Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 31, 2015 … Why Me ?? !!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 90

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Morgan Cryar singing the poignant song … What Sin, declaring the incredible reality that all of my sin, in my faith in Christ’s blood on the cross, was buried in God’s sea of forgetfulness. And how incredible is that??!!


Highlight Passage Mark 14: 10-11 [NKJV] … 
10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.
 … And Judas Iscariot did the deed.
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Highlight Context - Mark 14: 10-21 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Jesus knowing selected His betrayer as part of His inner 12 Disciples … Why?
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Reference Passage #1 - Psalm 103: 12 [NKJV] … 
12 As far as the east is from the west; … so far has He removed our transgressions from us. 
… My Lord has wiped out my sin as far as the east is from the west … forever!!!

Reference Passage #2 - Romans 5: 8 [NKJV] … 
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
… A wonder that Jesus selected Judas Iscariot as a beloved Disciple; … but even more wondrous, TO ME, that He selected and saved me !!

Reference Passage #3 - Ephesians 4: 1 [NKJV] … 
1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, … 
… So, may I live my life in worthiness to His sacrifice on behalf of this sinner who now has become a saint in God’s eyes.

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by David C. Egnar, opened with an age-old question, … “Why would Jesus, being fully God, choose Judas Iscariot, whom the Lord knew would betray him, to be one of His chosen twelve Disciples?” … But a British Pastor, Joseph Parker, according to Egnar, when asked that question, turned it on himself by asking, “Why did He choose me?”

And that latter question, … “Why me?” … the ODB title which I steal for my blog today … was raised in my mind a few years ago when I traveled to Jerusalem and stood on the spot archeologists firmly believe was the spot where Jesus was nailed to the cross [those are my feet in the attached photo standing on those stones where Jesus was nailed to the tree]. I looked down as I took that attached photo of my feet; and I wept, realizing that it was my sin which nailed my Lord to that cross; and yet, knowing all I had done in my past life … all the times I rejected Him … all the times I was unfaithful to my wife … all the times - well, you get the picture!! Yet, when I came to Him and confessed it all and sought His saving grace, He was incredibly willing to welcome me into His kingdom and His family.

He saved … ME!!!

The Psalmist wrote it in Psalm 103: 12 and the Apostle Paul declared as much in Romans 5: 8, both passages above, that when I was willing to accept God’s free offering of His saving grace, He was willing to set my past, present, and yes, even my future sins apart from me … as far as the east is from the west; and as Morgan Cryar sings in the linked song, … God has buried my sins in the sea of His forgetfulness.

Incredible, isn’t it? But it’s true; and all I can think and say in this moment of meditation and reflection is HALLELUJAH!!! And as Paul wrote in Ephesians 4: 1, I will endeavor to do what he exhorted in this letter … to live worthy of my calling into the kingdom of God.

How about you? Will you declare “HALLELUJAH!” with me today, striving to be worthy of His calling … more today than yesterday … more tomorrow than today?

My Prayer Today: Dear Lord, in spite of my sinfulness, you took the nails for me on that cross; and now because of it, I can live forever with You, dear King Jesus! … So, my heart cries … HALLELUJAH!! … 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.

Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015 … The Important Stuff !!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 89

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the group, Hillsong leading in worship, singing … Lord, I Offer My Life To You, declaring the joy of complete surrender to our Lord and Savior.


Highlight Passage Mark 14: 8-9 [NKJV] … 
8 She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 9 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” 
… What Jesus considered so important for all mankind to take notice
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Highlight Context - Mark 14: 1-11 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Jesus at a crucial time in His march to the cross
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Reference Passage #1 - Romans 12: 1-2 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… The priority of personal worship … becoming a “living sacrifice” for our King Jesus

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Anne Cetas, reminded her readers (me) of an important principle of biblical interpretation which was illustrated in the first 11 verses of the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 14. The principle is that the amount of space (i.e., number of verses) devoted to a topic often indicates the importance that the Holy Spirit has inspired a Bible Author to dwell upon in the story or images being described.

 So, in Mark 14: 1-11 note that only two verses (Mark 14: 1-2) describe a plot of the Pharisees to kill Jesus; and two more (Mark 14: 10-11) describe Judas’ involvement in that plot. Now one might think that the emphasis of God might be heavy on that topic in Mark, Chapter 14. However, sandwiched in between these sets of two verses each are seven verses (Mark 14: 3-9) describing the devotion of “a woman” who came to Jesus while he was dining with lepers (which is amazing in-and-of itself) and she anointed his feet with very expensive oil, much to the consternation of even Jesus’ disciples. And this was more important stuff from God’s point of view than even the plot to kill Jesus.

 And note what Jesus said about this woman’s act of sacrifice in the highlight section of that passage - i.e., Mark: 14: 8-9, copied above. He said that her act of sacrifice would be talked about forever as a memorial to her surrender and devotion to her Lord. And that’s what the Apostle Paul was writing about in two very crucial verses that became a bridge between what he was teaching in the Book of Romans [see Romans 12: 1-2 linked above] as to us become a “living sacrifice” with our lives devoted to living as the young woman lived out for Jesus in Mark 14.

 So, today’s ODB entry challenges me to ask myself if I’m living with the attitude of sacrifice of that woman who anointed Jesus; or am I being the “living sacrifice” that Paul wrote about to the Christians in Rome? And my personal conviction is - MORE SURRENDER AND SACRIFICE IS IN ORDER! … What about you?

My Prayer Today: Dear Lord, during this Holy Week, You have given me notice to be more of that “living sacrifice” as witnessed by the young girl in Bethany as she anointed Your feet. 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.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

March 29, 2015 … Who Is He?

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 88

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of an anonymous praise group worshipping Yeshua by singing … Yeshua Hamaschiach, declaring that we worship THE CHRIST, our Messiah, … He’s Holy … HE IS LORD!!!


