Sunday, June 07, 2015

June 7, 2015 … Our Greatest Goal

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 158

Devotional Song: … GO TO THIS LINK  … Please take the time to take in a video of Fernando Ortega singing ... I Need Thee Every Hour … praying in song of our need, as Christians, to live out our devotion and love for our Lord - OH PLEASE, TAKE THE TIME TO SEE/HEAR THIS ONE!!

Highlight Passage Luke 10: 41-42 [NKJV] … 
41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
… Mary got it right!
Highlight Context - Luke 10: 38-42 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… The service of Martha and Mary for Jesus

Reference Passage #1 - Deuteronomy 6: 5 [NKJV] … 
5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 
… The great command from God to His people

  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 make your paths straight. 
… Trust and obey … there’s no other way!

Reference Passage #3 - Romans 12: 1-2 [NKJV] USE THIS LINK
… Paul exhorts Christians to become God’s living sacrifice

Reference Passage #54- 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 hat absolutely requires us to KNOW our Lord intimately.

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Jennifer Benson Schuldt, begins her teaching with a cute personal story, involving the attached photo. She writes: During a church service I spotted an infant several rows ahead. As the baby peeked over his father’s shoulder, his eyes were wide with wonder as he looked at the members of the congregation. He grinned at some people, drooled, and chewed his chunky fingers, but never quite found his thumb. The pastor’s words grew distant as my eyes kept sliding back to that sweet baby. 

The Author’s point … was that distractions are common in our Christian life, often involving doing a lot of very good, human things, which can become a distraction to giving our best for God. Have you ever found yourself OVER-EXTENDED … maybe even to the point of “burnout?” Perhaps, you prioritize a lot of good stuff on your “to-do” list; but you just get overwhelmed by trying to get them done, not knowing whether these are the BEST things which God would have you doing. I think we’ve all been there, haven’t we?

 Well, a dear mentor of mine, who’s now with Jesus, once asked me what my #1 GOAL in life was as a Christian, … to which I could only give the old catechism response, … “to glorify God!” Well, he acknowledged that was a good general goal; but he challenged me further by asking if I wanted to be blessed by God, … to which i respond … “YES, of course!!” … Well, he then gave me his following exhortation, which I’ve never forgotten. He said, “Bill, if you want to be blessed by God, your #1 … all-consuming … goal should be TO KNOW GOD … BECAUSE …
… To KNOW God is to LOVE God … 
… To love God is to OBEY God … 
… To obey God is to SERVE God … 
… And to serve God is to be BLESSED by God. 

And then my mentor challenged me further by asking how one gets to know God intimately; and I learned that it was the same strategy used by Jesus’ dear friend, Mary, the sister of Lazarus, whom Jesus often spent time with in Bethany when He was in/around Jerusalem. One such visit is recorded in today’s highlight passage (see Luke 10 linked above). And you likely know this story of how Lazarus’ other sister, Martha, got distracted from Jesus because of her compulsive attempt to do good things like cook and clean; but Jesus made it clear to Martha (and to all of us in this story) that it was Mary’s devotion which was the real-deal of worship and surrender to Him.

 And I hope any readers here with me today take the time to take in all of what - I believe - God has given me (for my own edification) to share with you today. I know I want to be blessed by God today … so, taking in the song and scriptures today I’m very motivated - as I am every day coming here - to get to KNOW MY GOD more intimately today. … And the, as I prayer, even more tomorrow.

 How about you?

My Prayer Today: Oh Lord, … Help me to know You more today than yesterday, and even more tomorrow than 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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