Tuesday, August 02, 2016

August 2, 2016: Diligence in Discipleship

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 215

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a You Tube video of Steven Curtis Chapman singing the song with his own lyrics … His Strength Is Perfect, poignantly declaring the reality of a NEVER GIVE UP life in Christ.

Highlight Passage:  2nd Timothy 4: 7 [NKJV] …
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 
… Paul never gave up for the Gospel of Christ.
Highlight Context – 2nd Timothy 3:10-15, 4:7 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… The Apostle Paul modeled the “NEVER GIVE UP” attitude about the Gospel for God’s Kingdom.

Reference Passage #1 … 2nd Corinthians 11:22-33, 12:9 [ NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… What Paul went thru to spread the Gospel to the world … and he NEVER GAVE UP because He knew that God’s grace was enough to sustain him.

Reference Passage #2 … Ephesians 4:1-3 [ NKJV] …
1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 
 … Our calling is to live a life worthy of our calling as in/for Christ !!!

Reference Passage #3 … James 1:2-4 [ NKJV] …
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 
 … Working through the challenges of life for Christ and NEVER giving up!!

My Journal for Today:  … Our Daily Bread author, Jaime Garrido used the life success of Dutch cyclist Joep Zoetemelk to illustrate his teaching of the Apostle Paul’s NEVER GIVE UP attitude in Christ. He wrote: Joep Zoetemelk is known as the Netherlands’ most successful cyclist. But that’s because he never gave up. He started and finished the Tour de France 16 times—placing second five times before winning in 1980. That’s perseverance! Many winners have reached success by climbing a special ladder called “never give up.” 
However, there are also many who have lost the opportunity to achieve success because they gave up too soon. This can happen in every area of life: family, education, friends, work, service. Perseverance is a key to victory 

Joep Zoetemelk is famous in my wife’s native land of The Netherlands; … because he refused to give up on his dream and finally succeeded in winning the Tour de France. And then there is an even more powerful example of NEVER GIVING UP; and that is the Apostle Paul, who, in his lifetime, after his conversion, never wavered from his calling to spread the gospel to the known world, especially among Gentiles.

We read of what Paul went through to take the Good News to the known world (see 2nd Cor. 11:22-33); and in his final days, modeling Christlikeness for Timothy, a young preacher, Paul came to declare that he had fought the good fight in running the race for Christ’s Gospel and God’s Kingdom. And this, of course, raises the question for us this day, are we running our race for Christ and for His glory … no matter what we encounter in/for His calling; and NEVER GIVE UP?!!

My Prayer Today:  O, Heavenly Father, … Lord Jesus, … and empowering Spirit, … I know You are there to give me Your strength to never give up on my calling.  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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