Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014 … Waiting on God

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 363

Devotional Song: Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in video of Kristyn Getty singing the song written by Keith Getty, By Faith, … reminding Christians of the faith it takes to wait on God and work within His will.

Highlight Passage #1 John 11: 5-7 [NKJV] … 
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 
Highlight Context - John 11: 1-48 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …  Faith many times requires waiting on God’s way, rather than wanting our own way

Highlight Context #2 - John 11: 20-27 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …   Martha illustrates both selfish desire and ultimate faith in Jesus

Reference Passage #1 - Proverbs 3: 5-6 [NKJV] … 
6 … Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him; and He will direct your paths.

Reference Passage #2 - Luke 10: 38-42 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK … Martha learning about faith from Jesus

Reference Passage #3 - 2nd Corinthians 5: 6-8 [NKJV] … 
6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. 

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Marion Stroud, besides the highlight passages about Jesus raising Lazarus from the grave, uses a personal story about his kids at Christmas to illustrate how difficult it is for any of us, let alone children, to exercise faith in circumstances which require delayed gratification. We humans are all dissatisfied when we have to wait to get what we desire. We are a “give me more” and “give it to me now” people, aren’t we? 

We’ve been celebrating The Advent Season in my devotionals in the last few weeks; and Christmas is a story about delayed gratification. God sent His son, The Messiah, in the form of a babe in a manger, which was confusing to the the Jews; but then God’s plan had Jesus waiting and growing for 30 years before Jesus began to reveal Himself as the Son of God to His friends and the religious leaders of the day.

 And one of those times of delayed revelation came when Jesus’ friend Lazarus fell ill and died as related in today’s highlight scripture (see link to John 11: 1-48 above). You remember the story. In His divine insight, Jesus knew that His friend Lazarus had died; but he delayed with His disciples two days before traveling to Bethany, another two days, to be with Lazarus’ sisters Martha and Mary. 

Therefore, Lazarus had been dead for four days and was decaying in his tomb. Martha, came to Jesus upon His arrival, despondent over the death, and expressing dismay that Jesus hadn’t come earlier to save her brother (see the passage in John 11: 20-27 above). But Jesus was there to teach all his followers, especially the Jewish leaders whose hate of Jesus was growing, a lesson about WHO He was (and is). And in this moment of despair, Martha, whom we often give a bad rap about her faith (see the Luke 10 link above), even though she was grieving over the loss of here brother, showed very deep faith that Jesus was the Son of God.

 The question from these lessons today is … DO WE HAVE THE FAITH TO WAIT ON GOD? Can we trust God to rely on God’s way, … God’s timing, … and God’s plan, rather than being influenced by our selfish desire to have our own way? This is a good reminder and self exam for me today. How about you?

My Prayer for Today … Lord, … Help me to have the faith of Prov. 3: 5 and 2nd Cor. 5: 7 and to walk by faith rather than by needing my own sight. 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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