Friday, February 20, 2015

February 20, 2015 … Weighed Down *

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 51

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Sara Groves singing her poignant song… Eyes On The Prize; … declaring the task of all Christians to retain focus on our Lord and His purposes for our lives.

Highlight Passage Hebrews 12: 1-2 [NKJV] … 
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Highlight Context - Hebrews 12: 1-6 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Note the quote in verses 5-6 of Proverbs 3: 11-12

Reference Passage #1 - Deuteronomy 6: 1-5 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… God’s strong command to give Him our ALL…

Reference Passage #2 - Luke 9: 23 [NKJV]
  23 And He [King Jesus] said to them all, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross DAILY, and follow Me. … “ 
… Which part of deny ourselves don’t we understand? …

Reference Passage #3 - 1st Corinthians 9: 24-25 [NKJV]
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 
… Paul’s exhortation to all Christians to run the race of life as if we’re striving to be winners!

Reference Passage #4 - 2nd Timothy 4: 7-8 [NKJV]
  7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 
… Paul had his failures along the say (see Romans, Chapter 7); but in the end he realized that his disciplined pursuit of the path and purposes and the grace of King Jesus had allowed him to finish the race a winner!

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Dennis Fisher, convicted me to the core of my being … physically, emotionally, and Spiritually.

Fisher, in his ODB devotional [*BTW, I stole Fisher's title today], spoke of the charge from God by the author of Hebrews to prepare for and run the race of life by taking off any burden of excess weight … so that we can be more effective as runners in God’s lifetime marathon. And this theme was also echoed by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians in 1st Cor. 9: 23-25 and to Timothy in 2nd Tim. 4: 7 [both passages quoted above], as the Apostle used this word picture of life being like a marathon with the Christian needing to prepare for and run the race to win - for King Jesus!!

 And my conviction today from ODB is very personal and practical. Early this year, I was convicted that I had let myself take on about 10 extra pounds of “burden” in running the race of life, … especially having to deal with my “thorn” in life (see 2nd Cor. 12: 7-11), Type 2 Diabetes. So, I committed (not an oath, but a goal) to somewhat of a New Year’s Resolution … to lose 10 pounds by April first and then to keep it off for all of 2015. Well, today’s ODB whacked me up side of the head, with the realization that I was in no way living up to Jesus’ command of His disciples [see Luke 9: 23, quoted above, to deny myself, to take up my cross of gluttony DAILY, and to follow Him. … So, … I PTL for this mind-jogging reality; and I retake up the challenge of Hebrews 12: 1; and my commitment to get this weight off by using the “battle plan” which I had devised in January.

 And maybe there’s some conviction or re-direction for you as well from today’s ODB and my journal entry. I leave that between you and God’s Spirit.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … thank You for Your chastisement and conviction; help me to unburden myself of this excess weight so that I can run more effectively for You in my race of life. … 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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