Friday, April 12, 2013

April 12, 2013 … The Productive Christian Life

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 102

Passage of the Day: 2nd Peter 1: 8 [in the context of verses 3-9] [NLT] …  
3 As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! 4 And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature. 
5 So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. 6 Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. 7Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop these virtues are blind or, at least, very shortsighted. They have already forgotten that God has cleansed them from their old life of sin. 
 Contextual Study of today’s passage: 2nd Peter, Chapter 1 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Galatians 5: 22-21 : [Living a fruit-filled Christian life.] …[NLT] …  
22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. 

 My Journal for Today: Both of the major-league Christian Apostles, Peter and Paul, wanted the churches to which they wrote in Asia-Minor in their day (see the letters to Galatia and 1st and 2nd Peter) to live fully fruitful Christian lives; and today’s highlight passage from Peter, as well as the one I’ve copied above to the Galatians, declare this goal clearly. And both Apostles in these letters, list the qualities of a Christian life which are markers for spiritual productivity.

I’ve learned, and have often taught, that there is a chain of abilities which Christians much develop to become fully fruitful and productive as Christlike Christians; and they are these abilities … 1. AvailABILITY, leading to 2. TeachABILITY, leading to 3. VulnerABILITY, leading to 4. AccountABILITY, and finally leading to 5. StickABILITY, … all of which are necessary, beginning with availability or surrender, for a Christian to show forth as fruitful in our Christian living.

I won’t have the time, given my desire to keep this devotional entry brief, to develop this teaching; but the Apostles Peter and Paul were trying to get the same message across to those Christians they were addressing in their letters. They wanted these Christians to flex their Spiritual “muscles” and to live power-filled Christian lives; and so they exhorted them (and us) to take full advantage of the Spirit-imparted fruitfulness available to all Christians who are willing and able to surrender to the Holy Spirit and choosing to live in Christlikeness rather than involved in selfishness.

When we’re living fully-surrendered lives to God’s Spirit within us, doing all we can to activate the fruit of the Spirit available within us, we Christians can be powerfully productive, living and moving as Christ has given us the ability to live. However, it is just as easy for us to blunt or diminish our fruitfulness as Christians by choosing to pursue selfish goals, rather than to pursue the goals the Spirit wants us to pursue (i.e., God’s will and purposes for our lives). But when we choose to pursue Christlike fruitfulness, surrendering to the purposefulness of Christ-like living, God’s Spirit can impart in us all the power we need for living as Christ lived, not as we would choose to live on our own [see 2nd Peter 1: 3-4 above].

 So, … just how powerful and fruitful is our life being lived for God’s glory rather than for our own self-satisfaction and selfish purposes? If we can honestly see the fruit of the Spirit – listed by Paul and Peter above – being matured and developed in our lives, where we live for God rather than for our selves, then we’re on the productivity track for God’s glory; and all we can – or should – say is, “KEEP ON KEEPING ON IN CHRIST,” … which I always symbolize with the following … " <'koko>< " .

My Prayer for Today … Lord help me to KOKO in You because I SO want to be fruitful for Your glory. … Amen

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