Sunday, October 09, 2016

October 9, 2016: United in Our Lord

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 283  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a You Tube video of Clay Crosse and his two friends, Bebe Winans and Bob Carlisle singing … I Will Follow Christ, powerfully declaring the goal which should unite all Christians … to follow our Lord as His disciples.

Highlight Passage: Mark 3:14 [NKJV] …  
14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, … 
… Jesus called 12 of vastly different types, skills, and temperaments, and 11 of them came together to serve Him, with others added later, changing the world.
Highlight Context: Mark 3:13-19 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Who could’ve imagined that Jesus would call these 12 to change the world following Him. 

Reference Passage #1 … Deuteronomy 6:4 [NKJV] …  
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. ... 
… God's calling on all believers.    

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’ call to and cost of discipleship.

Reference Passage #3 … Matthew 28:19-20 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Jesus’ “Great Commission” to all disciples when He ascended to heaven following His resurrection.

My Journal for Today:  … Our Daily Bread author, Amy Boucher Pye, used Jesus’ 12 Disciples as examples of people of vast differences being unified in Him. She wrote: When we come across a list of names in the Bible, we might be tempted to skip over it. But we can find treasures there, such as in the list of the twelve apostles whom Jesus called to serve in His name. Many are familiar—Simon whom Jesus called Peter, the rock. Brothers James and John, fishermen. Judas Iscariot, the betrayer. But we could easily overlook that Matthew the tax collector and Simon the Zealot must once have been enemies. … 
Although Matthew and Simon held opposing political beliefs, the Gospels don’t document them bickering or fighting about them. They must have had at least some success in leaving their previous allegiances behind as they followed Christ. 
When we too fix our eyes on Jesus, the God who became Man, we can find increasing unity with our fellow believers through the bond of the Holy Spirit. 

Perhaps in the past, or maybe currently, you’ve served, or are serving, the Lord with a group of disciples who are vastly different and see the world from their own individual perspectives. Well, in our faith in following Christ, … and really in Christ alone … can find the unity of His Spirit to overcome our differences and serve Him as He called His disciples to do so (see the reference Scriptures above).

When we deny self and all follow Christ, seeking to serve our Lord with all our hearts and follow His Spirit, we will be able work TOGETHER to carry out His “Great Commission.”

The question is … can we - or will we - follow Him and not follow the world’s ways or our own self interests or perceptions?

My Prayer Today: Lord, help me - and my fellow Christians - to follow You and avoid following our self interests. 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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