Thursday, November 17, 2016

November 17, 2016: Taking Off the Mask

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 322  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images from Queen Latifah singing a song from the movie “Joyful Noise” … Fix Me Jesus … poignantly praying for unburdening from one’s hidden sin by the Master Fixer.

Highlight Verse[s]: Matthew 6:3-4 [NKJV] …  
3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. 
… As Christians, we’re not to be doing stuff while wearing masks. We just do what is called to do quietly and secretly to honor God.
Highlight Context: Matthew 6:1-6 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Jesus from His Sermon on the Mount, teaching on how one is to deal with burdens of the soul. 

Reference Passage #1 … Psalm 51:1-4 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… David, after hiding the debacle involving Bathsheba for a year, finally comes clean and gets real before God, unburdening himself of the masks he had been wearing.

Reference Passage #2 … 1st Peter 5:6-7 [NKJV] …  
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 
… By humbling ourselves and surrendering our burdens to the Lord, He will lift us up because He so loves us.

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. 
… God’s promise to cleanse us if/when we’re open/honest in confessing our sin.

My Journal for Today:  … Our Daily Bread author, Anne Cetas, uses a story with which we can all identify to teach about wearing “masks” in our lives. She wrote: Kerri tries hard to get people to admire her. She acts happy most of the time so that others will notice and compliment her on her joyful attitude. Some affirm her because they see her helping people in the community. But in a transparent moment Kerri will admit, "I love the Lord, but in some ways I feel like my life is a façade." Her own sense of insecurity is behind much of her effort of trying to look good to others, and she says she’s running out of energy to keep it up. 
We can probably all relate in some way because it’s not possible to have perfect motives. We love the Lord and others, but our motives for how we live the Christian life are sometimes mixed with our desire to be valued or praised. 

Obviously I cannot know the heart of any reader with me here; but I would bet there are some - if not all - who identify with the ODB illustration above. Most of us - certainly I have - worn masks of behavior which hide the real person inside (see photo). And, as Christians, carrying the burden of conviction and guilt can become unbearable.

That was certainly the case for King David after his debacle with Bathsheba. And after a year of wearing masks, with the help of the Prophet Nathan, David finally got real, took off the masks, and confessed his sin before God (see the Psalm 52 passage). And when he did, God lifted the burden of his guilt, cleansed him, and helped him to move on (on your own see Psalm 32 about David’s restoration).

And when we’re willing/able to take off “the masks” of pretense and get real with God, confessing our burdens and sin, He is willing, able, and promises to cleanse us from any sinfulness we’ve been hiding [see 1John 1 and 1Peter 5 passages above).

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … Lord, help me to be real with You and all others in my life. … 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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