Thursday, December 22, 2016

December 22, 2016 ... My Gift - My Story

Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 357

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images from Big Daddy Weave singing his song… My Story … Powerfully telling of the God speaking the truth of salvation through the story of our changed lives as Christians.

Highlight Verse[s]: 1st Peter 3:15 [NKJV] … 
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
... Our best defense or answer for the skeptic is our story of deliverance and redemption. 
Highlight Passage [context]: 1st Peter 3:8-18 … USE THIS LINK
… When our faith is questioned or challenged, the best we can give the doubter is our story. 

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … Revelation 12:11 … 
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 
… The word of our testimony will overcome even the strongest of doubters, especially our story of the effect the blood of the Lamb has in changing our lives.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Randy Kilgore, used a story of a man sharing his story of the greatest Christmas gift he ever got, when, at Christmas, God gave him the gift of salvation. The ODB author writes: At a winter retreat in northern New England, one of the men asked the question, “What was your favorite Christmas gift ever?” 
One athletic man seemed eager to answer. “That’s easy,” he said, glancing at his friend next to him. “A few years back, I finished college thinking I was a sure bet to play professional football. When it didn’t happen, I was angry. Bitterness ate at me, and I shared that bitterness with anyone who tried to help me.” 

Fellow Christian, … you can use the link to the entire ODB devotional below in the "Blogger Note" addendum to read the rest of the story of this man letting God’s gift of salvation heal him of his bitterness. And it brings up the issue of what we give to others, especially skeptics or unbelievers, at Christmas - or anytime - when they question our faith.

Peter preached (see 1st Peter 3:15 above) that we should always be ready to give an answer for our faith. So, … what do we tell a lost loved-one or acquaintance when they come to us with questions about our faith? Well, Big Daddy Weave yields an answer to that in the song linked above; because the best answer we can give to one questioning our faith is to tell them our story, … our story of being formed or reformed by Christ.

My friend, no one can argue with a testimony. The skeptic can argue with Bible proclamations or even the strong evidence for Christ; but he/she can’t argue with my story. My story is MY STORY; and no one can argue with it’s truth. Now the unbeliever may continue to resist the truth of Christ in my life; but he/she will never be able to take away the gift you give them - maybe even this Advent Season - with your story.

So, if God gives us the appointed opportunity to answer some skeptic this Christmas - or into the New Year - let’s confidently tell them how Jesus is shaping or reshaping our life into His image. And then wish them a “very Merry Christmas or a Happy New Year!”

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … Lord, please give me the anointed opportunity - maybe even today - to share my story with someone for Christmas or in the New Year. ... 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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