Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 20, 2013 … Obedience-based Living

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 201

Devotional Song: Go to this link   … Today, may I ask any readers to use this link and return to a song I used a few days ago with Phillips, Craig and Dean singing, “I Choose To Believe”, which shows the life of obedience-based living rather than relying on outcomes-based living.

 Highlight Passage of the Day: Proverbs 28: 20 [Sticking with faithful living to the end rather than succumbing to pursuing outcomes in life.] … [NLT] …  
20 The trustworthy will get a rich reward. But the person who wants to get rich quick will only get into trouble.
 Contextual Study involving today’s passage found in Proverbs, Chapter 28 Go to this link

 Reference Passage of the Day #1: Proverbs 3: 5-6 [God’s direction is where we all should be seeking, … no matter what the demands of the world may be.] … [NLT] …  
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.

Reference Passage of the Day #2: Luke 9: 23 [But Jesus will always demand the vertical !! ] … [NLT] …  
23 Then He said to them all, If anyone desires to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

Reference Passage of the Day #3: John 10: 10b [Jesus’s promise for a life of obedience.] … [NKJV]  
10 “… I have come that they [the faithful] may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. …”

 My Journal for Today: If there is one theme that probably repeats itself in Os Hillman’s devotional series this year – yes, over and over again – it’s the outcomes of faithful living. And the key to faithful living is obedience-based choices or actions … as opposed to our human default which is outcomes-based living.

Wouldn’t you agree that we men and women of the world all too often set our goals and directions in life to produce outcomes, which are based on our work rather than relying on the outcomes of being obedient to God’s plan and leaving the outcomes to His providence? That’s why the lyrics of my devotional song for today, by Phillips, Craig, and Dean, are so meaningful – from verse two of their song and the chorus …

It's easy to believe when everything goes our way
But we are all gonna go threw fire to test our faith
Life hurts so much that we can hardly breathe 
We're begging to know why 
But it's such a mystery 

I Choose to believe
And never give up hope 
God is good 
He's in control 
I'll keep the faith 
I trust in His way 
Even when His face is hard to see 
I choose to believe

That about says it all when it comes to exhort us onward in the Christian life, doesn’t it? But we (well, most certainly, I) all too often get all wrapped up in performance-based living rather than simply trusting God and faithfully living an obedience-based life.

 Most certainly Proverbs 28: 20, copied above, promises a “rich reward” from our living a faith-based … obedience-based life; but that rich reward does not refer to worldly-defined wealth, does it? No, … the “rich reward” – or as Jesus referred to it in John 10: 10, the “abundant life,” is the ultimate result of faithfully living in/for Christ; and that outcome may not be realized in this life; but it most definitely will be the ultimate outcome of a life lived obediently for God’s glory.

But our challenge as Christians is staying in that obedience-based mode of living, rather than allowing our attitude and actions to slip into what is the natural and normal default; and that is performance-based or outcomes-based living. Hence I repeat, for the UMPTH time this year, Proverbs 3: 5-6 and Luke 9: 23, which should be so deeply engrained into our minds/hearts that they have become who we are and how we live.

Oh, I am praying so hard, for me today, and asking you to pray for yourself, the life outcomes which come from obedience-based living … IN Christ and FOR His glory. If we do that, the outcomes will be HIS; and no matter what they are, they will come FROM Him and be FOR His glory.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, help me, today and tomorrow, and for the rest of my life here on earth, to be deeply into living in obedience to Your will, seeking Your ways, from Your word … and most certainly all for Your glory! … Amen

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