Wednesday, December 19, 2018

December 19, 2018 … Light of the Wor[l]d

Berry Patch Devotions in 2019 - Day 352 

Devotional Song: … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube images and lyrics from Lauren Daigle singing … Light of the World … poignantly singing the coming of Immanuel, the Word becoming flesh, God with us, to become the Light of the World.


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Highlight Verse[s]: John 1:1, … 14 [NLT] … 1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. … 14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. 
… Jesus, the Christ, was the Word Who became flesh so that He could become the “Light of the World”
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Highlight Passage [context]: John 1:1-14 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… The Apostle John reflects - with The Spirit’s inspiration - just Who Jesus was [and IS] … The Word, coming in the flesh to become the Light of the World.
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Reference Passage : … Isaiah 7:14 [NLT] … 14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). 
… 700+ years before God became flesh, Isaiah prophesied that God would become “Immanuel.”

Reference Passage : … Matthew 5:14-16 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Jesus charges us to become reflections of Himself and become lights shining in this dark world so that others might see the glory of our Savior and our Heavenly Father.

Reference Passage : … Philippians 2:6-11 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… The Apostle Paul writes of our God, becoming human flesh, Whom now we see was the light of the world come to save us.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Amy Boucher Pye, uses a personal memory to illustrate how God’s word is God’s Christmas letter to us, revealing the miracle of God becoming flesh in Jesus, the Christ. The ODB author writes … Every Christmas, a friend of mine writes a long letter to his wife, reviewing the events of the year and dreaming about the future. He always tells her how much he loves her, and why. He also writes a letter to each of his daughters. His words of love make an unforgettable Christmas present. 
We could say that the original Christmas love letter was Jesus, the Word made flesh. John highlights this truth in his gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). 

I really love this time of year. Oh, I know there’s a lot of commercialism and “gimme-gimme” attitudes on display. But all the lights and the music remind me of the reality and truth that the Triune God laid aside His glory (see Phil. 2:6-11 and the highlight passage) to become human, … to become the “light of the world” as Lauren Daigle sings in the linked song.

So, pray that we have the attitude of humility and thankfulness during this season … that we, who know Christ as Savior, can see Him shining His light of truth in this Advent season. And then, let’s do all we can to reflect that light into a dark world world so that others can see the glory of our Heavenly Father and His Son (see Math. 5:14-16).

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My THANKFULNESS: … Oh Abba Father, … thank You, Lord, … for being the living Word and becoming the Light of the world.
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My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, … King Jesus, … I pray, Lord, that all reading here, like myself, reflect God’s Light into the darkness of this world today. … 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.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

December 18, 2018 … Waking Up With God

Berry Patch Devotions in 2019 - Day 351 

Devotional Song: … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube of song and lyrics from Jeremy Camp singing … There Will Be A Day … poignantly singing of our hope, as Christians, to one day seeing Jesus face-to-face for eternity.

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Highlight Verse[s]: Deuteronomy 34:5 [NLT] … 5 So Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, just as the Lord had said. 
 … The Hebrew for “died there…just as the Lord had said” literally and figuratively means “was laid to rest with God’s kiss”
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Highlight Passage [context]: Deuteronomy 34:1-8 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Moses died in Moab without ever entering the promised land; but He then was awakened in Heaven to be with God in the ultimate promised land.
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Reference Passage : … John 3:16 [NLT] … [ I’m sure any reader here knows this one! ]
… God’s kiss of promise and love … is that I, having received His saving grace, will be with Him forever in glory.

