Monday, May 09, 2016

May 9, 2016: Climb Even Higher

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 130  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a You Tube video of Sara Groves singing her song Keep Your Eyes On The Prize, pleading for fellow Christians to keep their eyes on the prize out ahead of us as Christians … to hold on!

Highlight Passage:  1st Thessalonians 4:1-2 [NKJV] …  
1 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; 2 for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 
… Paul … Exhorting the church to take the higher ground of Christlikeness.
Highlight Context – 1st Thessalonians 4:1-12 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Paul pleading and exhorting fellow Christians to seek for the higher ground of faith and purity. 

Reference Passage #1 - Luke 9: 23 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Jesus, Himself, strongly exhorting His followers to deny self and follow Him.

Reference Passage #2 - Romans 12:1-2 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Paul exhorting fellow believers to live lives of living sacrifice for Christ, letting Him reshape their minds to follow Him.

Reference Passage #3 - Philippians 3:13-14 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Paul strongly encouraging fellow believers, many being persecuted, to keep their eyes on where Christ is leading us.

Reference Passage #4 - Hebrews 3:12-15 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… The Author of the book of Hebrews exhorting fellow Christians to encourage one another to take on the character of Christlikeness.

My Journal for Today:  My Our Daily Bread author, Marvin Williams, used a word picture of rock climbers [see attached photo], the leader encouraging the other to climb even higher than he imagined he could. He wrote: Richard needed a push, and he got one. He was rock climbing with his friend Kevin who was the belayer (the one who secures the rope). Exhausted and ready to quit, Richard asked Kevin to lower him to the ground. But Kevin urged him on, saying he had come too far to quit. Dangling in midair, Richard decided to keep trying. Amazingly, he was able to reconnect with the rock and complete the climb because of his friend’s encouragement. 

Marvin William’s story is a good word picture for fellow Christians to mutually encourage - even exhort - each other to do what Christ Himself called His follows toward (see Luke 9:23) … i.e., to deny ourselves and follow Him. Above (in the highlight and reference passages), we read the Apostle Paul and the Author of Hebrews, exhorting their fellow believers in the Church to climb higher and farther in their pursuit of Christlikeness.

And even today, WE should (nay, we MUST) do all we can to do what Sara Groves sings in the song she wrote [linked above], … to Keep Our Eyes on the Prize, which is the goal of following our Lord … every moment of every day of our lives.

My Prayer Today:  O, Heavenly Father, … Lord, … As I so often pray, shine Your light on our path so that we, who follow You, can’t help but climb higher to be like You today. 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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