Friday, July 05, 2013

July 5, 2013 … Death Working In Us As Christians

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 186

Passage of the Day #1: 2nd Corinthians 1: 8-9 [As Christians have we really died to self?] [NLT]  
8 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.
Contextual Study involving today’s passage found in 2nd Corinthians, Chapter 1Go to this link … 

Reference Passage of the Day #1: Luke 9: 23-24 [Christ’s command to discipleship involves death of self.] …  
23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow Me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake, you will save it….”

Reference Passage of the Day #2: Philippians 3: 7-9 [Paul’s discovery of the life we have in Christ.] …   
7 I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God’s law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.

Devotional Song: Go to this link -  … Today, please hear the Maranatha Singers singing, “Jesus, You Are My Life” challenging all who claim to be in Christ to give all to Him

My Journal for Today: If I were to ask you what time in your life produced the greatest growth in your life as a Christian, what would that be? … Would it involve some big advancement you were given at work? … Perhaps it would be your service in the military? … Maybe you’re thinking about the graduation of your highest degree?

Well, if you ask most honest, self-probing Christians that question, they will respond with some event or time in their lives when they had to give up a lot of themselves, … perhaps their marriage day, … or the birth of their first child, … or the day they gave their life in surrender to Christ … as that day or time when they grew the most as a person … as a Christian.

Me, … I think of that day – it was April 13th, 1983, when I was broken in seeking spiritual strength in my life, and I was finally able to see what Paul discovered … that all I been searching for in my past was worthless compared to what Paul had gained by giving over his life to Christ (see that declaration in Phil. 3: 7-9, copied above).

Yes, my friend, there is nothing in this world, in our lives, which produces what death to self and surrender of self to the Savior can bring to our lives. Really that’s what Jesus was declaring when He told His followers (from Luke 9: 23-24 copied above) … that they must lose their lives before they will find their true lives in receiving Him as their Messiah and Lord. And that’s what I discovered on April 13, 1983; and it’s the powerful theme in the song to which I’ve linked any reader here this morning – the one by the Maranatha Singers, … Jesus, You Are My Life; and I hope you who read here have taken the few moments to let your devotional time here remind you of what you have gained by denying yourself and surrendering your life to Christ.

My friend, … IT IS EVERYTHING!!!

And so, let me close with the closing remarks of Os Hillman in his workplace devotional for today … “When God brings death to one area of life, He resurrects it in a new way. Death works in us to bring new life and new perspectives. These are designed to press us forward in ways that we never would have moved without the experience. God knows how much this is needed in our life to gain the prize He has reserved for each of us. It is His strategic mercy that motivates Him to bring such events into our life. Press into Him, learn of Him, and rely on Him.” 

 My Prayer for Today … I do, Lord … You are my everything! … Amen

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