Highlight Passage Matthew 21: 9-10 [NKJV] … 
9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ [Ps 118: 26] Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”
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Highlight Context - Matthew 21: 1-11 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Yeshua’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on “Palm Sunday”
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Reference Passage #1 - Mark 15: 11-15 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… And many of the same mob who escorted Jesus into Jerusalem, crying “HOSANNA,” were soon crying for Him to be crucified

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by David C McCasland, asked a profound question at the end of his entry for this date: “ [Jesus] is worthy of our lives and our devotion today. [BUT] … Do we recognize who He is? “ And then the author quotes Oswald Chambers, the author of the great devotional book, Our Utmost for His Highest, writing … “ When once you have seen Jesus, you can never be the same. “ And this is all in the context of the historical biblical story of Jesus coming down on a steep road from the Garden of Gethsemane on a prophesied colt … with the people crying, “HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST!” [see attached photo] 

I’ve always had mixed emotions on this date in the Christian calendar, i.e., so-called “Palm Sunday.” The scene, captured in Matthew 21, linked above, is often labeled as the “triumphal entry” of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem after His night of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. But to me it reveals the fickle nature of mankind. Think about it. Here was Jesus, being escorted down the hillside from the Mount of Olives by a hoard of people, many of whom were declaring Him as “Yeshua Hamashiach” … “Jesus, The Christ,” … or “Jesus, The Messiah.” Yet, in just a few days later, many of those same people would be decrying, “Crucify Him!!!” [see the linked passage in Mark 15: 11-15above]

So the question asked in Matthew 21: 10 becomes one of the most important questions - if not THE most important question - anyone will ever ask of himself or herself; and that is “Who is this?”

And that becomes my point of personal declaration today. I believe that man, named “Yeshua,” or as we in America call Him, “Jesus,” … that Man who entered Jerusalem, riding the colt that Sunday, is THE MESSIAH! … He is my LORD!! … He was nailed to a tree by MY SINS. And His blood has redeemed me by my faith that He truly is King Jesus!! And His saving grace will save anyone else who believes this God-Man to be Yeshua Hamashiach!!!

 SO … Whom do you believe He was … and IS?

My Prayer Today: Dear Lord, on this Palm Sunday, I know that my sins nailed You to that tree; but Your blood has redeemed me by Your saving grace and my faith in you as my LORD and Savior!! 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.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 28, 2015 … Marking the Trail

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 87

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Chris Tomlin singing the his powerful song … I Will Follow, declaring what should be the goal of all Christians … to follow Our Lord wherever He leads.



Highlight Passage Isaiah 53: 6 [NKJV] … 
13 All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the inquiry of us all. 
… God through the Prophet pointed the way to our salvation in The Christ centuries before His coming a Babe in a manger and dying on a cross for us all.
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Highlight Context - Isaiah 53: 1-12 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Over 700 years before The Messiah, Isaiah prophesied of Him coming and dying for mankind 
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Reference Passage #1 - Psalm 22: 16-18 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… The Psalmist elegantly describes the reality of the crucifixion of Jesus … hundreds of years before it happened.

Reference Passage #2 - Isaiah 61: 1-2; Luke 4: 16-21 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Isaiah prophesies and 700+ years later, Jesus declares HE is the fulfillment of that prophesy
 
Reference Passage #3 - Luke 9: 23 [NKJV]
  23 Then He [Jesus] said to them all,“If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. … “ 
… Now, knowing that Jesus is our King, all we have to do is follow where He leads.

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Cindy Hess Kasper, uses a family story to illustrate her biblical point today. The author writes of her daughter studying the practice of native Americans, hundreds of years ago, fashioning trees to point the way through the wooded landscape long before Europeans came on the scene. The attached photo depicts one such “trail tree,” which was restricted with ropes is it grew so that the tree would point the direction a tribe should go to some safe destination. Other such trees along the trail would point in the same direction, leading the natives safely to the destination.

 And Kasper used this historical word picture to compare with how the Old Testament Prophets prophesied of the coming Messiah, using the leading of the Holy Spirit to point the way with prophesy and song to the One Who would come to save God’s people. Certainly anyone has to be impressed with the accuracy of their prophesies, which depicted great details of THE ONE Who would come to save God’s people by dying, as prophesied, by crucifixion [see the passages from Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 linked above]. These prophets were the “trail trees” of their time, pointing the way to The Christ.

 And now we know they were true; and we also know The Messiah has come and He Himself has prophesied that He will come again to rule as King Jesus forever, reigning over those who believed in Him in the Old Testament and now believe in the trail left by King Jesus from the New Testament. Who knows; … following Him today may lead us to His destination in glory.

 So, as He commanded His disciples in Luke 9:23, let’s deny ourself today, take up our cross, and follow Him.

My Prayer Today: Dear Lord, I follow the trail You have led to our hope in glory!! 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.

Friday, March 27, 2015

March 27, 2015 … Knowing the “Real Deal”

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 86

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the group Selah singing the classic old hymn … Be Thou My Vision, which is a prayer to our High King for Him to be our vision in the face of our enemy who wants to counterfeit truth.


Highlight Passage John 16: 13 [NKJV] … 
13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 
… The Holy Spirit, in our hearts as Christians, is our “parakletos”, [Greek for “one who comes along to guide”], showing us truth in the face of the deceit of our enemy, Satan …
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Highlight Context - John 16: 7-15 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Jesus teaching on the coming of the Holy Spirit as our teacher/director
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Reference Passage #1 - 2nd Corinthians 11: 13-15 [NKJV] … 
13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. 
… There are those who are counterfeit teachers, masquerading as messengers of truth and are in truth messengers of lies from hell …

Reference Passage #2 - 1st John 4: 1 [NKJV] … 
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 
… John’s warning that we, who are in Christ, are to test the spirits to discern if they are bringing us truth.

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Bill Crowder, writes about the Foley Artists, who created the sounds we heard as real but were actually counterfeit sounds. Crowder writes, "Crunch. Crunch. Whoosh! In the early days of film, Foley artists created sounds to support the story’s action. Squeezing a leather pouch filled with cornstarch made the sound of snow crunching, shaking a pair of gloves sounded like bird wings flapping, and waving a thin stick made a whoosh sound. To make movies as realistic as possible, these artists used creative techniques to replicate sounds." 

