LENT WEEK 4: HE ʻAIʻĒ NUI KOʻU- ALL TO CHRIST I OWE
Contributed by Kanani Franco, KSM Christian Education Instructor
(Reflect on this devotional from Sunday, March 11 to Saturday, March 27)
Kaʻa nō ʻia Iesū
Kuʻu ʻaiʻē apau
Make Iesū a kaʻa nō
Kaʻa kuʻu ʻaiʻē apau
Jesus paid it all
My entire debt
Through His death, it was paid
All to Christ I owe
Sitting in the front pew, my grandmother’s strong melodic voice could be heard throughout our church. She had many favorite Hawaiian hymns, and “He ʻAiʻē Nui Koʻu” was one of them. Literally translated, it means, “I have a big debt.”
As a young adult, I never really gave much thought to the word “debt,” but that all changed when I started to accumulate it. Through life’s experiences and mishaps, I have learned that I don’t like debt, and would love to be free of it. We can pay a financial planner to help with our earthly debts, but, fortunately, God manages our spiritual lives differently.
Romans 3:23 and 24 says, “No ka mea, ua lawehala nā mea a pau, ua nele hoʻi i ka nani o ke Akua. Ua hoʻāpono wale ʻia mai ma kona lokomaikaʻi, no ka hoʻōla ʻana ma o Kristo Iesū lā.”
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Verse 24 states that we are “justified freely by his grace.” Yes, free! I love “free.” Christ was sent to pay our spiritual and moral debts, and God offers everyone this free gift of salvation. As we continue through our season of Lent, let us remember our debt that could only be paid with the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and His gift to us of eternal life.
Make Iesū a kaʻa nō, Kaʻa kuʻu ʻai ʻē apau.
Life can get a bit hectic and chaotic and temptations are constantly in our midst. Although we try and live our lives with integrity and reverence to Ke Akua, we are human and “fall short of His glory.”
Our emotions, actions and worldly compromises may overcome us at times but let us remember, “Make Iesū a kaʻa nō, kaʻa kuʻu ʻaiʻē apau.” Our debt was paid through the blood of Jesus. His forgiveness and salvation are free. Fortunately, Christ is there to give us His strength and perseverance. We just need to ask. Use this time to lay down your concerns at the feet of Jesus and he will free you from those burdens.
Ke Akua Hōʻano, Ke Aliʻi o nā aliʻi, Ka Haku o nā Haku, Ke hoʻomaikaʻi aku nei mākou iā ʻOe no Ka Mōhai aloha o Iesu Kristo a no Kona kaʻa aiʻe o neia honua nei. Father God, we are grateful for Thy many blessings and Your gift of salvation. As we make personal sacrifices during this season of Lent, we ask that you help us to remember the ultimate sacrifice that was made for us. Eia kā mākou leo pule iā ʻOe e Ke Akua Mana Loa, ma ka inoa o Ka Haku e ola ai. ʻAmene.
LENT WEEK 5: ME KA ʻUHANE A ME KA ʻOIAʻIʻO - IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH
Contributed by Rodney Arias, KSK Worship Leader
(Reflect on this devotional from Sunday, March 18 to Saturday, March 24)
John 4:23-24 Baibala Hemolele
Akā, e hele mai ana ka manawa, a ʻo nei hoʻi ia, ʻo ka poʻe hoʻomana ʻoiaʻiʻo, e hoʻomana lākou i ka Makua me ka ʻuhane a me ka ʻoiaʻiʻo: no ka mea, ʻo ia ka poʻe a ka Makua i makemake ai e hoʻomana aku iā ia. He ʻUhane ke Akua; a ʻo ka poʻe hoʻomana iā ia, he pono nō lākou e hoʻomana aku iā ia me ka ʻuhane a me ka ʻoiaʻiʻo.
John 4:23-24 New King James Version (NKJV)
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
I remember when I was in second grade, and I went to a Christmas Eve Midnight Service at church. I didn’t care who was listening, or how I sounded, but when it was time to sing my favorite Christmas song, “Joy to the World,” I sang as loud as I could with all my heart. I gave it everything I had and felt the simple joy of giving God my all. When we choose in our hearts to come to the Lord and worship Him we can truly feel the comfort and security of a good Father in heaven.
