Saturday, January 16, 2016

January 16, 2016: Growing in Christ

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 16  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a video of Mark Harris singing his song … Find Your Wings, singing of the desire of any Christian parent to see their children grow in God’s truth and to help them find their wings and fly free in Christ.

Highlight Passage:   Hebrews 5:13 [NKJV] …  
13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. … We only grow when we feed on the meat of God’s truth.
Highlight Context – Hebrews 5:11-14 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK  …  
… Spiritual nourishment comes from God’s word.

Reference Passage #1 … Isaiah 55:11 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… God’s word, used for our growth in Him, will always yield what God purposes.

Reference Passage #2 … Luke 9: 23 [NKJV] …  
23 Then He (Jesus) said to them all (His followers), “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” 
… Jesus’ simple (but very difficult) instructions for any true disciple.

Reference Passage #3 … John 14:21 [NKJV] …  
21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” 
 … Jesus’ test of growth in/thru Him.

Reference Passage #4 … 2nd Timothy 3:16-17 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… We have all we need to grow in Christ … from His word.

My Journal for Today:  Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Keila Ochoa, uses a rather bizarre bological illustration to make her point this morning. She writes about a tiny Mexican salamander, The axolotl (pronounced ACK suh LAH tuhl) is a biological enigma. Instead of maturing into adult form, this endangered Mexican salamander retains tadpole-like characteristics throughout its life. Writers and philosophers have used the axolotl as a symbol of someone who fears growth.

What Ochoa was teaching … was that some Christians, like the little axolotl, simply don’t grow as disciples of Christ as they could, or should, … usually due to prideful or selfish pursuits as well as purposeful avoidance of God’s truth. If you take the time, and I hope you do, to hear Mark Harris sing his linked song (above); and then take the time to meditate on the Scriptures provided, I’m sure you’ll come away with the main point Ochoa was trying to make … and that is … we can - and will - grow in our relationship with Christ, but only if/when we go deep into God’s word and obey its tenants.

That’s what the author of Hebrews was trying to get across to the churchmen in his day [see the highlight passage linked above]. It’s why Luke and John quoted Jesus’ instructions for His Disciples [Luke 9:23 and John 14:21]. And it’s what Paul, as a key Christian leader of his day, desired for all Christians … i.e., to grow [2nd Timothy 3:16-17] by being fed from God’s truth. And it’s what Isaiah prophesied about God’s word 700+ years before Christ (see Isiah 55:11).

As the attached picture depicts, we will only grow and flourish in Christ if we’re well-rooted in God’s word. It’s why I’m here today - and every day - going deeply into God’s truth for His sustenance; … so that I can grow in Christ daily. And as Mark Harris sings about his kids, that’s my prayer for you as well.

My Prayer Today:  Heavenly Father, … Lord, … I pray that all who are here with me today are growing in Your truth. 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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