Sunday, March 13, 2016

March 13, 2016: Take Care of Yourself

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 73  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a video of Steven Curtis Chapman singing his song, His Strength Is Perfect,… declaring, in song, the reality of God’s strength being available, thru His grace, to all of us in times of our own weakness.

Highlight Passage:  Exodus 18:17-18 [NKJV] …    
17 So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. 18 Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. 
… Listen to the counsel of wisdom to avoid getting burned out for the future.
Highlight Context – Exodus 18:14-24 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Moses’ father-in-law gives him good self-care advice to prevent spiritual, emotional, and physical burn-out.

Reference Passage #1 - Matthew 22:37-39 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK ...  
… The question is … how do we show our love for our selves by taking care of our own well being?

Reference Passage #2 - Mark 6:30-32 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Jesus could see the pressure of duty mounting on His Disciples; and He gives them good self-care advice, wisdom that we should apply in our lives.

Reference Passage #3 - 2nd Corinthians 12: 9-10 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Paul’s commentary on using God’s grace to cover our own weaknesses.

Reference Passage #4 - 1st Peter 5:7 [NKJV] …  
… casting all your cares on Him because He cares for you … 
… Peter shows where we should cast our cares to protect our inner being.

My Journal for Today:  Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Cindy Hess Kasper, goes right to her highlight Scripture to exhort Christians (like me) to take care of ourselves first or we will weaken our ability to serve our Lord by helping others. She wrote … Moses was wearing himself out serving alone as judge over the Israelites. Jethro cautioned his son-in-law Moses: “You will only wear [yourself] out. The work is too heavy . . . you cannot handle it alone” (Ex. 18:18). He then explained ways that Moses could delegate his work and share his heavy load with others. 

And when I read that Old Testament self-care lesson from Moses’ Father-in-law, my mind went to the wise, preventative instructions given by light attendants in an airplane concerning how to handle oxygen masks should they deploy in flight. Passengers are told to first put the mask on themselves before helping others, like small children (see attached images).

That’s the advice Jethro was giving to Moses, wasn’t it? We won’t be able to help others, which God certainly wants us to do, if we don’t take care of ourself first. And taking care of self involves all dimensions of life, … certainly physical, … but also emotional and spiritual as well. Which raises the question for me today, what are we doing personally to allow God to pour His empowering grace into our lives so that we can have the power we need to reach out and serve Him by helping others [see the reference passages above].

Personally, that’s why I’m here every day, taking down God’s oxygen mask by getting into His word and blogging it for others to read. It allows me to breath in life-giving breaths from God Himself, which, in turn, allows me to breath His life into others. So, … what will we be doing today to allow God to give us His strength to cover our weakness (see the song linked above)?

My Prayer Today:  Heavenly Father, … I breath You in from Your word so that I can pass along life to others, Lord. Please give me Your life-sustaining power to cover my weaknesses. … 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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