In John 4 Iesū shares one of the biggest revelations on the subject of hoʻomana (worship) to a Samaritan woman He met at a well. Samaritans had no business associating with the Jewish people for the Samaritans were a mixed race. Yet, Iesū takes the time to speak to this woman and share with her a heavenly perspective of what hoʻomana is.
Since Iesū only did what His Father did and said what His Father said, (John 5:19) Iesū would have a clear explanation of hoʻomana that would come straight from His Father’s naʻau. Iesū says that we are to hoʻomana the Father in “Spirit and in Truth,” me ka ʻuhane a me ka ʻoiaʻiʻo.
To hoʻomana me ka ʻuhane a me ka ʻoiaʻiʻo, worship in spirit and truth, is about the position of your naʻau (heart). When we hoʻomana the Lord in spirit and truth, our heart's position bends us to a place of humility before the Lord. With our naʻau positioned right before the Lord in spirit and truth, the Lord reveals himself through His ʻUhane Hemolele, Holy Spirit, and we see the truth of who He is and who we are. In a place of transparency at the naʻau level with the Lord we respond to Him with our truest self and who He created us to be.
I’m reminded of the hīmeni written by Queen Liliʻuokalani “Ke Aloha O Ka Haku” or “The Queen’s Prayer.” Queen Liliʻuokalani wrote this mele, this prayer, this worship song, while imprisoned at ʻIolani Palace. This verse reveals spirit and truth.
Mai nānā ‘ino ‘ino
Behold not with malevolence
Nā hewa o kānaka
The sins of man
Akā e huikala
A ma‘ema‘e nō
I cannot imagine the magnitude of what Queen Liliʻuokalani felt during the time of the overthrow, but she had to have found some comfort in Ke Akua as she positioned her naʻau towards Him. The Queen’s true naʻau of forgiveness was expressed through this pule, this hīmeni (worship song). As the Queen’s true naʻau was expressed, the Lord revealed His naʻau to her by His spirit. Like the woman at the well, the Lord revealed His naʻau to her.
What a powerful act of hoʻomana before the Lord.
The Lord is always with us (Hebrews 13:5). Our praise may sound like an angelic choir from heaven, or it could sound like a kid singing loudly with everything he got. I don’t think that matters all too much to the Lord. In Halelū (Psalm) 100:1 it says, “E hoʻōho ʻoliʻoli ʻoukou, iā Iēhova – Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.”
Everyone has a “joyful noise” inside of them. The Lord desires a true and humble naʻau that is positioned towards Him so that He may be praised. The Lord seeks the truth in our naʻau, the truth that expresses how much we really aloha, honor, and hōʻihi (respect) the good and gracious Akua He really is.
As you come before the Lord in worship look at your naʻau. When we worship the Lord we often just sing songs. In this season of Lent, look at your naʻau as you get into the presence of God. Is your naʻau in a low or humble position before the Lord? Is your spirit right before the Lord? We have the ability to choose with our whole naʻau. We can choose to humble our naʻau and love the Lord with everything we got. It’s not a matter of time or what we do, it’s a matter of our naʻau before the Lord.
While you are in hoʻomana in this season of Lent, look for the Lord. He wants to reveal Himself to you by His Spirit. The Lord wants to see your naʻau in its truest condition humbly turned towards Him. As you hear the Lord through His spirit, write down your own prayer or song. Write out what the Lord is saying to you when you are in His presence. Ke Akua is maikaʻi all the time! And when you call on Him in spirit and in truth He is faithful to answer.
E ka Haku Iesū, Lord Jesus, You are always maikaʻi. Thank you for Your love upon us that always brings us closer to You. Lord quicken our spirit to rise up in Your righteousness so that we may encounter You and know Your ways. I pray that when we come to You in the beauty of Your holiness that our naʻau may be positioned rightly before You. So that we may stand before You as the sons and daughters You created to hoʻomana You with all our naʻau, all our ʻuhane, all our manaʻo, and all our ikaika. Lord, in that moment when we are our truest self before You speak to us, reveal to us Your naʻau so that we may live and love according to Your ways. Iesū, You are great and so greatly to be praised! Your Love endures forever! May You receive all the honor, all the glory, and all the power forever and ever. ʻĀmene!