Friday, May 24, 2013

May 24, 2013 … Beware Our God-given Talents

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 144

Passage of the Day: Zechariah 4: 6 [NLT]  
6 Then he [God’s angel] said to me [Zechariah], “This is what the LORD says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD Almighty.
Contextual Study for today’s passage: Zechariah, Chapter 4 [NLT] … Go to this link

Reference Passage #1: Proverbs 3: 5-6 : [Beware! … Lean not on our own understanding, talents, and fleshly strength.] …[NKJV] …  
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on our own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

Reference Passage #2: Luke 9: 23 : [It’s like a broken record – the lesson we must learn from Jesus to deny ourselves and follow Him!] …[NLT] …  
23 Then He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow Me."

My Journal for Today: Zechariah was one of three post-exile Prophets, whom God used to help the Governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, and the High Priest at the time, Yeshua, who were returning to Jerusalem from captivity; and it was the task of Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi to give the Lord’s direction to God’s people and their leaders as they were led to rebuild the Temple and the walls around Jerusalem. And today’s message, which was given to Zerubbabel, through Zechariah, via an angel of the Lord, presents one of the challenging paradoxes of all time to believers.

And here’s the deal. God gives man physical abilities, emotional strength, and spiritual support; and yet, the Lord expects His disciples to choose to deny himself and follow God. How many times, in my devotional journal entries, do I end up referring back to the wisdom of Proverb 3: 5-6, which tells us NOT to rely solely on our own God-given mental abilities and to trust in God’s wisdom to guide us? How many times do I end up referring back to Jesus’ own command [from Luke 9: 23] for His followers to deny our own selfish desires and to follow HIM in living out our lives for God’s glory?

And here was God, saying to Zerubbabel that he must carry out God’s will, NOT by his human force of will or human strength … but rather by relying on God’s Spirit to show His people the way and to give them the strength and direction to rebuild the Temple. I’ll tell you. This business of being able to discern what we, as followers of Christ, must do and what we must surrender to God’s will becomes one of the great challenges of being a disciple of Christ, doesn’t it?

 But staying in what I call, “surrender mode” to God’s Spirit and following HIS WILL for our lives, HIS way, from HIS word, becomes one of the greatest challenges of being a Christian. That’s so why you find me coming back here each day and doing all I can to glean the very mind of God from His word. I’m so vulnerable to my own selfish desires and trying to do things MY WAY.

Hence, I’m here again this morning, seeking to stay on track with God’s will; and follow God’s ways, by gleaning HIS direction from HIS word. How about you? … If you’re here reading this, … why are you here?

My Prayer for Today … Lord, keep me in surrender to Your will and following Your ways as I discern Your purposes through Your word. … Amen

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