Today Foley artistry is still in the movies (see attached photo), trying to get us to believe that counterfeit sounds are the “real deal.” And this counterfeiting of sound is actually a good word picture to depict how Satan has always masqueraded himself as an “angel of light,” along with his counterfeiting minions, his demons, which so often come to us with Satan’s counterfeiting of the truth and him trying to get us to buy into false truths [see 2nd Corinthians 11: 13-15 above]. The Apostles, John and Paul, tried to warn the early Church, and in God’s word, to warn us today [see the passages above], that false teachers had come then and still come now to be Satan’s counterfeit liars, trying to make themselves seem to be truth messengers.

 But we should know, as Christians, that we have the Lord’s teacher and illuminator, the Holy Spirit, in our hearts to help us see the truth in spite of the counterfeiting Satan puts forth. Jesus, encouraged His disciples [see the John 16 passage above], just before going to the cross, that He would send the “parakletos,” which is Greek for “one who comes along side,” to give us clarity, direction, and truth. That of course is the Holy Spirit of Truth; and if we pay attention to Him, He will ALWAYS show us the “real deal,” which our Lord wants us to see.

 So, as John instructs (see 1st John 4: 1) let us go forth, every vigilant, always testing the spirits of what we see in the world, … knowing that Satan will always try to counterfeit the truth with his lies, … yet trusting that God’s Spirit will always be with a true believer to show us the “real deal” path in life.

My Prayer Today: Dear Holy Spirit, give me YOUR vision so that I can see the true way in this path 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.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 26, 2015 … What’s Our Choice?

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 85

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of three friends, Clay Crosse, Bob Carlisle, and Bebe Winans, singing the powerful song … I Will Follow Christ, where these three forcefully declare their choice to follow their Lord every day in every way . no matter what!!!


Highlight Passage Joshua 24: 15 [NKJV] … 
15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. 
 … No matter what others choose, we who live for Christ must make the ONLY CHOICE … 
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Highlight Context - Joshua 24: 15-24 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Joshua saw others making the wrong choices in life; but as for Joshua and his family, he was going to lead them into THE right choice
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Reference Passage #1 - Luke 9: 23 [NKJV] … 
25 Then He (Jesus) said to the them all (His followers), “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
 … Twenty-two (22) times in the NT, Jesus declares to his disciples, “Follow me!” …

Reference Passage #2 - Acts 1: 8 [NKJV] … 
8 “… But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
… As Jesus was ascended back into Heaven, he declared His command that we follow Him and be His witness into all the world; … BUT is that our choice! …

Reference Passage #3 - Romans 12: 1-2 [NKJV] … 
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 
… Inspired by God’s Spirit, Paul shows us the way to follow Christ … as “living sacrifices” and avoiding the ways of the world (see attached photo)

Reference Passage #4 - 1st Corinthians 11: 1 [NKJV] … 
1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. 
… Paul could say “follow me” confidently; because he knew Whom he was following.

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Lawrence Darmani, used the strong declaration from Joshua to God’s people as to Whom he and his family would follow (see Joshua 24: 15). And Joshua’s clear choice leads us to ask, Whom do we choose to follow?

 Paul, in Romans 12: 1-2, gave us God’s clear direction as to Whom we must follow and how we make that choice … by becoming a “living sacrifice” and doing all we can to avoid the choices the world will place before us.

 So, if you take in the image in the attached photo, listen to the song sung by my friend, Clay Crosse, and two of his buddies, and then meditate on the Scriptures above, I don’t need to add anything here, do I? … No, … the choice is clear; and we must make it OUR OWN CHOICE to take up our crosses daily and to follow King Jesus.

My Prayer Today: Lord, I will follow You today and every day! 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.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March 25, 2015 … Waiting On God’s Promise

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 84

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Steve Green singing his great song … Find Us Faithful, declaring what should be the goal of every Christian to be faithful to the promises God has laid out for us in His word.


Highlight Passage Luke 2: 37-38 [NKJV] … 
37 ... and this woman [Anna, the Prophetess] was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. 
… When faith intersects with God’s providence …
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Highlight Context - Luke 2: 25-38 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Simeon and Anna see the Christ child and their faith is rewarded with God’s plan unfolding in their faithful presence
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Reference Passage #1 - Proverbs 3: 5-6 [NKJV] … 
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him; and He will direct your paths. 
… God’s promise when we’re fearful! …

Reference Passage #2 - Luke 9: 23 [NKJV] … 
23 Then He (Jesus) said to the them all (His followers), “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” 
… So, are we really ready to be His faithful followers? …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Marion Stroud, refers to Luke’s account of two faithful seekers of God’s promise for Israel; and their willingness to patiently wait for God’s promise of the The Messiah.

 In Luke 2: 25-38, linked above, we read the story of Simeon and Anna who encountered their Messiah in the Temple, with the baby Jesus being brought there by His parents, Mary and Joseph, for the rite of circumcision. And these two old Jews, who had been faithful followers in waiting for The Messiah, were rewarded by God’s providence to be able to see their Promised One before they died. 

Author Stroud, in today’s ODB entry, delivers a profound truth for his readers (me) today; as he writes … "It’s hard to see both God’s plan and our part. But their intersection is the best place to be." And that truth was illustrated in the lives of Simeon and Anna, who TOTALLY believed God’s promises of a Messiah coming to save God’s people. Simeon had even been given the promise of seeing The Christ before he died; and that promise played out in the Temple scene we read from Luke, Chapter 2.

 My dear one, there’s no better place to be than at the intersection of faith in God and His promise for our lives. So, like Anna and Simeon, let us be, as Steve Green sings in the linked song above, faithful followers of God’s promise … that we who know Him and love Him and share Him with others; and that we will be with Him in Glory. And that is a promise to which all who call Jesus, “Lord,” can await with confidence.

My Prayer Today: Lord, one day I will be with You in glory. HALLELUJAH!! 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.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 24, 2015 … Trust and Obey

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 83

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Big Daddy Weave singing his version of the old hymn… Trust and Obey, declaring what should be the goal of every Christian to seek our relationship with Jesus by completely trusting Him in obedience to His word. 


