Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July 26, 2016: Sandpaper For The Soul

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 208  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …   Please take the time to take in a You Tube video of images from the group Unspoken singing … Call It Grace, which I use once again [see blog from 7/24/16] to shout the love which comes from God’s grace, … which, all too often, can come from dear friends who love us enough to honestly share God’s truth with us.

Highlight Passage:  Proverbs 27:17 [NKJV] …  
17 As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of a friend. 
… Often it is the honest words of a good friend which helps to round out our character. 

Highlight Context – Proverbs 27:5-17 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… Solomon’s wisdom on how relationships can be God’s sandpaper to smooth out our character for His glory.

Reference Passage #1 … Ephesians 4:29 [NKJV] … 2
9 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 
 … Paul knew that our words of love of tough love can impart the grit of grace to help dear ones grow in the their relationship with Christ.

My Journal for Today:  … Our Daily Bread author, Amy Pye, spoke from her own experience about how a tough rebuke from a close friend caused her to serious look at herself; and she wrote:  My friend’s words stung. Trying to sleep, I battled to stop mulling over her pointed comments about my strong opinions. As I lay there, I asked for God’s wisdom and peace. Several weeks later, still concerned about the matter, I prayed, “I hurt, Lord, but show me where I need to change. Show me where she’s right.” 
My friend had acted as God’s sandpaper in my life. My feelings felt rubbed raw, but I sensed that how I responded would lead to the building of my character—or not. My choice was to submit to the smoothing process, confessing my pride and stubborn stance. I sensed that my bumps and imperfections didn’t glorify the Lord. 

Do you have friends who love you enough to tell us what we really need to hear … so that God can use their words as His sandpaper to smooth out our character and help us to be more like Christ? Paul did say, and I quoted him from Ephesians 4:29 in my blog a couple of days ago, that we should only speak forth words which either build up others or give them grace. And that’s true; … but sometimes words like that, when uttered with God’s love, can grind in the mind/heart of a loved one when he/she hears what they need to hear. That’s the way it was for the ODB author.

Perhaps you’ve had someone in your life who was willing to be the “iron sharpening Iron” agent from God to help you grow in Christlikeness. I have; and I’m so much more the better person for a dear friend who was willing to apply the grace of tough words so that I could hear what I needed to hear as God’s sandpaper to my character.

My Prayer Today:  O, Heavenly Father, … Thank You for using dear ones in my life to help shape me into Your image.  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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