Sunday, February 09, 2014

February 9, 2014 … Our Eyes on the Prize

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 40

 Devotional Song: Devotional Song: Go to this link  – Please go to this video link to hear Sara Groves singing her song, Eyes On The Prize, … reminding us how we Christians must keep our eyes on our unified relationship with Christ … ONE Lord leading us to ONE prize … our eternal relationship with Him.

Highlight Passage – NKJV: Ephesians 4: 3 [NKJV] …  
3 … endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Highlight Passage [Context] – NKJV: Ephesians 4: 1-6 [NKJV] … Go to this link  

Reference Passage #1: Philippians 3: 13-14 … [NKJV] …  
13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Reference Passage #2: Jeremiah 17: 9 … [NKJV] …  
9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

Reference Passage #3: 2nd Peter 1: 2-4 … [NKJV] …  
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

My Journal for Today: In my Our Daily Bread devotional for today the author relates a rather quaint, but meaningful parable, to illustrate the need for God’s Church to remain unified. Here is the story –

"A man stranded by himself on an island was finally discovered. His rescuers asked him about the three huts they saw there. He pointed and said, ‘This one is my home and that one is my church.’ He then pointed to the third hut: ‘That was my former church.’ "

 Yes, it’s a silly little story; but it illustrates a profound truth. As humans we’re always vulnerable to selfish desires and our own deceitful hearts (see Jeremiah 17: 9). That’s why – all too often – we see local churches splitting and getting involved in petty squabbles, … i.e., arguments over the small stuff. Rather than, as Paul was writing about to Ephesus, a church in disarray, to keep our eyes – IN UNITY – on the prize our Lord has set before us.

And what it that prize? It is the forward calling of the LORD, the One Who has given us all we need to fulfill His Great Commission, (see Matt. 28: 19-20 and 2nd Peter 1: 2-4). But all too often we get wrapped up in petty squabbles which produce disunity, dysfunction in leadership, and even disarry in the brotherhood of believers. And it’s only through UNITY of purpose and holding to our common faith and humble drive – TOGETHER – to reach for the prize set before God’s Church that we can do what Paul called for in Ephesians 1 and Philippians 3, copied above.

Today happens to be Sunday here. So, I’m going to go off to my church, seeking after an attitude of humility and unity in every conversation I have. … What about you?

My Prayer for Today … Lord, help me to keep my eyes continually on Your prize and to work together with my brothers/sisters in Christ toward that prize. … 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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