Highlight Passage Psalm 56: 3 [NKJV] … 
3 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. 
… Easier said than done; isn't it?! …
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Highlight Context - Psalm 56 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… David’s trusting prayer in the face of danger
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Reference Passage #1 - 1st Samuel 21:10 - 22:2 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… David’s fearful retreat to Gath - the story behind Psalm 56 …

Reference Passage #2 - Isaiah 41: 10 [NKJV] … 
10 Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. 
… God’s promise when we’re fearful! …

Reference Passage #3 - Luke 8: 25 [NKJV] … 
25 But He [Jesus] said to them [His disciples in the storm], “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” 
… Sometimes all we can do, in the storms of life, as disciples of Christ is trust and obey! …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Joe Stowell, uses a teaching illustration with which any parent can likely identify and empathize. It’s depicted in the fearful eyes of a child who’s already been to the doctor for a shot [see attached photo]; and we as a parent have to take them back for their shots a second time. The fear can be palpable; and often we parents have to be there with the child to go though the follow-up shots, don’t we? When we tell them, “It’s for your own good;” they have to stretch in trust quite a bit to obey us to go to that doctor with the needles again. And so often, as parents, we’ll even have to be there to hold them as the doctor administers the needle.

 And we adults are not too much different than that when we face fearful challenges, are we? When one reads how the anointed future king, David, had to run from King Saul, we see how far David had to go in trusting his God when he retreated to Gath to escape Saul. Remember Gath was the home-place of Goliath; and so it had a special memory for David. And the story is found in the linked passage above in 1st Samuel, Chapters 21-22, where David even feigned mental illness before the King of Gath to escape Saul. And I’m afraid we’re very much like David, aren’t we, when we’re facing threatening prospects ahead? We often cower like a little child facing shots and we need to run to loving Heavenly Father in faith, … a Lord and Savior, Jesus, … Whom we can trust and obey in face of dangers and trials.

 So, today, … if we face some threatening set of circumstances ahead, let’s do what Big Daddy Weave sings in his version of the old hymn; … let’s simply “trust and obey” in The One Who will alway be there for us.

My Prayer Today: Lord, in You I trust and obey. 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.

Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23, 2015 … Reflecting The Son

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 82

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Chris Rice sining his lovely and poignant song … Go Light Your World, declaring what should be the goal of every Christian to reflect the light of the SON into an ever darkening world.


Highlight Passage John 1: 6-8 [NKJV] … 
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 
… John, the Baptizer, was not the light, but a reflector of THE LIGHT …
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Highlight Context - John 1: 1-9 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… John, the Apostle, writes of another John, the Baptist, who came to shine a spotlight on the coming of The messiah
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Reference Passage #1 - Matthew 5: 14-16 [NKJV] … 
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. 
… Jesus teaches His desire for all who know Him to light the world with His light …

Reference Passage #2 - Matthew 28: 18-20 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Jesus’ command for all to shine the light of His kingdom Gospel to all the world … My Journal for Today: Today’s

Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Julie Ackerman Link, uses an interesting, current day, illustration to make her devotional point.  She writes …. The cozy little village of Rjukan, Norway, is a delightful place to live — except during the dark days of winter. Located in a valley at the foot of the towering Gaustatoppen Mountain, the town receives no direct sunlight for nearly half of the year. Residents had long considered the idea of placing mirrors at the top of the mountain to reflect the sun. But the concept was not feasible until recently. In 2005, a local artist began “The Mirror Project” to bring together people who could turn the idea into reality. Eight years later, in October 2013, the mirrors went into action. Residents crowded into the town square to soak up the reflected sunlight. [see attached photo above] 

Her point? ... We as Christians are charged, by no less than the Son of God, Himself, to be reflectors of His light into the world. That’s what John, the Baptist, was (see John 1: 1-9 linked above); and that’s what we should be as well. In fact, Jesus Himself taught this truth both in His Sermon on the Mount (see Matt. 5: 14-16 above) and when He ascended into heaven as His great commission (see Matt. 28: 18-20 linked above). We, as Christ’s disciples, are to GO and be a light to the world, reflecting His light of the Gospel to all the world.

 The question for us today is … ”Are we being reflectors of the Son’s light into an ever darkening world?” Personally, I need to point my mirror more in The Son’s direction and become more of a reflector of hope for others. … How about you?

My Prayer Today: Lord, point me in the direction of others in darkness and let me shine Your light into their lives. 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.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 22, 2015 … One Body, … One Family … in Christ

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 81

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of one of those Bill Gaither gospel-singing gatherings where the group sings … The Family of God, declaring their love for one another in the unity of God’s family.


Highlight Passage 1st Thessalonians 2: 8 [NKJV] … 
8 So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. 
… The love of God is palpable amongst those who share the love of God in Christ …
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Highlight Context - 1st Thessalonians 2: 6-14 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK     
… Paul expresses how the love of God permeates His body like that of a family of faith 
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Reference Passage #1 - John 13: 34-35 [NKJV] … 
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” 
… Christ’s commandment to His family of disciples …

Reference Passage #2 - 1st Corinthians 12: 12-14 [NKJV] … 
12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into[c] one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 
… We are all, as born-again Christians, part of ONE BODY, … the Body of Christ …

Reference Passage #3 - Ephesians 4: 1-6 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Living in the unity of being in the Body of Christ …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by David C McCasland, reminded me, as one of his readers, of a scenario which I’ve experienced more than once since I became part of God’s family of faithful. Perhaps you have experienced something like this as well.

 You meet a perfect “stranger,” perhaps in an airport, … someone you’ve never met before and you strike up a conversation, learning in the sharing that you’re both Christians. And suddenly you find yourself, along with your new acquaintance, willing to share anything openly and honestly, … even sharing intimate details of each other’s lives. It’s as if you’ve been members of the same family for all of your lives; and you’re willing to share openly with the other as if you’re brothers and/or sisters. … And of course, that’s exactly what you are, … members of God’s family, intimately sharing the same Savior, Who saved you both and has covered you with His blood on the cross.

 Paul wrote about it often in his letters to fellow believers in Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth, and Ephesus, where the Apostle wrote about the unity of believers in One Body, … the family of God. And as you take in the attached photo, the song with Bill Gather singing about the family of God, and the reference Scriptures above, I hope that any Christians reading along with me today are my brothers or sisters in God’s family. And when we come into contact with one another, perhaps as new acquaintances in an airport, we can immediately connect and share God’s love with one another, even being willing to die for one another, … recognizing that we are brothers or sisters in the family of God.

