Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January 13, 2015 … Is it worth it?

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 13

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the lyrics of the poignant, personall song written and sung by Laura Story, Blessings, … where where Story reminds us that God’s blessings often comes in the difficult challenges we face in life; … and THEN ON TO THIS LINK to hear Steven Curtis Chapman singing, His Strength Is Perfect to remind us all of Christ’s message that His grace is sufficient to help us handle any trouble in life.

Highlight Passage ... 2nd Corinthians 11: 30 [NKJV] …
  30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. 
… All Paul could brag about for all that he bore to spread the Gospel message were the infirmities he encountered or incurred, which Paul actually considered blessings.
Highlight Context - 2nd Corinthians 11: 24-33 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …      Paul’s recollection of the trials he encountered to be able to share Christ with the world

Reference Passage #1 - 1st Corinthians 10: 13 [NKJV]
13 No temptation [or also translated “test, trial, or tribulation”] has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
...  Here Paul exhorts a truth all Christians need to internalize … that God will never place a true believer in any set of circumstances that we cannot handle with His faithful assistance.

Reference Passage #2 - 2nd Corinthians 12: 7-10 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK  … Paul, after praying for relief from “a thorn” in his life, i.e., some physical infirmity, remembered what Jesus, His Lord, had said (see verse 9), that "God’s grace is sufficient …” to cover our weaknesses and the temptations which life comes our way.

Reference Passage #3 - Galatians 5: 22-23 [NKJV]
  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 
... God, through Paul, lists the fruit of God’s Spirit, one of which is “longsuffering,” which is also translated as “PATIENCE.”

Reference Passage #4 - James 1: 2-4 [NKJV]
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 
... Patience is a fruit which is difficult to pray for because what we must go through to become more mature in this area of life may be more difficult than we’d ever want to encounter.

My Journal for Today: Today’s [or actually tomorrow’s - see my note below] Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Marion Stroud, apparently was one I needed to read/study today or one that someone else needs to read here; … because I went to it online “by mistake,” pulling up the ODB entry for 1/14 instead of that for 1/13 (today). And since I believe nothing happens by “chance,” I will post my thoughts for the 1/14 entry; and come back and cover the 1/13 ODB entry for tomorrow.

 ODB author Stroud’s topic for 1/4 had to do with PATIENCE, one of God’s fruit (see Gal. 5: 22-23 above); and one which I, personally, find very difficult to develop or mature in my life. Sometimes the silliest things can try my patience to where I lose perspective and can’t seem to see “the forest for the trees.” And it becomes a bit dicey, maybe even problematic, to pray for patience, because I know that the methods God might use to develop my patience may present even more difficult challenges or trials in life.

 Paul had to encounter trial after trial after trial in his life as he carried out the calling which God had purposed for his life (see the 2nd Corinthians 11 context link above); and the Apostle even had to deal with a very painful “thorn,” which God allowed Satan to bring to him [see the link to 2nd Cor. 12: 7-10], much like Job had encountered in his journal (see the book of Job).

 And Paul prayed and prayed to be relieved of the pain of that thorn, whatever it was. However, in the process of dealing with the pain, Paul remembered something Jesus had communicated to him … (see 2nd Corinthians 12: 9) … i.e., that God’s grace is sufficient to give any Christian strength to cover our weaknesses (hear the song sung by Steven Curtis Chapman above).

 Actually, it’s not too difficult for me personally to see why God led me to Marion Stroud’s ODB entry for tomorrow. Right now, I am encountering and dealing with more than one “thorn” in my life, Maybe it’s not nearly as difficult to deal with as Paul’s “thorn,” or maybe a “thorn” you’re dealing with. But today, I needed to be reminded, as Laura Story and Steven Chapman sing, that my God is faithful; and He’s right here with me, giving me the enabling, empowering grace to deal with my “thorns.” And in the process, I now also am reminded and know that God is helping me develop and mature the fruit of PATIENCE in my life.

 How about you; … did you need this 1/14 ODB lesson today?

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … Give me Your strength to be more patient and to deal with my “thorns.” … 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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