Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Aug 4, 2020 … Vengeance Not Mine

Berry Patch Devotions in 2020 - Day 217 

Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...  Please take the time to take in song and lyrics from David Crowder singing … Forgiven … powerfully singing how Christ has forgiven all who nailed Him to the cross by our sins.

Young David spares Saul's life ... 

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Highlight Passage : … 1 Samuel 24:12 [ESV] ...  12 May the Lord judge between me and you, may the Lord avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you.  
… David has the opportunity to revenge Saul’s desire to kill David but refuses to do so to God’s anointed King.
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Highlight Passage [Context] : … 1 Samuel 24 [ESV] ... USE THIS LINK
… David spares the life of King Saul who was trying to kill David.
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Reference Passage : … Deuteronomy 32:35-36 [ESV] … USE THIS LINK
… God is clear in His word that HE is the One, and the only One, who will take vengeance on the unrighteous.

Reference Passage : … Proverbs 20:22 [ESV] … 22 Do not say, “I will repay evil”; … wait for the Lord, and He will deliver you. 
… God’s advice, thru Solomon, on resisting vengeance.

Reference Passage : … Matthew 5:38-45 [ESV] … USE THIS LINK
… Jesus Himself preaches on resisting vengeance and forgiving our enemies.

Reference Passage : … Romans 12:19 [ESV] … 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 
… Paul quotes God’s truth [see Deut. 32 above] on letting God take vengeance when Christians are wronged by others.

My Devotional Journal: Today's Our Daily Bread author, Xochitl Dixon, AT THIS LINK  uses a personal story of choosing to forgive someone who had wronged the author rather than seeking vengeance, … which, as Christians, we should know, from God’s word, should only be God’s to exercise.

Oh how natural it is to seek to take revenge when we are wronged by someone. That certainly would’ve been David’s feelings when Saul was pursuing him to kill David. However, David refused to take vengeance when He had the chance (see highlight passages and the attached photo). And God’s word is clear (see reference passages) that we are to seek to forgive those who wrong us rather than seeking vengeance. … Difficult?For sure!!But necessary?ABSOLUTELY!!

So, I pray that if we have anyone whom we feel has wronged us … that we will stop … RIGHT NOW … and remember how we were forgiven by God just [as Crowder sings in the linked song]; and then, let’s pray that God takes whatever action HE sees will make things right in HIS eyes. 

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My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh Abba Father, ... thank You, Lord, … for forgiving me so that I can forgive those who’ve wronged me.
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My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... I pray, Lord, that all reading here will join me today, to pray for forgiveness for anyone who has wronged us. … Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled “Our Daily Bread,” distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.</ span>

Monday, August 03, 2020

Aug 2, 2020 … Living In His Victory

Berry Patch Devotions in 2020 - Day 215 

Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...  Please take the time to take in song and lyrics from Chris Tomlin singing … I Will Rise … poignantly singing how Christ has overcome the sting of death; and we, as His disciples, can live forever in the knowledge of His victory and the freedom which comes from living in that truth.

Japanese soldier surrenders 29 years after the end of WW2

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Highlight Passage : … Romans 6:4 [ESV] ... 4 We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 
… We, who know and believe in Christ’s defeat of sin on the cross now live with Him in freedom over sin … FOREVER!!
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Highlight Passage [Context] : … Romans 6:1-11 [ESV] ... USE THIS LINK
… God, thru Paul, declares the truth of our faith in the finished work of Christ, allowing us to have eternal life in the victory over death won by Christ on the cross.

Reference Passage : … Luke 9:23 [ESV] ... 23 And He said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 
 … Jesus declares the truth that anyone who’s willing to die to self and follow Him will live in the victory He had won on the cross.

Reference Passage : … Romans 8:1 [ESV] … 1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 
… Paul proclaims the reality (and truth) that His victory on the cross means that we no longer live under the condemnation of death in our sin.

Reference Passage : … 2Corinthians 5:17 [ESV] … 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 
 … When we recognize and surrender to follow Christ, we are reborn and raised into the newness of life He won for us from His death the cross.

Reference Passage : … Galatians 2:20 [ESV] …  20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 
… When we chose to die to self, we can live by faith in Christ’s victory over sin and death.

My Devotional Journal: Today's Our Daily Bread author, Winn Collier, AT THIS LINK  uses the historical story of a Japanese WW2 soldier who lived for 29 years believing that Japan had never surrendered. But finally, Hiroo Onoda surrendered his sword (see photo) to the allies when he learned and was set free by the truth, … illustrating how we are set free to live in the victory won by Christ over sin on the cross when we repent of our sins and follow Christ into glory.

