Friday, January 22, 2016

January 22, 2016: Freedom and Surrender!!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 22  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a video of Nichole Nordeman singing her song … Finally Free, expressing the reality of all who are freed of our bondage of sin by Christ’s blood … And THEN ON TO THIS LINK to hear the a poignant song by Brian Littrell, singing I Surrender All - and calling for all who need God’s freedom to come to our Savior and surrender all of self to Him.

Highlight Passage:   Romans 7:15 [NKJV] …  
15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 
… Paul’s set up for the greatest freedom chapter in all of the NT - Romans 8.
Highlight Context – Romans 7:14-25 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK  …  
 … Our bondage of our sin nature is only broken by our faith that Jesus freed us on the cross.

Reference Passage #1 … Romans 8:1-11 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Here is the greatest declaration of independence (from the bondage of sin) in all the Bible.

Reference Passage #2 … Revelations 1:4-5 [NKJV] …  
4 … Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. … To Him who loved us and washed us [i.e. set us free] from our sins in His own blood, … 
… John writes, … for Jesus, … to the seven churches in Asia Minor (and to all Christians) of our freedom from the bondage of sin by our faith the covering blood of Christ.

My Journal for Today:  Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Randy Kilgore, tells a personal story which may be the feeling of many who read here, including yours truly. He wrote for today’s ODB entry, A middle-aged man approached me after I led a workshop at his place of employment and asked this question: “I’ve been a Christian nearly my whole life, but I’m constantly disappointed in myself. Why is it that I always seem to keep doing the things I wish I didn’t do and never seem to do the things I know I should? Isn’t God getting tired of me?” Two men standing next to me also seemed eager to hear the response. 

And Kilgore told them that they were in good company, because, as we read in the Romans 7 passage, linked above, the Apostle Paul wrote that he, too, at times felt encumbered by his sin nature, having to deal with stuff he did, but hated, and stuff he wanted to do, but didn’t. … Yeah! … I expect there are some here saying, “Been there, … got that T-shirt.”

Well, several years ago, I wondered why one of the most mature and grounded Christians and the author of two-thirds of the NT would be compelled to write with such vulnerability about his bondage to sin in Chapter 7 of his letter to the Romans. But God’s Spirit, I believe, helped me understand that Paul wanted all of his readers to bask and bathe in the truths of the next Chapter (meditate on Romans 8:1-11 above).

So, I believe he used himself as an example of the reality that all Christians (see Romans 3: 23) will have times when we wallow in the weakness of our sin nature. Paul didn’t want to cast blame and guilt by accusing his readers of their weakness. So, he used himself for identification; and then … he launches, in Romans 8, into probably the greatest declaration of victory and freedom from sin in all of the New Testament.

I hope, and pray, that all who read here today identify with the human weakness of ROMANS 7; but my prayer, for me as wall as you, is that we all believe and genuinely seek to live our lives basking in the freedom found from the truth of ROMANS 8.

Where are you living today?

My Prayer Today:  Heavenly Father, … Lord, … From the truth of the songs linked above, … I am blessed by Your blood … to be free at last … as I surrender my all to 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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