Friday, January 03, 2014

January 3, 2014 … Soul-improvement … not Self-improvement

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 3

Devotional Song: Go to this link  – to hear a clever and poignant acapella version of the old Irish Hymn, Be Thou My Vision, … a worshipful reminder that we seek God’s vision, rather than relying on our own.

Highlight Passage #1 - NKJV: Micah 6:8 …  
8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, … but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? 
Highlight Context - NKJV: Micah, Chapter 6, Verses 1-8… GO TO THIS LINK … 

Reference Passage #1: Proverbs 1: 7 … [NKJV] … [Seeking God’s will, using His word as our GPS.] …  
7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Reference Passage #2: Psalm 119: 105 … [NKJV] … [Seeking God’s will for soul improvement – using His light … God’s word! ] …
  105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Reference Passage #1: Ephesians 3: 14-21 … [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK ...  [May Paul’s prayer for God’s people be ours today. ] …

My Journal for Today: I truly hope you’ve taken in all that I’ve provided today from my “Our Daily Bread” devotional, … the attached photo, the poignant rendition of an old Irish hymn, and God’s clear direction from His word. I say this because today I was reminded that I (and really all of us) need to be taking stock of where we are and where want to go into the new year; … and then seeking to find our way through the confusing morass we call life to get to our goals (perhaps generating our New Year’s resolutions).

I can just image many of us have directed ourselves toward predictable self-improvement goals; … maybe losing weight, exercising more rigorously, or reading a self-improvement book or two? But this morning’s trek through my “daily bread” reminded me that perhaps we need to just use God’s “GPS” and focus on SOUL improvement, rather than SELF improvement. And to do this, perhaps it would be more productive to get into THE self-improvement book (i.e., the SOUL improvement BOOK), … the Bible … this year.

Micah, one of God’s great Prophets, prophesying to God’s people, primarily the tribe of Judah, in the times of Hosea and Isaiah; was trying to give God’s people direction in the face of their confusion and disarray, created by their unwillingness to seek God’s will and find His way by listening to the Prophets God sent to them. It would be us like us planning to drive into a complex, mega-city and a loved one offering us to use a very well-programmed GPS device; and then we refuse to use it, saying, we’ll find our own way.

Duh! … Dumb! … No, double, triple dumb!!! And my wife always says, “You can’t deal with dumb, can you?”

 And if you’ve read the words from God through Micah to God’s recalcitrant people, the Lord was offering them HIS absolutely true and perfected will, … giving them the way to go through the confusing routes in their lives; and yet, they were unwilling to go it God’s way. And we know where their own way led them; … yes, … to downfall and destruction at the hands of the Babylonians.

So, are we willing to use God’s absolutely and perfectly tuned “GPS” … i.e., His word … to navigate the confusing routes we call life [see the attached photo]? Because if we do, with our attitude being reverence for God’s way (see Prov. 1: 7), … and with our willingness to use God’s word as our guiding light (see Ps. 119: 105), … we will find that seeking God’s soul-improvement course (as Micah taught in the highlight passage above) is the way to go rather than to devise some SELF-improvement scheme of our own planning.

If we Decide to Discipline ourselves Daily to follow God’s “GPS,” we’re going to get through 2014 way ahead of any self-improvement program we – OURSELVES – can devise. Our choice, isn’t it?

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I’ll just come here daily to reposition myself by your clear GPS in my life … Your word. Shine a light brightly on my path; and I will follow You. … 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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