Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January 29, 2014 … Expectations – Mine or God’s?

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 29

Devotional Song: Go to this link  – Please take a few minutes to see a video of Sara Groves singing the song she wrote … It’s Going To Be Alright, which proclaims the reality that only in following God’s will can we realize that all will be well in Christ.

Highlight Passage #1 – NKJV: Philippians 1: 18, 20 [NKJV] … [When our expectations come from God, they will always be met and we can rejoice.] …  
18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice. … 
20 according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 
Highlight Context - NKJV: Philippians, Chapter 1, Verses 12-21 … GO TO THIS LINK … 

Reference Passage #1: Luke 9: 23 … [NKJV] … [Expectations will be met when we deny self and follow the Savior.] …  
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. …”

Reference Passage #2: Philippians 4: 6-7 … [NKJV] … [Expectations from self will likely always produce anxiety.] …
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

My Journal for Today: Get the picture from today’s highlight devotional passage [i.e., Philippians, Chapter 1above]. The Apostle Paul is in prison, writing a letter of encouragement and love to a group of Christians [i.e., in Philippi], … dear friends who loved Paul and had seen him in prison where they lived when Paul was used to establish their church. And here is the Apostle, from prison again, telling them that no matter where he is and what is happening, it’s all okay.

But how can he be so cavalier and encouraging in the face of being imprisoned? Well, it’s because Paul really believed what he had written earlier to other Christians [see Romans 8: 28], when he said, All things work together for God for those who love God and are the called according to His purpose. As long as Paul was seeking and following God’s will, he knew that life was going to be okay, … as Sara Groves sings in the linked song for today.

You know, quite often we get frustrated or discouraged when the outcomes of our life don’t match up to the expectations we set for ourselves [see the attached photo]. And that’s where the problem lies and why we can’t seem to find the peace and power in life exhibited by Paul in his writing to the Philippians. We – all too often – are the ones trying to set our priorities based upon our own, selfish, expectations in life. In other words, we set our path (our goals) based upon our WANTS rather than upon seeking/finding God’s will, which would reflect our NEEDS.

Therefore, when the circumstances of life (i.e., OUR outcomes) don’t meet OUR OWN expectations, frustrations and disappointment are likely the result. But for Paul His expectations were filled with His calling to be a witness for Christ in the world and to follow the calling and will of God’s Spirit. And so, for Paul, [see Phil. 1: 21] to live is Christ; and to die is gain!” 

 What about it, fellow Christian? What are our expectations for today? Do they align with God’s will? And will the outcomes of our day result because we’re following Christ? Good questions to resolve, don’tcha think?

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I know that when I follow You, my expectations, being Yours, will always be okay. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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