Reference Passage : … 1st Thessalonians 4:14 [NLT] … 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died. 
 … Our promise in Christ is to one day awake to see Jesus face-to-face.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, David H Roper, uses a parental word picture of a father kissing his sleeping child just as God must’ve kissed Moses with the promise of His child being with the Lord forever in eternity. The ODB author writes … I have a treasured memory of gatherings with family friends when our boys were small. The adults would talk into the night; our children, weary with play would curl up on a couch or chair and fall asleep. 
When it was time to leave, I would gather our boys into my arms, carry them to the car, lay them in the back seat, and take them home. When we arrived, I would pick them up again, tuck them into their beds, kiss them goodnight, and turn out the light. In the morning they would awaken—at home. 
This has become a rich metaphor for me of the night on which we “sleep in Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:14). We slumber . . . and awaken in our eternal home, the home that will heal the weariness that has marked our days. 

In meditating on the highlight passage in Deut. 34 in today’s ODB entry, it must’ve been disappointing for Moses in his last days to be able to see God’s “Promised Land” and yet knowing that he would never enter it physically. But at the same time, when he died, I learned that the Hebrew colloquial translation of Verse 5 of that passage (above), actually is translated Moses died with the kiss of God; and I’m sure he knew that he (Moses) would awake and be face to face with His Lord in Heaven.

That brings the picture of a parent kissing their child at night [see photo] with the faith that the child would be with them forever in heaven. And that is my prayer for all reading here who have children; and as well for those of us who know that we will one day be with our Lord - FACE-TO-FACE - forever [see 1Thess. 4:14].

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My THANKFULNESS: … Oh Abba Father, … thank You, Lord, … for the promise of being with You forever.
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My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, … King Jesus, … I pray, Lord, that all reading here, like myself, have surrendered in faith to God’s promise to be with Him forever. … 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.

Monday, December 17, 2018

December 17, 2018 … Find Us Faithful

Berry Patch Devotions in 2019 - Day 350 

Devotional Song: … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube of images and lyrics from Steve Green singing … Find Us Faithful … poignantly singing of those who will always walk the faithful path following our Lord into eternity.


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Highlight Verse[s]: Luke 1:6-7, … 13 [NLT] … 6 Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. 7 They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.… 13 But the angel said [see photo], “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.
 … The faithful walk of Elizabeth and Zechariah was rewarded with a child who would become John the Baptist.
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Highlight Passage [context]: Luke 1:5-25 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Mary’s Song of Joy and Thankfulness at the realization of God’s gift of His Son in her womb. 
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Reference Passage : … Psalm 139:23-24 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Our prayer to be faithful followers of God’s path in life.

Reference Passage : … Proverbs 3:5-6 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… God's call to faithfulness … no matter the circumstances.

Reference Passage : … Luke 9:23 [NLT] … 23 Then He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow Me. ..."
 … Jesus calls us to deny our own desires and follow Him faithfully … whenever … wherever.

Reference Passage : … Ephesian 4:1-3 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… God, thru Paul, exhorts us to live lives worthy of our calling as “Christians.”

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Poh Fang Chia, uses the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth to illustrate how we must walk faithfully - ALWAYS - as followers of The Messiah. The ODB author writes … It’s that time of the year again, when families gather to celebrate the festive season together. Some of us, however, dread meeting certain “concerned” relatives whose questions can make those who are still single or childless feel that there’s something wrong with them. 
Imagine the plight of Elizabeth, who was childless despite being married for many years. In her culture, that was seen as a sign of God’s disfavor (see 1 Samuel 1:5–6) and could actually be considered shameful. So while Elizabeth had been living righteously (Luke 1:6), her neighbors and relatives may have suspected otherwise. 

It’s tough to live up to Jesus’ command of His disciples (and that’s us, too!) in Luke 9:23, isn’t it? Yes, … it takes a strong faith to live true to our calling as Christians (see Eph. 4:1-3). And that was the calling to which the Priest Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, found themselves prior to the birth of The Messiah, … childless and in disgrace … but faithfully following God’s commands in their life [see highlight passage].

And what was the outcome of their faithful following and trust in the coming Messiah? Well, Luke shows us in God’s telling of their being given a son, who would become John the Baptist, … their reward for being faithful, as Steve Green sings in the linked song.

So, what can we do, … how can we live, … to honor our Lord as faithful followers of His command in Luke 9:23? Well, … I don’t know about other readers here, but there is much more I can do … yes, even today, … to be a more faithful disciple of my Lord. How about you?

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My THANKFULNESS: … Oh Abba Father, … thank You, Lord, … for calling me and all of Your disciples, to be worthy and faithful disciples of Yours.
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My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, … King Jesus, … I pray, Lord, that all reading here, like myself, are committed to be more faithful followers of Your way as we pray the prayer of Ps. 139:23-24. … 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.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

December 16, 2018 … God’s Mirror of Truth

Berry Patch Devotions in 2019 - Day 349 

Devotional Song: … GO TO THIS LINK … Please take the time to take in a YouTube of images and lyrics from the group Mercy Me singing their song … Word of God Speak … poignantly singing about God’s mirror of truth, the Bible, which reveals our Lord to us as well as the reality our lives.


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Highlight Verse[s]: Luke 1:46-48 [NLT] … 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free [i.e., God’s word], and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. 
… Following God’s word is our mirror of truth.
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Highlight Passage [context]: James 1:16-27 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… God, thru James, reveals the importance of viewing our lives in the mirror of His word.  
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Reference Passage : … Psalm 119:15-18, 105 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… The Psalmist reflects his passion (and mine!) to live by and follow God’s word.

Reference Passage : … 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 [NLT] … 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into his glorious image. 
… The reality of our relationship with Christ is revealed to us thru His word so that we can become more like Him.

Reference Passage : … 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 [NKJV] … 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 
… Slightly different wording … BUT … same meaning from another translation of this passage.

Reference Passage : … John 14:21 [NLT] … 21 Those who accept My commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me. And because they love Me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal Myself to each of them.” 
… In Jesus’ own words to His disciples, telling them (us) that He will only be revealed in those who accept and obey His commandments (i.e., His word).

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Lawrence Darmani, uses a word picture of a mirror to illustrate how God’s word allows us to see ourselves now as we seek to become more like Jesus. The ODB author writes … When I emerged from my hotel in Kampala, Uganda, my hostess, who had come to pick me up for our seminar, looked at me with an amused grin. “What’s so funny?” I inquired. She laughed and asked, “Did you comb your hair?” It was my turn to laugh, for I had indeed forgotten to comb my hair. I’d looked at my reflection in the hotel mirror. How come I took no notice of what I saw? 
In a practical analogy, James gives us a useful dimension to make our study of Scripture more beneficial. We look in the mirror to examine ourselves to see if anything needs correction—hair combed, face washed, shirt properly buttoned. Like a mirror, the Bible helps us to examine our character, attitude, thoughts, and behavior (see highlight passage). This enables us to align our lives according to the principles of what God has revealed. [see photo]

Really, … I don’t need to add anything here to get the message of this ODB author across, do I? And surely the words from God Himself in the Scriptures above, speak to what the group Mercy Me sings in the linked song?

And, in reality, the attached photo reveals why I am here daily, looking as deeply as I can into God’s truth, … i.e., His word, … so that I can become more like my Lord. And I think we all need to ask ourselves whether we’re looking into God’s word deeply enough and following the path laid out in it, … making it our mirror of truth and our “GPS” for life (God’s Positioning System). 

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My THANKFULNESS: … Oh Abba Father, … thank You, Lord, … for giving me (us) Your Mirror of Truth.
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My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, … King Jesus, … I pray, Lord, that all reading here are using Your Word as our mirror of truth to allow us to become more like You day by day. … 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.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

December 15, 2018 … Mary’s Song of Joy

Berry Patch Devotions in 2019 - Day 348 

Devotional Song: … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube of song and images from Mark Lowry singing his lyrics and Buddy Greene’s music … Mary Did You Know … poignantly singing of how blessed was Mary giving birth to the Great I AM.


