Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 27, 2015 … In Jesus’ Name

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 147

Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK … Please take the time to take in a video of the group Selah singing Press ON, expressing the hope that we, as “CHRISTIANS,” can always press on … in Jesus’ Name!

Highlight Passage Acts 11: 25-26 [ESV] … 
25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians. 
… Jesus’ disciples first called “Christians” in Antioch as Barnabas and Paul were growing in His Name.
Highlight Context - Acts 11: 19-26 [ESV]USE THIS LINK
… Jesus’ Apostles, called to witness to His Name

Reference Passage #1 - Luke 9: 23 [ESV] … 
23 And He said to all,  “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. …”
… Jesus exhorting His followers to really take on HIS Name and follow Him.

Reference Passage #2 - Acts 1: 8 [ESV] … 
8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 
 … Jesus’ command for His disciples to witness in His Name … EVERYWHERE!!

Reference Passage #23- 1st Corinthians 11: 1 [ESV] … 
1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
 … Paul’s confident, yet humble, exhortation for Christians to follow him as he followed Christ.

Reference Passage #4 - Ephesians 4: 1 [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, … 
… Paul’s exhortation for Christians to live up to their calling as “Christians”

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Bill Crowder, opened his ODB teaching today by referring to how nursing graduates of the world’s oldest Nursing School, in England, founded by Florence Nightingale, proudly call themselves “Nightingales” to honor the courageous founder of the school. And this illustrates that what we call ourselves often identifies (i.e., witnesses) to others who we are.

 If you were asked, “Who are you,” … what would you answer? And Crowder, in his highlight reference passage from Acts 11: 9-16 relates how in the ministry of Barnabas and Paul to dispersed followers of Christ in Antioch (i.e., Asia Minor) and to converted Gentiles, who had also come to be believers in Christ, led these disciples - for the first time - to take on the name “CHRISTIAN,” to identify themselves and witness to their faith.

 But back to the question of what we might answer if asked, “Who are you?” And in these days where many in the culture are looking to movie stars and pro athletes for identity, I’m inspired by one of the biggest basketball stars, young Stephen Curry (they call him “Steph”). Curry was recently awarded the NBA “MVP” (Most Valuable Player) award; and he’s currently starring for a team who is trying to win the NBA tournament, playing for the Golden State Warriors. But if Steph Curry were to be asked “Who are you?” … he would likely say … Well you USE THIS LINK to hear his testimony for yourself.

 This amazingly talented pro athlete, who could easily let pride take a hold of his life, sees himself no more than a witness to Christ. Every shot he takes in a game and every victory he experiences, he sees as a way of witnessing His faith to His Lord and Savior, Jesus. So, are we being the witness to Christ that our Lord called us to be (see Acts 1: 8)? Are we living lives which are worthy of our calling - as CHRISTIANS [see Eph. 4: 1]? Are we able to say, as did Paul to other Christians [see 1st Cor. 11: 1 rephrased], … “You can imitate me, because I imitate Christ” … ??

 So, if you were to ask me, here today, “Bill, who are you?” … I’d say, as Steph Curry would likely say, “I am a sold-out follower of Jesus, The Christ!!”

 BTW, … who are you?

My Prayer Today: Oh Lord, … let me say openly and let my life be a witness to You as my Lord and Savior. I am a CHRISTIAN!! 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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