Thursday, August 13, 2015

August 13, 2015:  Count To Ten! …

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 224  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK  … Please take the time to take in a video of images from Sara Groves singing the her song I’ll Wait with the singer’s proclamation that we, who know Christ, need to wait on Him so often when we find ourselves going inward to deal with our self.  

Highlight Passage:   2nd Thessalonians 2: 13 [NKJV]  …  
13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, … 
… And recall that Paul was run out of Thessalonica by an angry mob [see Acts 27: 1-15]. He had every right to hold anger for the Thessalonians; but from prison, he shows God’s love for the Christians in this region.
Highlight Context – 2nd Thessalonians 2: 13-17 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK  …  
…  Paul’s love for those who had chased him out of Thessalonica can only be explained by God’s Spirit dwelling in the Apostle.

Reference Passages #1 - 2 - Ephesians 4: 26, 29 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK  … From prison, Paul writes to his beloved Christians in Ephesus, exhorting them to avoid the reaction to anger and to speak nothing by grace in sharing Christ with one another.

Reference Passage #3 - Philippians 2: 3-4 [NKJV] …  
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 
…  Holding on to Christlike humility when we live, and move, and share with others.    

My Journal for Today:  Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Poh Fang Chia, used a very personal, here-and-now, story to illustrate his teaching for today. The author wrote: As I was reading the text message on my mobile phone, my temperature started to rise and my blood began to boil. I was on the verge of shooting back a nasty message when an inner voice told me to cool down and reply tomorrow. The next morning after a good night’s sleep, the issue that had upset me so greatly seemed so trivial. I had blown it out of proportion because I didn’t want to put another person’s interest before my own. I was unwilling to inconvenience myself so I could help someone. 

Ever been there? … I have. … All too often. …

 Today’s highly connective, rapid communications, via texting and email, can often rile up our anger; and we’re tempted to shoot back a reactive message in the heat of our emotions. But the strategy (I call it a “battle plan”) illustrated by author, Chia, in his story above is a good one; and it certainly is manifest in how the Apostle Paul communicated with Christians who had shown animosity and anger toward him in his past. If you know Paul’s history in Ephesus, Philippi, and Thessalonica (see the book of Acts), we know that in all of those places he had been treated very harshly, either being imprisoned or driving out of those areas, by angry mobs. Yet, in all of the passages above, written from prison to these Christians, Paul only writes about his love - Christlike love - for those peoples. 

I’m afraid that I identify all too much with the ODB writing of today’s author, Poh Fang Chia. As I touched on above, all too often, I’ve felt the temptation to respond rapidly to a text or email with a quick comeback in anger. But I’ve learned to do the old “count-to-ten” strategy (or sometimes, more often, to wait 24 hours, as did Chia). And then I can do what the Apostle Paul was trying to teach to Christians in his Epistle teachings documented above.

 I think we all need to develop a “battle plan” to avoid what is depicted in the attached photo and do what Sara Groves sings about in today’s song, and what the Apostle Paul wrote about in His wise words above. And that is, … to give our anger time to simmer and boil over as we seek the Holy Spirit’s enlightening and enabling grace to deal with our anger.

 So, … let’s cool it … and count to ten … and communicate as Paul wrote to the Ephesians in Eph. 4: 29. In fact let’s all go mediate on that one today. And I don’t know about you; but I needed this reminder today.

My Prayer Today:  Oh, my Lord, … I wait on You to help me communicate when I feel anger brewing. Help me to stay cool, like You, dear Savior.    … Amen

Blogger PS: From today’s ODB, they provide a book resource for those who are dealing with anger issues. GO TO THIS LINK to read about the book by Tim Jackson, Christian counselor, on this subject,  

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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