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Highlight Verse[s]: Luke 1:46-48 [NLT] … 46 Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. 47  How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! 48  For He took notice of His lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. … “ 
… Mary sings for joy at her blessing to carry the Son of God.
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Highlight Passage [context]: Luke 1:46-55 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Mary’s Song of Joy and Thankfulness at the realization of God’s gift of His Son in her womb. 
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Reference Passage : … Isaiah 7:14 [NLT] … 14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’). 
… 700+ years before His birth, the conception of our Lord to a virgin was prophesied.

Reference Passage : … John 3:16 [NLT] … {I think you know it!} … God’s greatest gift of love to us all!! My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Lisa Samra, makes reference to the song of joy and recognition Mary sings when she realizes that she is carrying the Son of God in her womb. The ODB author writes … Sitting in the courtyard of the Church of the Visitation in Ein Karem, Israel, I was overwhelmed with the beautiful display of sixty-seven mosaics containing the words of Luke 1:46–55 in as many languages [a few of the mosaics in the photo]. Traditionally known as the Magnificat from the Latin “to magnify,” these verses are Mary’s joyous response to the announcement that she will be the mother of the Messiah. …The biblical hymn etched in the tiles is a song of praise as Mary recounts the faithfulness of God to her and the nation of Israel. … 
 Mary shows us that recounting the great things God has done for us is a way to express praise and can lead us to rejoice. This Christmas season, consider God’s goodness as you reflect on the year. In doing so, you may create a mosaic of great beauty with your words of praise. 

The last paragraph of this ODB devotional entry convicted and helped me to realize this morning in my Advent quiet time with God just how blessed I am; and I’ve taken some time today to create my own mosaic of remembrance to praise God with thankfulness for the many blessings He has bestowed on my life.

Perhaps we all need to take time to list and give praise to God for our many blessings, especially in this special time of year as we remember the greatest gift God has given to Mary and to mankind. 

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My THANKFULNESS: … Oh Abba Father, … thank You, Lord, … for Your ultimate blessing, carried by Mary into this world, … the gift of Your Son, Who truly is Immanuel, God with me (us). 
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My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, … King Jesus, … I pray, Lord, that all reading here will take the time in this Advent season to thank You for Your many blessings and especially for the gift of Your Son, Who is The Christ. … 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.

Friday, December 14, 2018

December 14, 2018 … The Glory of Love

Berry Patch Devotions in 2019 - Day 347 

Devotional Song: … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube of song and lyrics from Peter Cetera singing … The Glory Of Love … powerfully singing of two who are married sharing God’s love forever … THEN TO THIS LINK with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir singing … Worthy Is the Lamb honoring God for His love.


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Highlight Verse[s]: Revelation 5:12 [NLT] … 12 And they [angels] sang in a mighty chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered — to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.” 
… Angels singing to honor the worthiness, honor, and glory of the Lamb of God … King Jesus! 
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Highlight Passage [context]: Revelation 5:1-13 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… In his Revelation, John saw all angels singing of the worthiness of the LAMB OF GOD 
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Reference Passage : … Micah 6:8 [NLT] … 8  No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. 
… God, thru His Prophet, Micah, tells us how we should live worthy lives to reflect God’s love for us.

Reference Passage : … Ephesians 4:1 [NLT] … 1 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 
… Tough one to live out, given the challenges of life, … but nonetheless truth!!

Reference Passage : … Matthew 5:14-16 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Jesus tells His disciples how we are to live to honor God’s love, i.e., by shining the light of His love in our works so that others can see God in us.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Mart DeHaan, uses a reference to a popular love song which speaks of two sharing an eternal love like we will share with Christ in eternity when we, the Bride of Christ, are joined with our Bridegroom. The ODB author writes … In 1936, songwriter Billy Hill released a popular hit song titled “The Glory of Love.” Before long a nation was singing about the joy of doing even little things out of love for one another. Fifty years later, lyricist Peter Cetera wrote a more romantic song with a similar title [see first linked song]. He imagined two people living forever, knowing together they did it all—for the glory of love. 

