Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 15, 2015 … “I give up !!”

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 105

Devotional Song: … Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Steven Curtis Chapman, singing the song he wrote … His Strength Is Perfect, declaring that our strength needs God’s to deal with the challenges of life.

Highlight Passage Matthew 26: 39-40 [NKJV] … 
39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” 
… Temptation is not sin, especially when it brings us to our knees to surrender to God’s will.
Highlight Context - Matthew 26: 36-46 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Even Jesus, in His humanity, could be overwhelmed by temptation

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.
… Solomon declared it. But do we believe it; and even more importantly, do we live it?

Reference Passage #2 - 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. 
… One of Paul’s toughest admonitions to live by.

Reference Passage #3 - 1st Corinthians 10: 13 [NKJV] ... 
13 No temptation 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. 
… Temptation [in the Greek - “peirasmos” - pronounced “pie-ras-‘mas”] also translated “test, trial, trouble, tribulation” depending on the circumstances.

Reference Passage #4 - 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Paul, overwhelmed with horrible pain and suffering, which he tried to pray away, … then he remembered a lesson given to him by Jesus on humility and trusting in God’s grace - ALWAYS!

Reference Passage #5 - Philippians 4: 6-7 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… God’s prescription for dealing with anxiety … Even Jesus dealt with it.

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Anne Cetas, focused her journaling on dealing with temptations, as did Jesus when he was confronted with His impending sacrifice on the cross when He was led into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray (see the highlight passage from Matthew 26, linked above).

 And I’m sure all reading here with me have dealt with situations or circumstances in life where we want to cry out … “ENOUGH!!! … Or we felt like declaring my title today … “I give up!” Ever been there? I’d bet you have.

 Well, as author Cetas wrote, this was the place where Jesus was in the highlight passage, led by God’s Spirit into that garden on the Mount of Olives just hours before He’d be betrayed and led to the horrible crucifixion. And we even read in Matthew 26: 39-40 [copied above] that Jesus, in His humanity would have desired that this cup of death be taken, by God’s Spirit, from Him. But we know that He also knew, in His divinity, that Abba Father’s will must be fulfilled.

 You probably have heard, as Anne Cetas wrote about today in the ODB entry, that … “God will never allow a Christian to be challenged (i.e., tempted or tested or tried) beyond what he/she is able to withstand; and often 1st Corinthians 10: 13 [see above] is quoted; and it’s a correct reference for this truth. Because, when Paul, wrote about being tempted in that passage, he used the Greek concept “peirasmos,” which can be translated several ways based on the circumstances of the time/moment the concept is used. Besides “temptation,” which is often used in the translation, it can also mean “test, trial, trouble, or tribulation;” and most certainly any, or all, of those translations could be used to describe what Jesus was facing the night He prayed in Gethsemane.

 Paul also faced a similar test himself when he wrote about dealing with an overwhelmingly painful “thorn,” which he wrote about in 2nd Cor. 12: 7-10 [linked above]. And he did all the right things, … praying - over and over - for God to remove that “thorn. ” But then he remembered a life lesson Jesus had taught him; and he realized that he needed that “thorn” to keep him humble so that he could receive and use God’s enabling/empowering grace.

 My friend. today you may be dealing with some painful or overwhelming “thorn,” which is trying or testing your well-being and faith in truths like Prov. 3: 5-6 or Romans 8: 28 [above]! But we need to go where Jesus went when He was overwhelmed and wanted to give up “the cup” of death He was to have to drink. We may be in a place where we want to cry “Uncle!” … or “NO MAS!” (Spanish for “No more!”) … or we simply want to give it all up. … But God is calling us as He did His Son and His Apostle, Paul, … to receive His saving or sanctifying grace and let His Spirit give us the strength to move on. [Please use the link above and take in the song, for which Steven Curtis Chapman wrote the lyrics when he tragically lost his little daughter.]

My Prayer Today: Lord, it’s tough right now; and I’m tempted to want to give it all up; but I surrender to You, Holy Spirit, to help me move on with Your strength to cover my weakness. 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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