Sunday, July 17, 2016

July 17, 2016: With An Open Hand

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 199  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a You Tube video of Brian Littrell singing … I Surrender All, joyously declaring how all Christians should live - with an open hand - giving all to Jesus with our lives.

Highlight Passage:  Acts 20:35 [NKJV] …  
35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” 
… Paul quotes Jesus on how to surrender our lives as Christians … giving with an open hand. 
Highlight Context – Acts 20: 17-38 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… Paul’s admonition to the Elders in Ephesus … to give from their lives with an open hand.

Reference Passage #1 … Luke 9:23 [NKJV] …  
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. …” 
… Jesus on the cost of discipleship to Him.

Reference Passage #2 … Romans 12:1-2 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Our lives as a living sacrifice, surrendering all to live for Christ and not for self or the world.

My Journal for Today:  … Our Daily Bread author, Tim Gustafson used the life of a former slave who, after the Civil War, became successful and gave her life to serve Christ. He wrote: In 1891, Biddy Mason was laid to rest in an unmarked grave in Los Angeles. That wasn’t unusual for a woman born into slavery, but it was remarkable for someone as accomplished as Biddy. After winning her freedom in a court battle in 1856, she combined her nursing skills with wise business decisions to make a small fortune. As she observed the plight of immigrants and prisoners, she reached out to them, investing in charity so frequently that people began lining up at her house for help [see attached photo]. In 1872, just sixteen years out of slavery, she and her son-in-law financed the founding of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles. 

Biddy Mason lived out her life much as did the Apostle Paul, giving all to serve Christ and spread the Gospel to others. In the highlight passage above from Acts, Chapter 20, Paul laid out his charge to the Elders in Ephesus as to what it would take to serve Christ; and that was to reach out and serve others, surrendering all, with an open hand (see Biddy Mason’s quote in the photo).

 The question for any reading here with me, is obvious and it comes from the song linked above; and that is … Are we surrendering, with an open hand, giving our all to be living sacrifices (see Romans 12:1-2) and living as Jesus commanded in Luke 9:23. I don’t know about you, fellow Christians; but, inspired by Biddy Mason’s legacy, I need to give more of myself for my Savior.

My Prayer Today:  O, Heavenly Father, … Help me to give my life as an open hand, surrendering my all for You.  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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