Saturday, May 16, 2015

May 16, 2015 … Living To Love

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 136

Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK  … Please take the time to take in a video of Frank Sinatra singing which characterized my life before Christ… My Way; … And THEN USE THIS LINK to see a video which now characterizes the way I do my best to live now, AFTER CHRIST, with Avalon singing You’re Everything To Me.

Highlight Passage 2nd Corinthians 5: 14-15 [ESV] … 
14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised. 
… Living as Christ lived - for God and for others!
Highlight Context - 2 Corinthians 5: 11-17 [ESV]USE THIS LINK
… Paul’s exhortation to be reconciled to Christ and to live as He did

Reference Passage #1 - Jeremiah 17: 9 [ESV] … 
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
 … This is the heart/flesh with which we were born and will serve without Christ.

Reference Passage #2 - Matthew 5: 14-16 [ESV]USE THIS LINK
… Living as lights shining His light into the darkness of the world

Reference Passage #3 - John 13: 34-35 [ESV]USE THIS LINK
… Jesus on living to show-n-tell the love of God to others

Reference Passage #4 - Galatians 2: 20 [ESV] … 
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 
… We die to self to live for Christ and unto others.

Reference Passage #5 - Ephesians 4: 1-2 [ESV] … 
1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, … 
… Motivated by Christ’s love to live in a manner worthy of our calling as Christians.

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Bill Crowder, opened his blog for today with a story of what motivated Bobby Jones with his passion for the game of golf. Crowder wrote, … In the 1920s, Bobby Jones dominated the golfing world, despite being an amateur. In one film about his life, “Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius,” there is a scene where a professional golfer asks Bobby when he is going to quit being an amateur and grab for the money like everyone else does [as a pro golfer].  Jones answers by explaining that the word amateur comes from the Latin “amo“ — to love.  His answer was clear: He played golf because he loved the game. 

And in this way Crowder was asking his readers (me) to decide what motivates us to live the way we live. How about you? … What drives you to do what you do? … Why do we make the decisions we make and live the way we live?

 Well, if I had been asked to answer those questions about 35 years ago, the song, linked above by Frank Sinatra would have been accurate to describe my life, which was lived MY WAY … for me and for my pleasures. Back then I was motivated by a heart described by the Prophet in Jeremiah 17: 9, … a life lived in the flesh, motivated by a deceitful heart.

 BUT then enter Christ into my life in 1983; and my motivation changed when His Spirit came to dwell in my heart. And the second song linked above, sung by Avalon, began to characterize my motivation for life. And if you read and meditate on the remain scriptures above (i.e., References #2-5), it was the love of my Lord and Savior Who began to awaken in me a new way of living, … for God #1 and for others as well - before myself.

 Oh, … do I fail at times, still having to deal with my “Jer. 17: 9” heart? Of course, I do; but God’s Spirit now is there to convict me and to keep me moving forward to a more abiding relationship with Christ. And I pray the same for anyone in Christ reading with me here today.

My Prayer Today: Oh Lord, … help all here who know You as Lord and Savior to be driven to live like You and to love others the way You have loved us. 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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