Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April 12, 2016: Beware, the Trap of Self!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 103  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a video of Nichole Nordeman singing her poignant song, Finally Free,… declaring the reality that we, as Christians, need not fall prey to our human default of sin … that we can finally walk free in Christ.

Highlight Passage:  Genesis 4:6-7 [NKJV] … 
6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”   
… Cain falls prey to the trap of his own sinful anger.
Highlight Context – Genesis 4:1-8 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
 … Cain was not able to resist the call to obedience; and it resulted in death.

Reference Passage #1 - Matthew 6:33 [NKJV] …  
33 Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 
 … Jesus gives his fool proof method for avoiding the trap our sin nature.

Reference Passage #2 - 2nd Corinthians 12:9 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Jesus tells Paul of the grace the Apostle has available to overcome his trials.

Reference Passage #3 - 2nd Timothy 2:22 [NKJV] …  
22 Flee also youthful lusts, but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
 … God, thru Paul, shows Christians how we can flee the trap of human sin … by choosing righteousness.

Reference Passage #4 - 1st Peter 2:11 [NKJV] …  
11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, … 
… Peter, this time, exhorting Christians to avoid the trap of fleshly lusts …

My Journal for Today:  Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Jennifer Benson Schuldt, uses an interesting word picture to make here devotional point. She wrote: A Venus flytrap can digest an insect in about 10 days. The process begins when an unsuspecting bug smells nectar on the leaves that form the trap. When the insect investigates, it crawls into the jaws of the plant. The leaves clamp shut within half a second and digestive juices dissolve the bug. 
This meat-eating plant reminds me of the way sin can devour us if we are lured into it. Sin is hungry for us. Genesis 4:7 says, “If you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you.” God spoke these words to Cain just before he killed his brother Abel. 

Schuldt nailed the truth, didn’t she? Life these days operates much like the venus fly trap … with its alluring multifaceted sin traps, using the siren call of sex, money, power and the like to tempt us into its deadly clutches. And when we bite on the trap, … SLAM, … we find ourselves being devoured by our own sin nature. It was that way for Cain when he fell pray to his own deceitful heart (see also Jer. 17:9) and let his disobedience take him into death’s trap [see the highlight passage above].

But as Paul and Peter, and no less than Jesus, Himself, tell us in today’s reference passages above, we don’t need to fall pray to the trap of our sin nature and the ploys of this world and Satan. No, … in Christ we can (and should) CHOOSE to flee our youthful/sinful passions, as Paul advised a young missionary, Timothy. And we need to do as Jesus exhorted us … to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Because when we do, as Nichole Nordeman sings, we’ll be able to walk free from our selves and follow the Savior out of the valley of the shadow of death and into God’s garden of glory (see Psalm 23).

My Prayer Today:  Heavenly Father, … Lead me away from my self, 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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