My Prayer Today: Lord, You not only call me Your “friend,” but in You all Who call you “Lord” are brother and sisters in the family of God. HALLELUJAH!! 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.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

March 21, 2015 … God’s Anger Is Real !!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 80

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video Chris Tomlin singing his powerful song … Whom Shall I Fear, declaring a God we should fear for His glory goes before those who love and revere Him.


Highlight Passage Nahum 1: 7-8 [NKJV] … 
7  The Lord is good, … A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him. 8  But with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place, And darkness will pursue His enemies.
… God’s patience and mercy have HIS limits …
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Highlight Context - Nahum 1: 1-9 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… God may be slow to anger; but His anger is sure against His enemies
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Reference Passage #1 - Romans 1: 18-32 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… How long will God be merciful against a country like ours who keeps rebelling against His will?

Reference Passage #2 - Romans 1: 18-19 [NKJV] … 
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 
… How long?

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Dave Branon, takes his readers (me) back to the little, so-called “minor prophet” in the Old Testament, Nahum, who prophesied for God to the peoples of the Southern kingdom of Judah about the time of Isaiah, prophesying that God’s wrath would be visited on those who were invading Jerusalem; … in this case it was the Ninevites.

 The purpose of the book of Nahum in God’s grand scheme of Scripture was/is to reveal the character of God’s wrath against those who rebel against His will and His ways as found in His word. The Ninevites, of course, were the people God had saved/spared under the prophesy and preaching of Jonah, about 100 years before Nahum prophesied. And when one reads the highlight passage above (see Nahum 1: 1-9 we read about every word there is in the Hebrew language to describe God’s anger/wrath to be expressed against those who would come against God’s remnant of believers. Note the words … “jealous, furious, wrath, rebukes, indignation, fierceness, and fury” in the highlight passage.

 I know that we, New Testament, believers would like to think only of God’s love and mercy and compassion; but we must remember that our God, the Great I AM, is a God of wrath against those who reject Him and who openly turn from His ways as documented in His word. We know the historical result of God’s wrath against the Ninevites, who were decimated by God; and now I fear, in reading the truth of Romans 1: 18-32, over 2700 years after God destroyed the Ninevites, we, this these times, should fear God’s wrath coming down on this very country and people (i.e., the people of the USA), who are almost spitting in the face of God’s wrath with our sinful ways.

 O LORD, have mercy on us!!

My Prayer Today: I say again, LORD, spare those who diligently love and serve You in obedience. 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.

Friday, March 20, 2015

March 20, 2015 … A Calling to Hope!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 79

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video with an anonymous praise group singing the powerful hymn … In Christ Alone, declaring the reality for Christians that our only hope in this life and the next lies in our Savior, … King Jesus!!


Highlight Passage Nehemiah 1: 8-9 [NKJV] … 
5 For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.” 
… God speaks to the parents of Samson as to God’s hope being placed in the life of this Nazarite child…
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Highlight Context - Judges 13: 1-7 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… God sent Samson to be the hope of His people
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Reference Passage #1 - Psalm 71: 4-5 [NKJV] … 
4 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. 5  For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; You are my trust from my youth. 
… The Lord is our only hope for deliverance …

Reference Passage #2 - Isaiah 53: 6 [NKJV] … 
6 All we, like sheep, have gone astray. We have turned everyone to his on way; and the Lord has laid on HIM the iniquity of us all. 
… The prophesy of all our hopes for deliverance being placed on King Jesus, The Messiah …

Reference Passage #3 - Luke 1: 13-17 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… The prophesy of another Nazarite, John - the Baptizer - being called to lead God’s people to their hope in The Christ …

Reference Passage #4 - John 16: 33 [NKJV] … 
33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” 
… Jesus declares that He is our hope in times of trouble … that HE has overcome the world …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Jennifer Benson Schuldt, uses a news story to illustrate the hope that we can only find in the Messiah Who was sent to mankind to deliver us from ourselves. But the ODB author today took her readers (me) back to one of the many bad times in the book of Judges when God’s people had rebelled in sin and in Judges, Chapter 13, linked above, God sends a Nazarite to be their hope of deliverance, … the child Samson.

A “Nazarite” was a called one, … one who had certain life demands placed on them to become what God intended them to be. And we know how Samson became disobedient to his calling not to cut his hair; and in his disobedience, he was rendered helpless in his task to be a Judge for God’s people. Yet, finally, in the end, he was restored to power and became the deliverer he was called to be.

 And another such Nazarite, centuries later, John, the Baptizer, was called to prophesy and declare the Christ-hood of THE Savior of the World. And John became a voice in the wilderness declaring that The Messiah had come in the Person of Jesus, … The Christ. And Jesus would become THE ONE Whom God’s people - His faithful followers - could place their everlasting hope.

 Please take in all that I’ve been given above to share with readers here today and sing out a loud HALLELUJAH! to THE ONE Who has come and has delivered us from our selves into eternal life in glory!

My Prayer Today: Yes, HALLELUJAH, Lord … You are our only hope! 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.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

March 19, 2015 … Somewhere - A Place for Us

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 78

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video with Barbara Streisand and Jackie Evancho singing … There’s A Place For Us, declaring the reality for Christians that SOMEWHERE … SOMETIME … God has a place - HIS PLACE - waiting for us.


Highlight Passage Nehemiah 1: 8-9 [NKJV] … 
8 Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations [Lev. 26: 33]; 9 but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’ [Deut. 30: 2-5] 
… Nehemiah quotes God’s promise to Moses in his prayer for God’s favor in returning His people to the place of promise. …
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Highlight Context - Nehemiah 1: 4-11 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Nehemiah prayed that God would fulfill His promise to bring the faithful remnant back to that place the Lord had promised His people
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Reference Passage #1 - John 14: 1-4 [NKJV] … 
1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.” 
… Jesus’ promise to His disciples … that there would be A PLACE waiting for them in glory. …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Randy Kilgore, very elegantly described our desire as Christians to return to the PLACE OF PROMISE; and I’ll not try to diminish Kilgore’s clear and powerful wording. He wrote …

"A thousand strands of time, events, and people weave into a tapestry we call PLACE. More than just a house, PLACE is where meaning, belonging, and safety come together under the covering of our best efforts at unconditional love. PLACE beckons us with memories buried deep in our souls. Even when our place isn’t perfect, its hold on us is dramatic, magnetic." 

