that. So I have to learn to say “Oh well” more often. God will take care of everything.
Day 11: Shake It Off
I am a contradiction of having both the ability of being numb and affected with just about anything. It depends on the situation. But just like Taylor Swift’s song of the same title, whenever I encounter a situation that would greatly affect me, I should be reminded to shake it off. Letting it get to me will only bring me down. I shouldn’t worry or burden myself with the negative things life throws at me. The best thing I can do is bring it all to God and He will take care of the rest.
Day 12: Complain and Remain, Praise and Be Raised
I may or may not be a complainer. I believe it’s human nature to see the negative first before the positive in things. But I should practice pausing and think about God’s blessings. Praise Him for his goodness and mercy. I should learn to appreciate the little things more. I will be focusing on praising God rather than complaining that things aren’t going my way. There’s always something I could be grateful about and I should always count my blessings.
Encourage, don’t discourage. I should keep in mind to see the positive and disregard the negative in everything. I’m not perfect, I’ve had my fair share of having a foul mouth. Surrounding myself with God-fearing people has definitely helped put my focus on being a good follower of Christ. I haven’t had a bad thought since I dedicated my life in serving God. I’m reading the Bible everyday and I am proud of my progress.
Day 13: Our Standard is Jesus
I love this devotion because it reminded me to self-check my actions and decisions. My mom has very high standards and it’s hard to follow as it is. What more to follow Jesus’s standards? But it’s great. I am reminded to make better decisions based on what I think Jesus would do.
Remember the phrase “What Would Jesus Do?” it was a fad back in the day. I remember my classmates wearing baller bands with the letters WWJD on them. The fad is over but I shouldn’t stop asking myself that question in every important decision I need to make. I should always strive to follow Jesus’s standards. We’re not in this earth to please people, we should always aim to please God.
Whenever we eat at a fast food chain, my mom would always clean up after herself. She told me that just because it’s someone’s job to throw the trash and clean the tables doesn’t mean we should just leave our trash there. I grew up with my mom’s high standards. She’s always comparing herself to Jesus’ standards. We don’t do good for the benefit of those who would see. God always sees what we do and knows our intentions before we even think it. When I compare myself to other people, I’m not that bad. I never rebelled, I try to be good and obedient but that’s not enough when I compare myself to Jesus. When I obey the rules and regulations and follow authority, it makes me feel good about myself. And I know Jesus would be proud of me.
Day 14: Go to the Throne Before the Phone
When we encounter problems or have struggles, who do we call out first? Is it our discipler, our best friend, or God? This devotion made me realize that sometimes we confide to people we are close to. But more often than not, they do not have the right answers. From this I learned that I should always go to God first. He will give me the correct answer or lead me to a person who He would use to reveal the answers to me. Only God has our best interest at heart.
I was reminded of something I learned a long time ago, always ask for God’s wisdom. He will show us the right answers and the right path to take.
It’s been only a few weeks but I am already happier with how my life is going. I feel good and inspired. Cheers!