Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 31, 2016 ... Starting Over with Christ

Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 366

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images from my friend Clay Cross and two of his friends, Bib Carlisle and Bebe Winans singing … I Will Follow Christ … poignantly singing of how all times are the right time to start over and follow Christ.

Highlight Verse[s]: 2nd Corinthians 6:2b [NKJV] … 
2 Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 
… Now or anytime is the time to begin anew with Christ!
Highlight Passage [context]: 2nd Corinthians 5:17-6:2 … USE THIS LINK
… Any time is the acceptable time to receive Christ’s freely offered saving grace; and in that time all things become new.

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … John 3:3 [NLT] … 
3 Jesus answered and said to him [Nicodemus], “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 
… Jesus declares the need of everyone/anyone to be born-again in Him.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Jennifer Benson Schuldt, used a personal story to illustrate our childlike need to run to our Abba Father when we carry burdens too heavy for us to bare. The ODB author wrote: Our preschool-age granddaughter Maggie and her kindergarten-age sister Katie hauled several blankets to the backyard, where they proceeded to build a blanket tent in which to play. 
They had been outside a while when their mom heard Maggie call for her. “Mom, come here quick!” Maggie yelled. “I want to ask Jesus into my heart, and I need your help!” 
Apparently at that moment her need for Jesus became clear to her, and she was ready to put her faith in Him. Maggie’s urgent call for help in trusting Jesus brings to mind Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 6 about salvation. 

And once anyone, like Maggie, truly receives the saving grace of Christ, his/her life starts over in a trek, following Christ, to eternity. As the Apostle Paul wrote to his fellow Christians [see highlight passage above], beginning anew in Christ makes everything new.

And what better day than TODAY, New Year’s Eve, to START OVER with Christ. Little Maggie started her life over the moment she received Christ as Lord and Savior. And certainly that’s the ultimate starting point for our eternal life in Christ … just as Jesus taught Nicodemus in that garden encounter (see John 3:3). However, if you’re already a born-again believer, you can - well, we all can - start over moving into the new year.

Each year on this date, my computer reminds me to GO TO THIS LINK  and read and meditate on a poem written by Woodrow Kroll. And I would exhort any reader here to use that link above and take in this poignant word of truth from this eminent Bible teacher. And then PLEASE take in the linked song for this journal entry, where a friend of mine, and two friends of his, sing of what we, as Christians, must do in starting over in 2017.

Yes, my friends, as Paul wrote (in 2Cor. 6:2) and the Christian brothers sing (linked above) … “NOW is the acceptable time” to follow Christ.   

So, as Woodrow Kroll writes, let’s START OVER.

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … Lord, … I begin again to serve You 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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