Thursday, July 21, 2016

July 21, 2016: Breaking Free From Self

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 203  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a You Tube video of the group 4Him singing … The Basics of Life, poignantly expressing the reality of our world … to CHOOSE to return NOW to the ways of God.


Highlight Passage:  Jonah 4:4 [NKJV] …  
4 Then the Lord said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” 
… God confronts Jonah’s procrastination.
Highlight Context – Jonah 4 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… Jonah - God’s example of resistant procrastination.

Reference Passage #1 … Isaiah 6: 5-8 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… Isaiah repented of his sinful resistance and surrendered to follow God's way.

  Reference Passage #2 … 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 commands avoiding procrastination and following Him.

Reference Passage #3 … 1st John 1:9 [NKJV] …  
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 
… And aren’t we glad, as Christians, we can confess and be cleansed.

My Journal for Today:  … Our Daily Bread author, Randy Kilgore told a personal story, which you can read by using the ODB link in the "Blogger Note" below, about his tendency toward procrastination. And then he used Jonah as his biblical example of this very human trait, which many of us Christians [me included!] share.

And right now my Pastor is preaching a very convicting series on Jonah, trying to show that it’s very easy to let our emotions drive us inward into selfish tendencies to resist - and even ignore - God’s call for us to go His way rather than our own. Isaiah was another believer who was called to serve God as a Prophet; and he recognized his human resistance; but broke free, was cleansed of his sin of procrastination, and came back to surrender to God’s way (see Isaiah 6:5-8 linked above).

Jonah, however, held on to his reluctance to go it God’s way, shackled by his own anger and selfishness; and God had to show him - rather dramatically in the belly of a fish - that it’s God’s way or no way. In spite of Jonah’s procrastination, God saves a group of people Jonah hated and Jonah learns that it would’ve been so much easier to just follow God when he was called to do so.

Jesus commands us to follow Him (see Luke 9:23), doesn’t He? And I believe right now in history, God is calling His people - i.e., Christians - as the group 4Him sings, to return to the basics of the faith. But we procrastinate, don’t we?

Today, … I pray that all of us, who've surrendered to Christ as Lord, will break through our sinful procrastination and confess our selfish ways, … being cleansed of our sin [see 1st John 1:9] and returning to God’s ways over our own. Join me today! Let’s do get back to God’s basics of life!

My Prayer Today:  O, Heavenly Father, … Help me to move from my procrastination and to follow You, Lord, … willingly.  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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