Tuesday, March 26, 2013

March 26, 2013 … A Life of Spirit-led Conviction?

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 85

Passage of the Day: 1st Thessalonians 1: 4-5 [In the context of verses 2-5] [NLT] …  
2 We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. 3 As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people.5 For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you. 
Contextual Study of today’s passage: 1st Thessalonians, Chapter 1 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: 2nd Cor. 13: 5-6 : [Pop Quiz! … Are we living a life of deeply held, Spirit-led, convictions?] …[NKJV] …  
5 Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. Test yourselves. If you cannot tell that Jesus Christ is among you, it means you have failed the test. 6 I hope you recognize that we have passed the test and are approved by God. 

Reference Passage #2: Luke 9: 23 : [Are our convictions following Christ?] …[NKJV] …  
23 Then He said to them all (i.e., His true disciples), “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me…. ” 

My Journal for Today: In my devotional disciplines, I often find myself having to take a Spirit-led “pop-quiz” … in the Spirit of Paul’s admonition of 2nd Cor. 13: 5 (copied above). It’s a test of my faith and my Spirit-led convictions; and today’s devotional, taken by Os Hillman’s reference to 1st Thes. 1: 4-5, is certainly one of those tests of my faith and Christian direction.

 Os Hillman, in opening his journal entry for today declares, ” Everyone lives a life of conviction. Whatever we give our greatest time, our greatest energies, and our greatest resources to is a good indication of where our convictions lie. Some live a life of conviction about sports. Some live a life of conviction around pleasure. Still others live a life of conviction about very little that matters at all.”

So, I ask myself (and perhaps you are joining me in this Spirit-led pop-quiz), “What are my convictions these days?” Am I walking as Jesus commanded His disciples to walk [see Luke 9: 23, denying myself and taking up my Spirit-led cross in a daily walk, closely following Christ?” Or is my conviction and direction more wrapped up in selfish direction and purposes?

It has been said that we can get a pretty accurate answer to this pop-quiz of faith by looking at our personal calendar as well as our check-stubs (or these days our online banking records), because how we devote our time and money can give us a pretty good look as a measure of our convictions. If we’re denying self and following our Savior, our calendars and financial records will reflect Christ, won’t they?

So, my friend, where are we investing our time, talents, and treasures? Do our convictions these days reflect Christlikeness or more of a self-likeness? I’m going to have to stand before God’s Spirit today and look at the results of this pop-quiz. How about you?

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I stand before You today, being led by Your Spirit, convicted to do more for You. … Amen

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