Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 43
Devotional Song: … GO TO THIS LINK … Please take the time to take in a video of the group Hillsong leading in worship, singing their song, I Surrender… singing of the attitude every Christian should have when we come to our Lord or serve Him … the attitude of total surrender.
Highlight Passage: John 8: 31-32 [NKJV] …
31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
… We become His disciples when we move our knowledge of Him from our head to our hearts in surrender to Him. And when we do, we walk free from the shackles of sin.
Highlight Context – John 8: 31-47 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK …
… Jesus teaching religious leaders the difference between their head knowledge and what it took to be His disciple.
Reference Passage #1 - Genesis 15:6 [NKJV] …
6 And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.
… Jesus, in the John 8 passage above was trying to show the Pharisees that their head knowledge of the law was not enough for them to live as believers. They had do believe as did their father, Abraham.
Reference Passage #2 - Luke 9: 23 [NLT] …
23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. …”
… Once again, my oft quoted passage of Jesus showing His followers what it takes to be His disciple.
Reference Passage #3 - John 14:21 [NLT] …
21 Those who accept My commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me. And because they love Me, My Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
… Jesus teaches that it takes living heart knowledge of His commandments to show our love for Him by living out His teachings. Knowing them is one thing … living them is where the rubber meets the road.
My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Tim Gustafson, quoted two reputable sources in his teaching head knowledge versus heart knowledge. He wrote: In his book on language, British diplomat Lancelot Oliphant (1881–1965) observed that many students give correct answers on tests but fail to put those lessons into practice. “Such undigested knowledge is of little use,” declared Oliphant. … Author Barnabas Piper noticed a parallel in his own life: “I thought I was close to God because I knew all the answers,” he said, “but I had fooled myself into thinking that was the same as relationship with Jesus.”
And these two quotes reminded me of a personal incident when my discipleship mentor once asked me what my #1 goal was as a Christian. Well, remembering an answer to that question in the Presbyterian catechism I had once learned as a boy, I responded, from memory, “To glorify God.” But my mentor told me I was close; … but the life-applying answer to the question was “to know God.” He reasoned with me that until I could/would really know my Lord, I could never really serve Him and glorify His Name.
And that’s when I learned that there was a difference between HEAD KNOWLEDGE and HEART KNOWLEDGE, where the former is knowing OF God and the latter is really knowing the essence of the One Who had saved me and was sanctifying me. And my mentor wanted to teach me … that … To KNOW God is to LOVE God; … to LOVE God is to OBEY God; … to OBEY God is to SERVE God; … and to SERVE God is to GLORIFY God. So, since then, it has been my #1 goal as a Christian to get to know my God more today than yesterday … and even more tomorrow than today.
My friend, I hope you know that is why I’m here today, blogging about what my Lord has given to me from His word so that I can know Him more intimately. And because of it, I do know Him just a bit more today than yesterday. How about you? What can we do tomorrow which will show the attitude of surrender (see the song linked above) we all need to get to know our God more deeply than ever.
My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … Thank you for showing up today to reveal more of Yourself to my surrendered heart. … 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.