Monday, March 31, 2008
A Year of Daily Devotionals: A Journal by Bill Berry … April, 2008
April 1, 2008 …
Passage of the Day: Matthew 26: 2 … 1 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 "As you know, the Passover is two days away—and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified."
My Journal for Today: The cross of Christ, about which Jesus informed His Disciples shortly before that fateful Passover celebration [see today’s passage], is the fulcrum of human history. It is the crossroads of redemption for mankind to which the Apostle Paul declared, (in 1st Cor. 2: 2 …” For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified;” … and in 1st Cor. 5: 7 … “For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.”
Everything we believe as Christians rests on the truth of what happened on that cross at Calvary and the reality of Christ’s resurrection.
Jesus, in a Spirit inspired word of knowledge from the Father, knew that His walk on earth, especially those awe inspiring times of Passover during His Passion, was totally determined by His Father’s sovereign time table. Yes, Jesus had complete control over His walk (see John 10: 17 – 18). However, Jesus walked in total surrender to the Sovereign plan of God, the Father.
John, the Baptist, had certainly recognized that his cousin, Jesus, was “THE ONE” Who came to save mankind (see John 1: 29); and later Luke wrote of how all of the players in Christ’s pre-scripted passion played their parts – in total free-will – to bring about God’s redemptive plan for His church and for all of mankind (see below Acts 2: 22 – 24<) …
Acts 2: 22 …"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through Him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing Him to the cross. 24 But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him.
And one can see through history, the glorious coming together of all of these events at the time of Christ’s final Passover in that fate-filled time of the world to display the panorama of God’s scheme for His church – all of it known from the foundation of time (see 1st Peter 1: 20).
And it was all for me (and you)!
My Prayer Today: Hallelujah, my Lord! You died for me! Amen
Administrative note … Again this month, I will be quoting Scriptures in the body of my journal entries, which may require you to look up these passages if you’re serious about the passages which you don’t know “by heart.” A very good website to have ready if you’re following along with my entries is BibleGateway.com, http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search= , which will allow you to look up the passage in the version of the Bible you prefer. Again, I’ll be using NIV with the passages highlighted each day.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Well, ... trying to mix the loves of my life, Christ and family, here's a few more fotos taken when our two families of muchkins got together in Colorado for some fun in the snow up in Winter Park, CO. Above [last foto] is the littlest snow bunny, Alexandra. What a funny little bunny she is, too!!! Though she's not quite old enough for the slopes yet.
Her sister, Amanda, [just above Alex on the right in the pink outfit] has found her way to the slopes, however; and she's becoming quite the little skier for a four year old. Her Memphis Cousin, Sydney, (above left with Amanda) joined her cousin on the Winter Park slopes; and Syd has also has fallen in love with skiing. Though we think Amanda will move ahead in ability because of her availability to the slopes this season.
But not all of the kiddos really got into the skiing bigtime. The little muchkin in tears above is Brooklyn, Sydney's sister; and she was a bit overwhelmed by the skiing deal ... and in the foto above, she's shedding a tear because of the exhaustion of ski lessons. When we asked Brookie about whether she liked the skiing or not, she replied candidly, "Well, ... actually, ... no!" Pretty much said it all ... no more skiing for a while for Brooklyn.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
I thought it may be a good discipline to add these journal entries here; and so, for the month of March, I will do so. Currently I'm using a devotional book edited by John MacArthur, entitled Strength for Today; and his devotionals for the month of March concern the topic of true "humility" and the importance of that attitude in the Christian life.
So, this month I'll post daily journal entries as comments to this one Blog. If you desire to read any of them daily or periodically, you can click on the comments tab and find them for March, 2008. I'm praying that God can bring some insights into Christian humility that will help you as well as this seeker. So, below you will find the entry for March 1 ... <'BB><
A Year of Daily Devotionals: A Journal by Bill Berry … March, 2008
March 1, 2008 …
Passage of the Day: James 4: 6 – But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." [Prov. 3: 34]
My Journal for Today: This month I (we) will be looking at one of the most important attitudes a Christian can foster in his life … that of HUMILITY. Why is it so important? Well, come along with me as we answer that question, always with the help of John MacArthur in his Strength for Today devotional book.
And today, the first day of March, we begin with the teachings of James, the half-brother of Jesus. I’m convinced that the Apostles James and Simon Peter were buddies. If you read today’s verse and then you read 1st Peter 5: 6, you’ll see that they were in total accord with the Old Testament when it came to their opinion on how to unlock God’s treasure chest of grace. They both quoted the same verse from the Old Testament in Prov. 3: 34 about this matter of God providing His grace only to the humble and withholding it from the proud. And so, for the Christian who desires to capture as much of God’s grace as he/she can, this becomes a key truth – i.e., that humility is the key to God’s grace.
It certainly was the key that unlocked God’s saving grace for me, when, on April 13, 1983, I finally was able/willing to humble myself and receive Christ as my Savior and Lord. For years I had let my pride get in the way of pursuing Christ. But when I finally was humble enough to recognize and repent of my sinfulness, God poured His saving grace into my life. And now, in my discipleship and growth as a Christian, I’ve discovered that this truth ALWAYS applies for God’s enabling grace as well. Pride shuts the door to God’s shower of grace; and humility opens it!
My sinfulness prior to 4/13/83 was great. I certainly didn’t deserve God’s saving grace; but He offered it anyway (see John 3: 16 and Romans 10: 9 – 13). And when I was able to recognize my sinfulness, repent, and reach out in humility to receive God’s gift of saving grace (Eph. 2: 8 - 9), it was there for me; and my life has never been the same. Oh, yes, I’m still battling my sin nature. All Christians do. However, I now know that as long as I can remain humble before God’s throne of grace, He will pour His enabling grace into my life to help me overcome my sinfulness and to walk in a manner worth of His grace (Eph. 4: 1, 2).
So, if you’re reading this, you must first ask yourself if you’ve humbly come to God and asked for His saving grace. If you have and you know that you’re saved, perhaps you desire more of Gods’ enabling grace in your life – the grace that gives you power to overcome your weaknesses (see 2nd Cor. 12: 9). Well if that’s the case, it would behoove you to look at your attitude about living. Are you letting your pride block the treasure of God’s grace which awaits the humble servant who is willing to serve others before self? If you’re willing to live by Luke 9: 23, the words of Jesus to His disciples about being His follower, then you will have all the grace you need to follow our Lord [also see 2nd Peter 1: 3 – 4].
My Prayer Today: It’s a scary prayer, Lord; but help me to be humble! Amen