WOW! That is beautifully written to describe the longing of our souls as believers in The Christ … in our desire to return - WITH HIM - to the PLACE He promised to His Disciples in the Upper Room discourse (see John 14: 1-4 copied above). It is THE PLACE about which Nehemiah prayed to return in Nehemiah 1: 4-11, also linked above.

 And I hope that you take in the image of the photo I’ve attached herein as well as the lovely rendition of that great song, “Somewhere There’s a Place for Us,” which expresses what I believe is the longing of all our hearts … to return to THE PLACE God has waiting for all who believe in Him and pursue a return to the purified presence of our King Jesus.

 So, let’s get on that road; and head in the direction our King is leading us … TODAY!

My Prayer Today: Lord, bring me home … to that place of Your promise … SOON! 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.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 18, 2015 … Doing Battle Daily

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 77

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video created by Fernando Ortega singing the classic hymn … I Need Thee Every Hour, declaring our need, in the daily battles of life, of a Savior to save us from the temptations of our very powerful enemies.


Highlight Passage Matthew 4: 3-4 [NKJV] … 
3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” … 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” [Deut. 8:3] 
… Jesus’s weapon against Satan’s temptations was God’s truth; and it ultimately caused Satan to flee from the confrontation …
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Highlight Context - Matthew 3: 16-17, 4: 1-11 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Jesus, after He had been baptized by John the Baptizer and affirmed by God’s Spirit was led by the Spirit into a battle, being tempted directly by Satan
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Reference Passage #1 - Psalm 119: 9-11 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Having God’s word as our sword is the only way to fend off our enemy’s temptations as Jesus did when He was tempted …

Reference Passage #2 - Ephesians 6: 17 [NKJV] … 
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
... God’s word is the only offensive weapon we have to use in battles against our spiritual enemies …

Reference Passage #3 - 1st John 2: 15-16 [NKJV] … 
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 
… Avoiding sin requires avoiding these three areas of temptation …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Keila Ochoa, took the ODB readers seekers [me] back to a powerful lesson which Jesus taught when our Lord confronted the temptations of Satan in the wilderness, documented in both the Gospel accounts in the early verses of both Matthew and Luke. And the story is also a powerful lesson in how to do battle in the spiritual warfare we face in life.

 I don’t think that any Christian would deny that we will face the temptations of our spiritual foes every day of our lives. So, how do we fend off the attacks which will come our way. Well, I’ve learned that using Jesus’ battle strategies is the best way to avoid what John wrote about as the three areas of temptation we will face (see 1st John 2: 15-16 copied above). And they are exactly the same three areas of temptation faced by Jesus when he was confronted in the wilderness by Satan (see the Matthew 4 passage linked above). In fact, in studying this highlight passage, we see that Jesus had just been baptized and blessed by God’s Spirit [see Matthew 3: 16-17], Who then led the Lord into the wilderness for this battle with His arch enemy.

 And it’s here that we can see Jesus, The Christ, take on Satan and defeat the enemy with one primary weapon; and that is God’s word. Three times, in those areas of temptation outlined in 1st John 2: 16, Satan tempted Jesus; and three times Jesus declared “It is written,” using what Paul called the “sword of the Spirit” (see Ephesians 6: 17); and I think it’s safe to say, dear friend, … “if it’s good enough to for Jesus, it’s good enough for us!!” If Jesus used God’s word to fight off the strongest of our spiritual foes, don’t you think that’s the battle strategy we need to use?

 And God actually presented this strategy in an ageless poetic testimony to the power of God’s word to do battle in life, when the Psalmist wrote of the power of God’s word to fend off sin (see Psalm 119: 9, 11 linked above). And I pray today that all reading with me here have God’s word primed and ready in our hearts to use whenever Satan, the world, or our flesh come against us in battle. Without a sharpened and well-practiced sword of the Spirit, ready and waiting for battle, we will be all too vulnerable to Satan.

 So, prepare for battle. Sharpen your sword. Practice your swordsmanship; and let’s go to do battle today for the glory of God.

My Prayer Today: Lord, I carry Your sword into battle today. 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.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 17, 2015 … Bats in My Bedroom

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 76

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video created by Laura Story singing the song she wrote … Blessings, where she witnesses to God’s blessings which came to her in the disguise of discomfort and trials.


Highlight Passage James 1: 2-3 [NKJV] … 
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 
… Yes, as Laura Story sings of Blessings [see link above], some of our greatest blessings may be disguised as fearful trials or troubles …
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Highlight Context - James 1: 2-12 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… James, the former doubter brother of Jesus, writes of how we, as believers, are brought to deal with our doubts, fears, and trials, yet retaining our joy and faith
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Reference Passage #1 - Deuteronomy 31: 6, 8 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… God will NEVER abandon us in our times of need; in fact, He even goes ahead of us to protect us.

Reference Passage #2 - 1st Corinthians 10: 13 [NKJV] … 
13  No temptation (also “trial, trouble, tribulation, or test”) has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, Who will not allow you to be tempted (or “tested”) beyond what you are able, but with the temptation (or “trial”) will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 
… God will never allow a believer to be in a trial or test or trouble that he/she cannot handle! …

Reference Passage #3 - Romans 8: 28 [NKJV] … 
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 
… It’s Scripture, so we know it’s true! … But do we really believe it; and really live it? …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Bill Crowder, used a personal story to make his point today, one with which I really have memories. He told of a bat getting into his house and how it led him to realize that unwanted “visitors” can help us know that God is always with us as we deal with the unwanted troubles of life. And I, personally remember an instance when I was a boy when my mom and dad, wielding brooms, chased a bat out of my bedroom one night, giving me a sense of being protected by loving parents.

 I still remember the incident of the bat in my bedroom when I was about 6 or 7 years old, as well as the memory of my parents coming to my rescue, … showing me that I was safe and secure with them as my protectors. And I don’t think it takes a rocket-scientist to see how such an incident applies to how we might see God in the face of the trials we face in life.

 Certainly so many of these trials, troubles, or temptations which cause us to react in fear or worry, are not instances we desire; but as Laura Story sings in the linked song above, they often become God’s “blessings in disguise,” because they end up showing us the truth of passages like 1st Corinthians 10: 13 and Romans 8: 28 as well as the Old Testament truth of Deuteronomy 31: 6,8, all linked or copied above.

 Yes, dear one; the fearful trials of life, i.e., those temporary, unwanted circumstances of life, often become God’s greatest blessings and life’s greatest lessons … to show us God’s unwavering love and His protection in the face of danger and discomfort.

 So, … if - and maybe when - we face trials today, let us remember that God will never forsake us and He’s going to let our testing become a blessing in some way in our life. Okay, my friend, … let’s go … no worries! God is in control … ALWAYS!!

My Prayer Today: Lord, I go forth knowing that you’re going to protect me from the bats in my bedroom. 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.

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16, 2015 … Pass It On !!!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 75

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video created by Chelsea Flowers on how we can be … The Power of One, passing on God’s legacy of integrity to others, especially the next generation.


Highlight Passage Proverbs 10: 9 [NKJV] … 
9 He who walks with integrity walks securely, … but he who perverts his ways will become known. 
… Integrity, or lack thereof, shines a bright light into future generations …
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Highlight Context - Proverbs 10: 2-15 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Solomon, comparing those with a “good name” with those who carry the name of dishonor 
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Reference Passage #1 - Psalm 22: 30-31 [NKJV] … 
30  A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation, 31 They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, … that He has done this. … 
… The psalmist recounts the posterity which follows the name of the righteous …

Reference Passage #2 - Proverbs 22: 1 [NKJV] … 
30  A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, … loving favor rather than silver and gold. … The lasting power of a good name of integrity…

Reference Passage #3 - Matthew 5: 14-16 [NKJV] … 
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. …” 
… Jesus taught about shining a bright light of integrity into this world … 

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by David C McCasland, made his point about walking the walk of integrity and honesty by relating the story of how Charles Ponzi made an infamous name for himself in the early 1920s by stealing millions from his clients in an intricate investment scheme, the legacy of which now bears his name … “Ponzi Scheme!” If you were Ponzi’s grandson, would you want to go into the investment business, trying to advise your clients with your name being “Ponzi?”

 Today, I have entitled my blog, ”Pass It On,” primarily trying to share the message from Solomon in his Proverbs (see highlight passages linked/copied above) on how we, as Christians, must walk-the-walk of integrity, if for no other reason than so that others can trust us and we will glorify God in everything we think, say, and do.

 What kind of a legacy did a Charles Ponzi leave for his family to follow? What kind of a legacy did Jesus Christ leave for us to follow (see Luke 9: 23, hoping you know this one by heart and live it!)? 

What kind of a legacy will I leave by the decisions I make today?

My Prayer Today: Help me, Lord, to follow You and to lead others by Your light into the future. 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.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

March 15, 2015 … Fervent Prayer … ?!?

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 74

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli singing the powerful song … The Prayer, praying God to lead us into an attitude of prayer which reflects our desire to be with Him.


Highlight Passage Psalm 5: 3 [NKJV] … 
20 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; … In the morning I will direct it to You, … And I will look up. 
… Do we begin each day with our eyes looking up to the Lord in prayer? … If not, why not? … 
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Highlight Context - Psalm 5 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… The Psalmist displays the attitude of fervent prayer which God desires from a believer 
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Reference Passage #1 - 1st Thessalonians 4: 16-18 [NKJV] … 
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 
… Especially note the command of verse 17, which is GOD’S WILL for all Christians.

Reference Passage #2 - James 5: 16 [NKJV] … 
16 The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man [or woman] avails much. 
… If this is truth (and it is!), why don’t we prayer more fervently?  …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Marvin Williams, closed his blog with a powerful summary statement. He wrote, ”Prayer is our way of connecting with God in all life’s circumstances. God is always listening, and we can talk to Him any time throughout the day.” 

And if that is true, … and it is[!], … then, why don’t we pray more fervently, as James declared in James 5: 16. Good question, isn’t it? Why do you think God, through Paul commanded all Christians (see 1st Thes. 5: 17) to develop a 24/7 attitude of prayer? … And why do you think that Satan has developed many, many effective ploys to keep believers from praying? Even those anti-prayer boxes [i.e. cell phones], we carry almost everywhere, … at all times during the day, can keep us from connecting with God the way we need to?

 I’m not going to write more here today; because I think that any born-again Christian reading here with me may be convicted, as I am during my time with God this morning, that we need to pray more often and more fervently with a more surrendered attitude.

 So pray with me today …

My Prayer Today: Help us, Lord, to come to You more often with thankful hearts, praying for us to develop a 24/7, prayerful attitude, of surrender. … 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.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

March 14, 2015 … God On the Mountain-top of our Hearts

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 73

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Phillips, Craig, and Dean singing the powerful song … Great I Am, praying for our being and becoming close to the Great I Am, … the King of Glory, … Whom we can worship through our surrender and living sacrifice to King Jesus!!


Highlight Passage Exodus 20: 20-21 [NKJV] … 
20 And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.” 21 So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was. 
… Our “fear of God” and our closeness with Him …
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Highlight Context - Exodus 19: 16-20; 20: 18-26 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Moses was God’s go-between to His people on Mt. Sinai … And Jesus is our God on the mountain of our hearts today …
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Reference Passage #1 - 1st Corinthians 15: 3-4 [NKJV] … 
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, … 
… Paul declares the truth of the glorious God we serve now … the same God Moses confronted on Mt. Sinai in the person of His Son, King Jesus …

Reference Passage #1 - Romans 12: 1 [NKJV] … 
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 
… We serve the God of holiness by our living sacrifice …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Jennifer Benson Schuldt, opened by taking her readers (me) back to the time where God confronted His people on Mt. Sinai with Moses as His go-between, going up on that mountain to receive God’s Law. It’s no wonder the people shook with terror at what they experienced on that mountain. God had to show Himself to be GREATNESS and GLORY on that mountain for the people to revere and “fear” Him for Whom He is. But no one could relate to God in His majesty, glory, and holiness as Moses brought His unsustainable Law to the people through Moses.

