Thursday, November 05, 2015

November 5, 2015:  Control OR Contentment?

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 308  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a video of Steven Curtis Chapman singing… His Strength Is Perfect, … declaring how God’s empowering grace is ALWAYS there for those who surrender to Jesus and receive His Spirit in humility.

Highlight Passage:   Psalm 86: 3 [NKJV] …  
3 Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I cry out to You all day long. 
 …  David, in surrender to God’s mercy.
Highlight Context – Psalm 86: 1-13 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK  …  
 … David’s prayer for mercy.

Reference Passage #1 - Habakkuk 1:2, 3:17-18 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
…  Habakuk’s transformed faith.

Reference Passage #2 - 2nd Corinthians 12: 9 [NKJV] … 
9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. … Paul remembering Jesus’ promise of His strength when Paul (or any believer) is weak.

My Journal for Today:  Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Shelly Beach, used a personal illustration to teach about God’s God’s empowering grace being available to surrendered Christians. She writes, The neighbors probably didn’t know what to think as they looked out their windows at me one wintry day. I was standing in the driveway with a garden shovel clutched in my hands, whacking wildly and angrily at a clump of ice that had formed beneath a corner gutter. With each smack, I was uttering prayers that were variations on one theme: “I can’t do … As a caregiver, with a long list of responsibilities to handle, I now had this ice to deal with, and I had had enough! … My anger was wrapped around a bundle of lies: “I deserve better than this.” … “God isn’t enough after all.” …“Nobody cares anyway.” … But when we choose to cling to our anger, we become mired in the trap of bitterness, never moving forward. And the only cure for anger is truth.

Anybody, besides me, have that T-Shirt? … Yeah, … been there - don’t that; … well maybe not angry at God because of icy gutters (see photo); but mad at God because things seemed out of control. Yeah, … been there, done that, … got the T-Shirt, for sure! … And maybe that’s the reason I so love the journal written by the Prophet, Habakkuk, in the Old Testament.

 The confused Prophet had come to God in Chapter 1 (see above links) with waning faith, angrily crying out to God with that big “WHY?” question. And then God sits the Prophet down and leads him through the reality that things were going to get worse before they could get better; and Habakkuk was going to have to trust God. And then in Chapter 3 (again see link), we read of Habakkuk resigning himself to not letting anything steal his joy. In other words, Habakkuk’s faith had been transformed by God’s enlightening and empowering grace.

 Paul had that dilemma too when the Apostle wrote about dealing with that so-called “thorn in the flesh.” And Paul finally, after praying in confusion over and over again to be relieved of the “thorn,” and remembering Jesus’ exhortation (see 2nd Cor. 12: 9), finally relented that he actually needed that thorn to keep him humble so that he could receive God’s grace to give him the power to deal with his own weaknesses.

 The question we have today is … do we want to be like Habakkuk in Chapter 1 or Chapter 3? Do we want to surrender COMPLETELY, as did Paul, and accept our “thorns” in life so as to receive God’s strength, or do we want to try to deal with life in our own weakness?

 I know the answer, … how about you?

My Prayer Today:  Oh, my Lord, Jesus! … Your grace is sufficient! … 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.

No comments: