Saturday, August 24, 2013

August 24, 2013 … God’s Faith-building Strategies

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 236

Devotional Song: Go to this link  ...  Again today, like yesterday, please take in this powerful, sung by three great Christian singers, Clay Crosse, Bebe Wynans, and Bob Carlisle, singing I Will Follow Christ, reminding us that no matter what happens in life, as the “called ones” according to God’s will (i.e., we Christians), we must follow Christ.

Highlight meditation passage – Hebrews 10: 35-36 [with verses 35-39] [NLT]:  
35 Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised. 
37“For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. 38And a righteous person will live by faith. But I will have no pleasure in anyone who turns away.” [Hab. 2: 3-4] 
39But we are not like those who turn their backs on God and seal their fate. We have faith that assures our salvation.
Highlight reading study #1 of Hebrews, Chapters 10: Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Romans 1: 12-15 [What has God called Christians toward; unrighteousness or righteousness? ] … [NLT] …  
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

Reference Passage #2: Luke 9: 23 [Jesus’ call is simply to follow Him.] … [NLT] …  
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. ... "

 Reference Passage #3: Matthew 6: 33 [God’s call is always to seek Christ first and His righteousness.] … [NLT] …  
 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.

My Journal for Today: How does God want us to live? And why does He seem SO OFTEN to have to put us through such agony to get us in a place to follow Him (see Luke 9: 23 above)?

As a fellow Christian, called by Christ Himself to “seek the Kingdom of God above all else,” (from Matt. 6: 33) have you ever found yourself having to go through what seems like hell to get to heaven? Yeah, I know, … been there, done that, and have that t-shirt, … don’t we?

How often in Scripture do we read of God putting His stalwarts through a lot of hellish stuff to hone and ripen them for His service. Think of the likes of Moses, Jonah, and the Apostles Paul and Peter, … just to name a few. Think of their life stories and how God used them for His glory, but even more so how He prepared them for His glory. … Now think of our own life story; and I would bet that you – like me – have gone (or are going through) some really crappy stuff (if you’ll pardon my crass language) in the process of reshaping us into His own image and to refine us through the fires of life to purify our testimony/witness.

So, as the author of our highlight passage exhorts today in Hebrews 10, who quoted from one of those whom God took through the fire of faith preparation, Habakkuk, (see the quote from Hab. 2: 3-4 above) we must do what my devotional song sings today; and that is to follow Christ in faith … NO MATTER WHAT!!

And I’m going to tell you, my dear one, that we must not be surprised or deterred from Christ’s call of Luke 9: 23 no matter what we must go through to follow our Lord. My friend, should we be surprised, when we turn – in repentance – and walk toward Christ, that our Lord’s powerful enemy, Satan, is going to do all he can to discourage us, to deter us, and to destroy our witness for our Savior? And Satan knows exactly where our weaknesses lie; and he’s going to do all he can to draw our worship/witness to himself and away from our witness for Christ.

So, my fellow Christian, I charge us all to review today’s devotional song and all of God’s word, upon which I’ve meditated and copied here today, so that we all will stay on the path where Christ, through His Spirit, is leading us. We all must “keep on keeping on in Christ” as my symbol … <'KOKO><  … reminds me. Let me pray for both of us …

My Prayer for Today … Lord, if I, or any who read here, must go through the pains of fire to be purified and readied for Your service, I, for one, thank You for these fires which prepare us to do battle in Your Name. Amen

1 comment:

Bobby said...

Thanks Bill, this gives me hope for today and the future.