 But now we love and serve that same great and awesome God, the God who gave us His law through Moses. But today we can know Him and love Him because He sent His Son to become our King … to live with us, die for us, and to be raised in life, defeating death and establishing His kingdom on earth for all mankind to identify and choose to serve King Jesus in this life and the next. He is still the glorious God of Mt. Sinai; but now we need not cringe at our inability to fulfill His Law. No, … He has done that for us by sending His Son to redeem us from ourselves and for His Holiness [see 1st Corinthians 15: 3-4].

 Today we don’t need a Moses to go to the rumbling mountain to bring us His commandments. We have His Son as the fulfillment of His Law; and we can revere and serve our King Jesus on the mountain-top of our hearts where He resides. Come today, climb the mountain of His word with me and serve Him gladly by loving His truth and serving Him with our loving and living sacrifice [see Romans 12: 1].

My Prayer Today: Oh, my Lord, You are the majestic God of the mountain where You brought Your Law to us; but You are also the God on the mountain-top of my heart where You now reside and I can worship You, King Jesus, and serve You with my living sacrifice. … 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.

Friday, March 13, 2015

March 13, 2015 … Seeing Jesus in the Mirror

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 72

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Larnelle Harris and Sandi Patty, singing the powerful song … I’ve Just Seen Jesus, which I pray that we see when we look into a mirror; but if we don’t, what are we to do about it?


Highlight Passage Philippians 2: 5 [NKJV] … 
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, … 
… Becoming like Him … ALWAYS!!
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Highlight Context - Philippians 2: 1-5 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK ... 
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Reference Passage #1 - 1st Corinthians 13: 10-12 [NKJV] … 
10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away … 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 
… In the mirror, do we see Jesus; … or at least some of Him?

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by David Roper, discussed a dangerous … or wondrous … word picture, … the subject of mirrors. I say “dangerous” or “wondrous” because when we look into a mirror, what we see can be so revealing that it either causes us to be self-centered (thereby being “dangerous”); or we, in looking in the mirror, can become Savior-centered (which is a “wondrous” prospect). … Let me explain further.

 When you look into a mirror, what do you see? Yourself, right? And what is your reaction/response. Seeing you in that mirror; … is that the you that you’d like to see? Does looking into the mirror cause you to want to break the mirror (defensiveness), or maybe to run from the mirror (denial); or does looking into that mirror help you to see the “Saviorness” you desire to become (determination)?

 I love the little photo I’ve attached with the little kitten looking in the mirror and seeing the Lion of Judah! … And that is my prayer for any of us as we look into a mirror today. And wouldn’t it be great, if, in doing such a self-examination, that we could declare what Larnelle Harris and Sandi Patty sing in the powerful song linked above. When I hear that song, thinking about looking into a mirror, I know, as Paul wrote about in the highlight passage above (see Phil. 2: 5), that I have much humility to strive for until I can look into the mirror and see a reflection of my Lord and Savior, … King Jesus.

And until I look into the mirror of God’s word, when I come here day-by-day, and see my Lord’s image, I will keep using that mirror of truth to help me be reshaped into His image.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … I stand before Your mirror of truth, in your word today, Lord, and I see dimly a reflection of who I am and Who You are; but there is much more for me to do to allow You to remake me into Your image. I will be back here tomorrow, Lord; and I pray to see more of Your image in the mirror of Your word than I see today. … 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.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

March 12, 2015 … How Great Is Our God!!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 71

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Chris Tomlin, singing his powerful song… How Great Is Our God poignantly declaring the reality of how God’s creation shows Himself … And please find about 40 uninterrupted minutes USING THIS LINK to hear Chris Tomlin introducing Louis Giglio who preaches on the glory of God being exhibited in the vastness and even the microscopic glory of our God in creation.  


Highlight Passage Psalm 19: 1 [NKJV] … 
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; … And the firmament shows His handiwork. 
… God’s very creation declares His presence and His power
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Highlight Context - Psalm 19: 1-6 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK ... 
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Reference Passage #1 - Genesis 1: 1 [NKJV] … 
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 
… God declared it; and it was!

Reference Passage #2 - Psalm 139: 14a [NKJV] … 
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; … 
… Yes, down to every microscopic molecule of our body [see about "laminin"] …

Reference Passage #3 - Isaiah 42:5, 45:18 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Thru the Prophet, Isaiah, God’s glory is declared in His creation

Reference Passage #4 - Romans 1: 20 [NKJV] … 
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, … 
… The Apostle had it right that taking in the wonder of God’s creation gives mankind no excuse to declare that there is no God.

Reference Passage #5 - Hebrews 4: 1 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK ...
… And finally it is the Christ, Who created all the heavens and earth, and who, in His life, death, and resurrection is the ultimate revelation of God, The Father, and His glory …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Dennis Fisher, related a personal story of how, when he was a boy, a buddy of Dennis’ and he would lay down on their backs on a clear night and use an old pair of binoculars to marvel at the stars above. Fisher declared how it reminded him of the story of a young shepherd, David, tending his flocks and looking up at the stars and proclaiming, in Psalm 19: 1, “… the heavens declare the glory of of God.” 

 And I do hope that any reader here, beyond the Scriptures which I’ve referenced in my journal entry today, takes the time (about 45 minutes) to use the links above and hear the wonderful song, sung by Chris Tomlin, How Great Is Our God, which was the musical inspiration for a tour where Tomlin sung and Pastor Louis Giglio preached about God’s glory on display in God’s macroscopic and microscopic creation. And when you take in Giglio’s talk, I’m sure you will, as I did, come away in awe of how God declares Who He is and How great He is by what He has created in this world.

 And I would especially challenge you to listen to Giglio telling of the tiny molecule “laminin,” depicted in the electron microscope photo attached. This molecule is what holds us together physically; and as you can see in the photo, it was found to have the shape of the cross. Listen to Giglio lecture about it; and I’m sure you’ll come away in awe, as I did, as to the glory of the God Who created us and the God we serve.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … I stand in awe of Your creation, … yes, the vastness of the heavens; but also how You have so miraculously created every molecule in me and all of mankind. … 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.