Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 157
Devotional Song: … GO TO THIS LINK … Please take the time to take in a video of the images witnessed by Sara Groves, as she sings I Saw What I Saw … relating relating how our past drives us to start over and to honor God with our future actions. We simply must start over if we are driven by our Lord to honor Him given what we’ve seen in the past.
Highlight Passage Acts 9: 5-6 [NKJV] …
5 And he [Saul] said, “Who are You, Lord?” … Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” … Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
… The former Saul of Tarsus, broken on the road to Damascus …
Highlight Context - Acts 9: 1-20 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK …
… Saul - starting over - as Paul
Reference Passage #1 - Proverbs 3: 5-6 [ESV] …
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 make your paths straight.
… Trust and obey … there’s no other way!
Reference Passage #2 - Luke 9: 23 [ESV] …
Then He (Jesus) said to the them all (His followers), … “If anyone is to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. … “
… Jesus and His disciples must do when we are confronted with the “crosses of daily living”
Reference Passage #3 - Romans 10: 9-13 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… Anyone can have a “DO OVER” in Christ
Reference Passage #4 - 2nd Corinthians 12: 9-10 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… God’s grace is sufficient to cover any weakness we might have in serving Him.
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, …
… Paul’s exhortation to live - as he did - in a manner worthy of our calling as a Christian. … And sometimes that requires a restart.
My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Randy Kilgore , honoring D-Day, on which the anniversary is today, tells the story of three soldiers that day. He writes: On June 6, 1944, three American officers huddled in a bombshell crater on Utah Beach in Normandy, France. Realizing the tide had carried them to the wrong place on the beach, the trio made an impromptu decision: “We’ll start the battle from right here.” They needed to move forward from a difficult starting point. These soldiers, on that beach that day, got to a place where they had to commit to a new start in their war in life.
And then ODB author Kilgore, reminded his readers (me) of the “start over” the Apostle Paul got when he was known as Saul of Tarsus. You likely know the story, found in the highlight passage above from Acts 9: 1-20, where Paul’s life changed forever from a zealot pursuing and killing Christians to one of the foremost zealots FOR Christ in biblical history. Saul got a “do-over” on that day, knocked off his horse and blinded to later see his Lord, Jesus, personally; and in that event Saul had to make a decision - one which would change his life forever.
Perhaps, as Sara Groves sings in the linked song above, you’ve seen something or experienced life in such a way which has caused you to have a “Damascus road” experience, … where you had to pray for God to give you the grace for a “DO OVER” in life.
I certainly did! … On April 13th, 1983, God knocked me off my high-horse of atheistic pride and humbled me with the ability to see and hear Him … so that he could become my LORD and SAVIOR. And from that day forward, this once antagonist of Christians has become an Ordained Minister of the Gospel and the Director a ministry outreach to help men walk away from habitual sexual sin (see www.battleplanministries.org ). Go figure!! …
God did; and I started over.
I got a chance for a DO-OVER in Christ; and so can anyone who, as Paul later wrote in Romans 10: 9-3, confesses his/her sin and receives God’s saving grace, which only comes from believing in the finished and saving work of Christ on the cross. Perhaps there are those - maybe you - reading here today, who need a DO-OVER. Well, today’s the day to get started. And know that, as the Apostle Paul later wrote in 2nd Cor. 12: 9, quoting Jesus, … “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in [your] weakness.”
So, let’s go out there and begin today to live a life worthy of our calling as Christians (see Ephesians 4: 1-2). Let’s claim our DO-OVER in Christ.
My Prayer Today: Oh Lord, … I pray that anyone reading here today, who needs your empowering grace for a “DO-OVER,” can humble themselves and receive that power. And I want to continue my restart every day of my 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.