Monday, September 02, 2013

September 2, 2013 … Triumphant In Defeat

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 245

 Devotional Song: Go to this link ... PLEASE use this link and take in the poignant and pertinent song, sung by Selah … Press On, reminding us that our greatest victories can be won in the face of defeats and challenges in life. … And if you’ve never seen the movie Braveheart, see the trailer linked here  to which I make reference below.

Highlight meditation passage – John 21: 14 [with verses 5-9] [NLT]:  
14 This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead. 
Highlight reading study #1 of John, Chapter 21: Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: John 12: 24-26 [Jesus’ parable about the seed not being able to produce fruit until it dies unto itself first.] … [NLT] …  
24 “ … I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. 25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. 26 Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me. …”

Reference Passage #2: Philippians 3: 12-14 [No matter what our defeats might be in life, we must press on in/for Jesus’ sake.] … [NLT] …  
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

  Reference Passage #3: Acts 1: 8 [Our calling is to be Christ’s witness,  no matter what!!] … [NLT] …
8 " ... But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

My Journal for Today: Perhaps you’ve seen the movie, Braveheart, starring Mel Gipson as the 13th century hero of Scotland, who fought for freedom in his native Scotland against the oppressive reign of King Edward in England. If you’ve not seen the movie, you can get an idea of the story by viewing the short trailer to which I’ve linked you above.

Wallace lost his life, being tortured to death by the powers that reigned in the land at the time; but ultimately because of the repentance and will to press on to victory by Robert Bruce, who had once betrayed Wallace, … Scotland won it’s independence and freedom from the tyranny of England. And ultimately that victory was credited to William Wallace’s willingness to stand for freedom – even in his personal defeat and death.

Well, we Christians know an even greater story of life coming from death, don’t we? And of course, that is the true and victorious story of our Lord, Jesus, dying on the cross and being resurrected to call for His followers to die to self so that they (we) could have the ultimate victory of eternal life. And Jesus, in the face of ignominious defeat – even unto death, came back (see the highlight verse above) to show His Disciples that He was alive; and then, as our Lord ascended into heaven, He called (in Acts 1: 8) all of His disciples to be His witnesses in all of the world, … even if it meant, like William Wallace experienced, death in this world.

 Witnessing for Christ sometimes means being willing to die to self in this world in order to experience the ultimate prize promised by God for eternity. But even it only means experience temporary defeat or personal ignominy or humiliation, as Paul wrote about in Phil. 3: 13-14 (cited above), it’s worth it to stand in witness to/for our Lord.

 I pray that we’re willing to press on – no matter what – to witness for our Lord today.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, help me (us) to stand for You … no matter what may appear to be defeat. You are the Prize for Whom we stand in witness. … Amen

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