Friday, December 11, 2015

December 11, 2015: Dogged Faith

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 344  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a poignant video of Steve Greeen singing … Find Us Faithful, proclaiming the reality of our need as Christians to be faithful to God’s challenging and sanctifying call on our lives.

Highlight Passage:   Psalm 143: 8 [NKJV] …  
8 Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust. Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to you. 
Highlight Context – Psalm 143:7-12 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK  …  
… The Psalmist declares his trust in God in spite of trials and dangers.

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 direct your paths. 
… It's really just a matter of deciding whom we will follow, isn't it?  

Reference Passage #2 - Luke 9: 23 [NKJV] …  
23 … If anyone would desire to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 
… Jesus’ challenge of discipleship. Following Him involves denial of the flesh.

Reference Passage #3 - Ephesians 4: 1-3 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK  …  
… Following Christ is way UNNATURAL and requires denying our own flesh (see also Luke 9:23)

Reference Passage #4 - Galatians 5: 19-23 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK  …  
… Defaulting to the flesh is NATURAL; but living in the fruitfulness of the Spirit is like a dog jumping out of an airplane - totally SUPERNATURAL.

My Journal for Today:  Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Joe Stowell, used an interesting illustration to make his point. His wrote … I am amazed by the story of the World War II paradogs. In preparing for D-Day (June 6, 1944), the Allied troops needed the sharp senses of dogs to sniff their way through minefields and to warn troops of approaching danger. And the only way to get these dogs to troops behind enemy lines was by parachute. But dogs are instinctively afraid of doing this—and let’s be honest, they are not alone. Yet after weeks of training, the dogs learned to trust their masters enough to jump at their command. 

As Stowell points out, all dogs have an inborn fear of jumping from heights; and since I’m a bit acrophobic myself, in my flesh, I can identify with those WW2 doggies. But notice how their love and devotion to their masters could overcome that fear and these dogs were trained to jump from 10,000+ feet to be able to serve their masters on the ground as mine sniffing dogs in WW2.

 I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to see where Joe Stowell is going with his illustration, does it? As Christians, we’re in a constant battle between our natural flesh as we follow our Master, Jesus, and our desire to do what Jesus’ commanded of His disciples in Luke 9: 23 … to deny our flesh and follow Him. But, … how often do our fleshly fears and failures cause us to balk at jumping from the heights in which we find ourselves in life?

 The Apostle Paul made that contrast evident in the challenge of Ephesians 4: 1-3 and Galatians 5: 19-23, linked above. As disciples of Christ, we really do want to jump out and follow The Master at 10,000 ft, don’t we? But our flesh screams, DON’T JUMP!!! We want to be worthy followers of our Master; but our fears too often cause us to remain tied to the flesh and unfruitful in our following of The Lord.

 Today, I pray that I (we) can choose to be a worthy follower of The Master; and when He says “JUMP,” we launch our selves out of that plane we call life.

 Let’s jump for Jesus today!!!

My Prayer Today:  Oh, dear Lord, … If you say, “Jump,” … I go for YOU! … 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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