Oh how I pray that all reading here know - and believe - the truth espoused in the linked song and the reality that any/all who surrender the sword of self and repent of our sinfulness to follow Christ will rise with Him to eternal freedom. And I do pray we are walking in that freedom today! 

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My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh Abba Father, ... thank You, Lord, … for giving me Your victory to live with You in freedom from my sin today, tomorrow, and forever.
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My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... I pray, Lord, that all reading here will join me today, to walk in the freedom our Lord won for us on the cross. … Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled “Our Daily Bread,” distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.</ span>

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Aug 2, 2020 … Guiding Them Back

Berry Patch Devotions in 2020 - Day 215 

Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...  Please take the time to take in song and lyrics from Lydia Walker singing … I Have Decided To Follow Jesus … poignantly singing how we, as Christians, with God’s free will and His mercy/grace, must choose to follow God’s way rather than the ways of Satan, the world, or our own fleshly desires.


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Highlight Passage : … James 5:19-20 [ESV] ... 19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. 
… God, thru James admonishing Christians to help bring others back to God from their wandering/selfish ways.
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Reference Passage : … Matthew 18:15 [ESV] ... 15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 
 … Jesus admonishes His Church to confront a discerned sinner with his sinful ways and do all we can to bring him/her back to follow God.

Reference Passage : … Luke 15:7, 10 [ESV] … USE THIS LINK
… Jesus’s parables of how heaven rejoices when one wayward sinner is turned and brought back to God’s ways.

Reference Passage : … 1Corinthians 11:1 [ESV] … 1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 
… Paul, knew that others could follow him because he was choosing to follow Christ.

Reference Passage : … Galatians 6:1 [ESV] … 1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 
… God, thru Paul, admonishes Christians to help restore those who wander away from God’s way to come back to God.

Reference Passage : … 1 Timothy 5:20 [ESV] … 20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. 
… Paul helping a young Pastor, Timothy, deal with sinners in Christ’s body, … the Church.

My Devotional Journal: Today's Our Daily Bread author, Arthur Jackson, AT THIS LINK relates a story of turning around to find the right path when he encountered a “Do Not Enter” sign [see photo] on the road where he was driving, … illustrating how we can choose to repent and turn our ways toward God’s way when someone helps show us we’ve been off track.

Any of us can get off God’s path in life, can’t we? But don’t you just love how Jesus related the joy in heaven when even one sinner chooses to repent and come back to follow God’s way (see Luke 15:7, 10).

So, we Christians, when we discern another who has turned from God’s ways, are strongly exhorted (see Pauline passages above) to do all we can to confront and turn the wayward one back to God. And when that one decides to turn and follow Christ, as in the linked song, we can - and should - rejoice with the angels in heaven because that one has been saved from himself to follow The Lord. 

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My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh Abba Father, ... thank You, Lord, … for calling us, as Your chosen ones, to help others turn from self to The Savior.
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My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... I pray, Lord, that all reading here will join me today, to stay on the right path ourselves and to lead others to follow Jesus. … Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled “Our Daily Bread,” distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.</ span>

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Aug 1, 2020 … Harmonious Duet

Berry Patch Devotions in 2020 - Day 214 

Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...  Please take the time to take in the YouTube movie clip of the piano scene from the 1988 Movie, “Big,” with Tom Hanks.

Student - Teacher Recital Duet

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Highlight Passage : … John 15:5 [ESV] ...  5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  
… Jesus teaches that we, as His disciples, must abide in Him to be able to do anything with His empowering grace.
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Highlight Passage [context] : … John 15:1-11 [ESV] ... USE THIS LINK
… Jesus shows His disciples how they must abide in Him to be able to have a fruitful life. 
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Reference Passage : … Proverbs 3:5-6 [ESV] … 5  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. 
 … God directs us thru Solomon to trust Him to lead us the right way - ALWAYS.

Reference Passage : … Matthew 28:19-20 [ESV] ... 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” 
… We are commissioned to “go and make disciples;” … but Jesus promises that He will be with us in this task … ALWAYS.

Reference Passage : … 2Corinthians 9:8 [ESV] … 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency[e] in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
… God, thru Paul, shows us, as Christians, that God’s grace will always be there to lift us up when we need His strength in our times of trial or weakness.

Reference Passage : … Philippians 4:13 [ESV] … 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 
… God, thru Paul, reminds us, as Christians, that our strength to be content ONLY comes thru our relationship with Christ.

My Devotional Journal: Today's Our Daily Bread author, Jennifer Benson Schuldt, AT THIS LINK  relates a story of a piano recital where a piano teacher plays a duet with the student [see photo], helping to give the student confidence to play a harmonious recital duet together.

And immediately reading that ODB piece this morning, after I had prayed - as I do every day in my early morning quiet times - for God’s Spirit to give me something very personal to abide in Him, my mind thought immediately of the playful toy piano scene in the 1988 movie, “Big,” with Tom Hanks (see linked video above).

And then God, I believe, took me to a remembrance of how I was mentored as a new, “baby,” Christian by an Elder in our church, … who taught me how to abide more closely with my Lord/Savior by beginning each day in God’s word; … and by praying that God would be sitting beside me as I meditate on His truth with Him, … showing me how to play a duet with Him … for His glory.

And if we’ve meditated on the Scriptures above, as I have this morning, we will know - or at least be reminded - that without our Lord being along side us, we can really do nothing for His glory [see the highlight passage]. But, … with Him alongside us, as His disciples - as He always is (see Matt. 28:20) - we can rely on His strength to empower us to play a harmonious life duet with Him (see Pauline passages above).

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My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh Abba Father, ... thank You, Lord, … for being along side me today - and all days - to give me the strength to play my music with/for You.
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My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... I pray, Lord, that all reading here will join me today, to receive God’s empowering grace - always there for us - to go thru life playing a duet with our Lord. … Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled “Our Daily Bread,” distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.</ span>

Friday, July 31, 2020

July 31, 2020 … Shining His Light Berry

Patch Devotions in 2020 - Day 213 

Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...  Please take the time to take in song and images from New Scottish Hymns singing … Let Your Light Shine in the Darkness … poignantly singing how we must shine the light of Christ into the darkness of this world.

Shining Christ's Light into a very dark world ... 

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Highlight Passage : … Matthew 5:16 [ESV] ... 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[a] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. 
… Jesus teaches that we are to shine His light into a very darkened world.
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Highlight Passage [context] : … Matthew 5:13-16 [ESV] ... USE THIS LINK
… Jesus teaching on becoming salt and light in this world.
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Reference Passage : … Psalm 119:105 [ESV] … 105  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 
 … When we share God’s truth from His word, we are shining His light.

Reference Passage : … John 8:12 [ESV] ... 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 
… When we follow Christ’s light, we can lead others to God, just as He did when He was in the world.

Reference Passage : … 2Corinthians 4:4-6 [ESV] … USE THIS LINK
… God, thru Paul, teaches us that following Christ leads us out of the darkness of this world into His light of life.

Reference Passage : … 1 Peter 2:9 [ESV] … 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 
… God, thru Peter, shows Christians that we have been called as a Royal Priesthood out of the darkness into Christ’s wondrous light.

My Devotional Journal: Today's Our Daily Bread author, Patricia Raybon, AT THIS LINK relates a story of a reticent Bible teacher who found confidence to teach when he realized that He was shining Christ’s light when he was teaching from the word of God.

And any time we go forth - yes, even today - and we share the Gospel, or really when we share anything from God’s word (i.e., His truth), we are shining His light into an ever darkening world (see Scriptures above). So, as the Scottish hymn rings out above in the linked song, I pray that we take any/all opportunities which God gives us to shine His light today, showing the way to Him and His eternal grace.

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My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh Abba Father, ... thank You, Lord, … for giving me Your light of truth to share with others.
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My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... I pray, Lord, that all reading here will join me today, to shine Christ’s light as brightly as we can … so that we can lead others out of the world’s darkness into the light He shows us thru His truth. … Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled “Our Daily Bread,” distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.</ span>

Thursday, July 30, 2020

July 30, 2020 … Helping the Needy

Berry Patch Devotions in 2020 - Day 212 

Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...  Please take the time to take in song and images from Michael W Smith singing … I Will Carry You … poignantly singing of how our Lord is willing to carry us so we should be willing to carry others in need.


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Highlight Passage : … Luke 13:13 [ESV] ... 13 And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God.  
… Jesus heals a woman on the Sabbath.
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Highlight Passage [context] : … Luke 13:10-17 [ESV] ... USE THIS LINK
… Jesus heals a woman crippled for decades on the Sabbath and shows the religious leaders why compassion knows no religious or time barriers.
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Reference Passage : … Deuteronomy 15:11 [ESV] … 11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ 
… God has always commanded His people to reach out to help the needy whenever we see it.

Reference Passage : … Matthew 25:40[ESV] ... 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ 
 … The way we reach out with compassion to help others is the way we reach out to help King Jesus.

Reference Passage : … Galatians 6:2, 9-10 [ESV] … USE THIS LINK
… God, thru Paul, teaches us how we are to ALWAYS take the opportunity given to us by God to help others.

Reference Passage : … Philippians 2:3-5 [ESV] … USE THIS LINK
… Paul recognized that when we reach out to help those in need, we have the same attitude as our Lord, who always, in compassion, reached out to help the needy.

Reference Passage : … Hebrews 6:10 [ESV] … 10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for His name in serving the saints, as you still do. 
… God always knows when we reach out to help others in need.

My Devotional Journal: Today's Our Daily Bread author, Estera Pirosca Escobar, AT THIS LINK  uses the compassion of Nobel Peace winner, Mother Teresa (see photo), to illustrate the Christlike attitude we all should have for the needy when we have the opportunity and ability to help.

And then the ODB author uses the biblical example of Jesus showing compassion and helping a crippled woman on the Sabbath (see highlight passage) to show the attitude and action we should have, as supported by the Scriptures above, when we encounter others - anytime/anywhere - whom we have, as indicated above, the ability to help.

Today, if we see someone we can definitely help and God’s Spirit calls us into action, will we be there to do the right thing … the Christlike thing?!

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My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh Abba Father, ... thank You, Lord, … for giving me the ability to help others when You call me forward to do so.
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My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... I pray, Lord, that all reading here will join me, to reach out, when convicted and directed by God, to help others. … Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled “Our Daily Bread,” distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.</ span>

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

July 29, 2020 … Sharing God’s Grace

Berry Patch Devotions in 2020 - Day 211 

Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...  Please take the time to take in song and lyrics from Laura Story singing … Grace Abounds … poignantly singing of how God’s grace abounds when His love is shared with others in our lives.

God's truth shows us how to share His love/grace with others ... 


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Highlight Passage : … 2Samuel 9:9 [ESV] ... 9 Then the king called Ziba, Saul's servant, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master's grandson. 
… David brings Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson, into his court to be protected by the King’s grace, a picture of what God would do thru Christ for us who were once the King’s enemies. 
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Highlight Passage [context] : … 2Samuel 9:1-13 [ESV] ... USE THIS LINK
… The story of King David showing mercy and grace to the grandson of Saul, well beyond the cultural norm of the times.
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Reference Passage : … Lamentations 3:22-23 [ESV] … USE THIS LINK
… God’s mercies are ALWAYS available to those of us who need it (and that’s all of us).

Reference Passage : … Matthew 5:7 [ESV] ... 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. …” 
… God will bless those who are merciful to others.

Reference Passage : … Romans 3:23-25 [ESV] … USE THIS LINK
… All of us sinners deserve the judgment of death for our sin; but through God’s grace, Jesus’ blood has given us His eternal mercy for our faith in Christ and our repentance.

Reference Passage : … 2Peter 1:2-8 [ESV] … USE THIS LINK
… Thru God’s grace, we are given the power to share God’s love/grace with others.

My Devotional Journal: Today's Our Daily Bread author, Mike Wittmer, AT THIS LINK relates a story of a Christian work supervisor who was advised to forgive and rehire a co-worker who had embezzled money from the company; … and the worker would become a loyal and productive employee, having received this mercy and forgiveness.

And then the ODB author relates this more current story with that of how King David, when he became King, refused to exercise the normal practice of killing off the progeny of the former king by bringing the grandson of Saul, who had tried to kill David, into David’s court to become part of David’s family [see highlight passage]. And we see how this mercy and grace was a picture of what God would one day do thru Christ to offer forgiveness to us sinners and bring us, God’s former sinful enemies, into His family by our faith and repentance.

And now I pray that all Christians reading here, … with thankful hearts, … will praise our Lord for His mercy and grace; … and then go out today to share that love/grace with all in our lives, … yes, even those who’ve sinned against us.

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My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh Abba Father, ... thank You, Lord, … for giving me Your love and grace to share with others today.
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My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... I pray, Lord, that all reading here will join me, to find ways today to share God’s abounding love/grace with others, just as Laura Story sings in the linked song. … Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled “Our Daily Bread,” distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.</ span>