Peter Cetera’s song [linked above], focusing on the love that can - and should - be shared by two in a marriage, simply reflects the love we, as part of the Bride of Christ (i.e., His Church) will share with the Lamb of God, our Bridegroom, for eternity. And that’s the love which the Apostle John was given vision in The Revelation and is shared with us in the highlight passage where John saw God’s angels singing of Jesus’ worthiness as the Lamb of God; and that is reflected in the glorious song shared by the Brooklyn Tab in the other linked song above.

And as the Apostle Paul begged Christians in Eph. 4:1 to live lives worthy of God’s love and sacrifice for us and as Jesus charged His followers … to shine His light of love so that others could see Him in us (see Matt. 5:14-16). So, let’s all be charged to go out today and live our lives for “The Glory of Love.”

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My THANKFULNESS: … Oh Abba Father, … thank You, Lord, … for Your love which I can now share with others today.
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My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, … King Jesus, … I pray, Lord, that all reading here will take God’s charge to live out God’s love, … sharing it with others today and all days. … 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.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

December 13, 2018 … Trusting Christ at Christmas

Berry Patch Devotions in 2019 - Day 346 

Devotional Song: … GO TO THIS LINK … Please take the time to take in a YouTube of song and lyrics from Lauren Daigle singing … Trust In You … powerfully singing of our trust in God’s mercy and grace … no matter what!


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Highlight Verse[s]: Lamentations 3:22-23 [NLT] … 22  The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease. 23  Great is His faithfulness; … His mercies begin afresh each morning. 
… God’s faithful mercies never cease and they are new every morning … really every moment. 
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Highlight Passage [context]: Lamentations 3:1-3,13-24 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Jeremiah lays out God’s faithfulness … to be there for us no matter what we face with His mercies new every morning.
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Reference Passage : … Proverbs 3:5-6 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… We must overcome our own prejudices and expectations and simply trust in God.

Reference Passage : … Romans 8:28 [NLT] … 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are the called according to His purpose for them. 
… Tough one to live out, given the challenges of life, … but nonetheless truth!!

Reference Passage : … 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Paul, challenged by his human weakness, listens to Jesus’ answer to give us the grace we need to overcome our humans weaknesses.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Elisa Morgan, uses a personal reflection to illustrate how we must trust in God’s timing and His ways rather than on our own expectations. The ODB author writes … After wrapping the tree with clear twinkle lights, I tied pink and blue bows on its branches and christened it our “Hope for a Baby” Christmas tree [see photo]. My husband and I had been waiting for a baby through adoption for more than four years. Surely by Christmas! 
Every morning I stopped at the tree and prayed, reminding myself of God’s faithfulness. On December 21 we received the news: no baby by Christmas. Devastated, I paused by the tree that had become a symbol of God’s provision. Was God still faithful? Was I doing something wrong? … 
I left the tree standing well beyond Christmas and continued my morning prayer. At last, on Easter weekend, we received our baby girl. God is always faithful, though not necessarily on our timeline nor always according to our desires. 

It’s Christmas time; … a time of joyful expectations and hopeful desires. However, as in the ODB story, sometimes it can be a time where we’re forced to trust in God rather than in our own, very human, expectations.

As in the ODB entry, we may have to wait on God’s timing rather than on our human desire clock; because, though truths like the highlight passage or all of the reference verses may be true, it can be hard to wait on God’s timing at times, can’t it?

But wait we must, … trusting in God’s faithfulness and His desire to ALWAYS do what’s best for us. 

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My THANKFULNESS: … Oh Abba Father, … thank You, Lord, … for Your faithful mercies and grace … always there for my good.
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My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, … King Jesus, … I pray, Lord, that all reading here trust that God’s mercies will always be for our good, even when we have trouble with His timing. … 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.