Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November 20, 2013 … Starting Over

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 324

Devotional Song: Go to this link  – Please take your time to see a video of a telling song performed by Sara Groves, It’s Gonna Be Alright, reminding us how we, as Christians, are never so low that God can’t raise us up to glorify Him. … And then to this link  to hear Woodrow Kroll recite a poem he wrote entitled Start Over, where he describes God’s call to us at anytime we’re feeling low in our lives.

Highlight Passage - NLT: James 1: 9…  
9 Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them.  
Highlight Passage - NKJV: James 1: 9…  
9 Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, …
Highlight Passage - KJV: James 1: 9…  
9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: …
Highlight Passage: James 1: 1-18… GO TO THIS LINK … [NLT] …

Reference Passage #1: Matthew 23: 11-12 … [NLT] … [Jesus, telling of the way to exaltation in life.] …  
11 The greatest among you must be a servant. 12 But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Reference Passage #2: Philippians 2: 5-11 … [NLT] … GO TO THIS LINK [Jesus – our model of humility and glory.] …

My Journal for Today: Ever been in a place of utter humiliation, feeling about as low as a human can feel? I would guess that’s the feeling of the one in the picture attached to illustrate a wondrous truth about the Christian life; and that is … we CAN start over!

Today in his journal entry, Os Hillman uses the human story of J. C. Penney, who built a retail giant back in the 1930s, just after the great depression. But when the market crashed in 1929, Mr. Penney lost everything; and he ended up in a mental institution. But after that low place in his life, he slipped into a worship service and found Christ; and in that new relationship with God, he learned that His Lord was the God of second chances. So, he started over; and, as a Christian, Penney built one of the great post-depression retail businesses.

Yes, as Jesus’ brother exclaimed in the first chapter of his treatise on living the Christian life, we are never so low that we cannot live to serve God and be exalted by Him. Jesus, declared that it is the lowest in life who serve others and will be exalted the most (see Matthew 23: 11-12 above). And Jesus, Himself, was the model of humiliation to glory in His birth, life, death, and resurrection (see Paul’s account of our following Christ’s model in Philippians 2: 5-11 linked above).

Every year on New Year’s Day, my computer prompts me to read a poem which Woodrow Kroll wrote many years ago; and you can stop for a moment and use the link above to hear Dr. Kroll, the great Bible teacher, read that poem, entitled, Start Over. And then use the other link to hear Sara Groves sing a song I often return to use as a meditation in music for my journal entries, It’s Gonna Be Alright.

My friend, if any of us find ourselves in a low place right now, maybe a place where we feel worthless or in total humiliation, I pray we’ll be able to recognize that God has us in the exact place where He can show off His best stuff and allow us to receive the grace to START OVER.

How about it? Will we take in the truths above and follow our God of second chances; or are we going to listen to the lies of the enemy and allow our selves to remain down-and-outers forever?

Common! Let’s start over!

My Prayer for Today … Lord, thank You for being the author of a new life, in You. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online blog entitled Today God Is First [TGIF], authored by Os Hillman. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read Hillman’s TGIF blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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