Wednesday, February 03, 2016

February 3, 2016: Staying the Course!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 34  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a video of blind Christian singer, Gordon Mote, singing the song he wrote, Don’t Let Me Miss the Glory… expressing his desire to run the race of life to receive his crown of glory.

Highlight Passage:   2nd Chronicles 4:20 [NKJV] …  
27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. 
 … Following Christ requires much discipline.
Highlight Context – 1st Corinthians 9: 24-27 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK  …  
… Christian discipleship requires staying power - as a runner training for and running a marathon.

Reference Passage #1 - Luke 9: 23 [NKJV] …  
23 If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 
 … Jesus maps out the course of discipleship to His followers. Our job is to run the race well … for His glory and ours as well.

Reference Passage #2 - 1st Corinthians 11: 1 [NKJV] …  
1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. 
 … Paul was a good model for disciples because he knew WHOM he was following in the marathon race of life.

Reference Passage #3 - Philippians 3: 12-14 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Staying the course means a disciple of Christ keeping his/her eye on the prize.

Reference Passage #4 - 2nd Timothy 4: 6-8 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… The Apostle Paul was a model of a disciple finishing his race well for Christ.

My Journal for Today:  Today’s Our Daily Bread author, the Amy Boucher Pye, a NEW ODB contributor from England, focuses her teaching on what it takes to stay the course of discipleship, referring to the word picture the Apostle Paul used often to describe what it takes to be a disciple of Christ.

 The people to whom Paul was addressing, often writing from a prison, faced many discouraging distractions, which were tempting to draw those disciples away from the course of Christian discipleship. Paul wanted those Christians to get in the race of discipleship and stay the course; and he often used himself and what it had taken for him to be a loyal follower of Christ. Really all he wanted for those Christians was to follow what the Lord, Himself had described in His one sentence sermon on discipleship in Luke 9:23 [see above].

 Paul knew, as I’m sure any converted, confirmed, and conformed Christian reading here knows, … that being a disciple of Christ is tough; … and that’s why using the word picture of a runner training for and running a marathon is an apt analogy of Christian discipleship. I’ve learned, and now often teach, that there are 3 D’s when it comes to being an effective Christian disciple: …
… 1 … The DECISION to get in the race …
… 2 … The DISCIPLINE to train for the race … and …
… 3 … The DILIGENCE to finish the race well.

 Dear one, … I’m sure you know, this race we call life is a tough course, like a marathon, and running for the prize (see Phil. 3:12-14) requires all of those 3 Ds above, doesn’t it? The Apostle Paul was such a runner; and he finished well (see 2nd Tim. 4: 7). And that’s why he had the confidence to exhort his fellow Christians to follow his example (see 1st Cor. 11: 1).

 What about it, fellow Christian? … Are we decidedly in the race? … Are we training in the disciplines of the faith to be a winner for Christ? … And do we have the stamina, endurance, and diligence to finish well; … so that at the end of your race, we will hear our Lord say, … “Well, done, … My good and faithful servant!”

My Prayer Today:  Heavenly Father, … I run for You today, Lord! 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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