Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013 … The weight of witness

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 364

Devotional Song: Go to this link  – to hear Steven Curtis Chapman singing, His Strength Is Perfect, … reminding us that we so often need God’s strength to carry us as we’re call to witness in His Name.

Highlight Passage #1 - NKJV: Matthew 1: 19-20 …  
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. ..."
Highlight Context - NKJV: Matthew, Chapter 1, Verses 18-25… GO TO THIS LINK … 

Reference Passage #1: Acts 1: 8 … [NKJV] … [It often takes God’s strength to cover our weakness as His witnesses.] … “ … 
 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 

Reference Passage #2: Isaiah 41: 10 … [NKJV] … [God’s promise of His strength to lift us when we’re carrying His load.] …  
10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Reference Passage #3: 2nd Corinthians 12: 9 … [NKJV] … [Lest we forget; … God’s always there when we’re feeling too burdened.] …  
9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

My Journal for Today: Oh, here we are … about to move into a New Year; and Os Hillman helped me to remember a lesson that is so difficult to hold onto when our lives get burdened by the challenges of life, especially as we try to witness our faith in a world so hostile to our Savior. And Hillman used the Mary-Joseph dilemma to remind me of this truth, trying to say, “Happy New Year,” as we are called to witness to the Gospel message in 2014.

Mary and Joseph were really in a pickle, weren’t they, as the angel came to each of them to remind them that God would be there to lift them up as they carried the witness of being the earthly parents of the Son of God? Oh, we need to remember this lesson; because being God’s witness in this world often brings a carrier burden which is just way too much to bear at times.

But as the attached photo and Steven Curtis Chapman’s song helps me today, God’s enabling and empowering grace is ALWAYS there for me as was declared proudly and loudly by the reference Scriptures above, all of which bubbled up in my consciousness this morning in my quiet time with the Lord.

Yes, we’re called to be Christ’s witnesses [Acts 1: 8 above], just as were Mary and Joseph. Oh, maybe not by carrying or parenting the Son of God; but most certainly in being His witness to this dark world, we’re often confronted with a great burden or weight, … many times too heavy for us to bear. But as God declares through the Prophet Isaiah in Is. 41: 10, … or the Apostle Paul in dealing with the thorn he incurred in 2nd Cor. 12: 7-10, … we often must yield our egos to rely on God’s strength to lift us up to carry us through times of weakness or trial.

Therefore, as we enter the New Year, are you remembering that God’s grace will always be there to give us HIS strength when we’re burdened by His witness?

My Prayer for Today … Lord, carry me. I need Your strength to cover my weakness. … 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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