Saturday, January 10, 2015

January 10, 2015 … Old Dog … New Tricks!!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 10

Devotional Song: Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the lyrics with Phillips, Craig, and Dean singing the poignant song, He’ll Do Whatever It Takes, … proclaiming the truth of God’s willingness and ability to do whatever it takes to remake anyone of faith in Christ into the image of our Savior.

Highlight Passage #1 John 3: 4-5 [NKJV] … 
4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” …  5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 
Highlight Passage #2 John 3: 16 [NKJV] … 
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 
Highlight Context - John 3: 1-8, 13-16 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …  Jesus tells old Nicodemus about the ultimate change

Reference Passage #1 - John 19: 38-39 [NKJV]
38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. … 
 John documents the change in Nicodemus, whom we believe was saved when he helped Joseph of Arimathea bury the crucified Lord.

Reference Passage #2 - Romans 10: 9-13 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK -  …
Paul describes what it takes for anyone - no matter how old and corrupted by habit - to be saved

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by David C McCasland, tells of an repeated adage which can be found in several forms in different languages involving change. He writes ….
  There are sayings in many languages about the difficulty of changing long-established habits. In English, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” In French, “Ce n’est pas à un vieux singe qu’on apprend à faire la grimace” (You can’t teach an old monkey how to pull a funny face). In Spanish, “El loro viejo no aprende a hablar” (An old parrot can’t learn to speak). 

And then McCasland writes about the interesting confrontation between Jesus and the religious leader, Nicodemus, found in Chapter 3 of John (see highlight passages above). Nicodemus, who questioned Jesus about the claim of one needing to be “born again,” according to many Bible scholars was actually questioning how an old man, like himself, so steeped in Jewish tradition, could be saved as Jesus was claiming. And Jesus’ answer came in words that most Christians know by heart (see John 3: 16), disclaiming that God can save anyone, no matter how old or set in his/her ways, if they believe in Jesus as THE CHRIST.

 And that was what the Apostle Paul taught and boldly claimed later (see Romans 10: 9-13 linked above). And what better example of God’s ability to change someone than the testimony and witness of the Apostle Paul, who had been a Christian killer as Saul of Tarsus; but who, later as a called one, the “Apostle” Paul, brought the truth and good news of the Gospel to much of the known world at that time.

 And Nicodemus also changed, as we read documented by the beloved Apostle John (see John 19: 38-39 copied above); because Nicodemus, risking so much as a member of the Sanhedrin, helped Joseph of Arimathea bury the crucified Christ. showing that Nicodemus had likely become saved. 

And I’m also one who can give witness to the changing and saving power of our Lord; … because my surrender to Christ at age 39 totally changed me. For 22 years of my life I was addicted to many forms of sexual sin; but on April 13, 1983, as a broken man, I accepted Christ’s claim of His saving grace, repenting of my past life of sin; and here I sit, over 30 years later, a former atheist, now a born-again Christian, … a former porn addict, now an obsessive Bible student, … and a former hater of Christians, now an Ordained Minister of the Gospel.

 Can an old dog learn new tricks? … ABSOLUTELY!!! 

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … You are remaking me in Your image; and I yield, Holy Spirit to your enabling grace. … 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.

No comments: