Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015 … Rescuing the Reluctant

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 180

Devotional Songs: … GO TO THIS LINK … Please take the time to take in a video of Phillips, Craig, and Dean, singing the poignant song He’ll Do Whatever It Takes … declaring the reality of God’s persistence and use of His Saints to help save struggling Christians… and THEN ON TO THIS LINK to hear Steven Curtis Chapman singing the message of God’s Strength being available to the Christian who is drowning in selfishness in his song - His Strength Is Perfect.

Highlight Passage Genesis 19: 16 [NIV] … 
16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 
… God’s persistent love and mercy and power shine forth in this story
Highlight Context - Genesis 19: 12-25 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Even two angels had trouble getting Lot and his family out of a drowning Sodom & Gomorrah

Reference Passage #1 - Deuteronomy 31: 1-8 [NKJV] USE THIS LINK ... 
… Moses in his last days, relaying God’s promise of God’s faithfulness to His covenant as His people were about to enter the Promised Land.

Reference Passage #2 - Lamentations 3: 22-23 [NKJV] USE THIS LINK ...  
… God’s mercies don’t dissipate just because things get lonely or tough.

Reference Passage #3 - Matthew 11: 28-30 [NKJV] USE THIS LINK ...
… Jesus, Himself, promised to help us when the burdens seem too great

Reference Passage #4 - Galatians 6: 1-10 [NKJV] USE THIS LINK ...
… Especially note/meditate on verses 1 and 9-10, where we Christians are exhorted strongly to persist in our attempts - with God’s help/strength - to rescue drowning people, especially fellow Christians

Reference Passage #5- 1st Peter 5: 7 [NKJV] … 
7 Casting all your cares on Him because He cares for you. 
… Could God’s promise of care be any clearer.

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread author, David McCasland, took his readers (me) to an in illustrative scenario which I’ve personally experienced as a life-guard years ago and now in ministry. And I’ve “stolen” the Author’s blog title for mine this morning - “Rescuing The Reluctant.”

And, in his illustration, McCasland writes: Many years ago during a water safety class, we were taught how to save a drowning person who is resisting rescue. “Approach the person from behind,” the instructor told us. “Place one arm across the person’s chest and flailing arms, and swim toward safety. If you approach from the front, the person may grab you and pull both of you down.” Panic and fear can paralyze the ability to think and act wisely. 

Then our ODB author switches to the story of God’s attempted rescue of Lot and his family (see Genesis 19 linked above) from their drowning situation in Sodom and Gomorrah, which God was about to destroy. God sent two angels to help Lot and family; but we know that they were reluctant to leave, Lot’s wife even becoming a pillar of salt in the process. And this story, as well as the other scriptures above, illustrate how God so desires to use His people, even His angels, to save and sanctify even the most reluctant of people who are drowning in their own selfish desires and struggling emotions.

 I see it in an ongoing way where men, whom I’m led to help with recurring, habitual, and/or addictive bondage to sexual sin quite often have caught themselves in a rip-tide of temptation, and are once again (because it seems to happen often with some) drowning in their own desires and lust. And in the ministry I’ve been called to lead, we, in our ministry, are quite often summoned to rescue this reluctant and drowning warrior. And taking the call and charge of Galatians 1: 1-10, we do just that. 

Perhaps you know of a drowning fellow Christian who could use your help to do what the devotional songs sing about or the photo image represents; and you could reach out to help this floundering soul. But BEWARE!! As with a lifeguard trying to save a reluctant and panicked drowning victim, a rescuer can be pulled down with the victim if the lifeguard doesn’t use careful rescue tactics. So, as we have to do in our ministry, we Christians must learn how to be an effective and discerning discipler; and get in there and pull the drowning victim to safety.

My Prayer Today: Oh Lord, … Give me the strength and power to be a “rescuer” in Your Name and for Your glory 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.

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