Sunday, January 01, 2017

January 1, 2017 ... Thanks-Living in Christ

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 1 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …   Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images and lyrics from Guy Penrod singing the old hymn … Count Your Blessings … Joyfully singing of something we all should do EVERY DAY … to count the many blessings God brings into our life.

Highlight Verse[s]: Psalm 23:6a [NKJV] … 
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; … 
… Now or anytime is the time to begin anew with Christ!
Highlight Passage [context]: Psalm 23 … USE THIS LINK
… Former shepherd, King David, expresses his thankfulness to his GOOD Shepherd in a song. 

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … John 10:1-5 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Jesus declares His being the “Good Shepherd” in the line of David, … the Messiah for Whom the people were waiting.

Reference Passage #2 [NKJV] : … Philippians 1:3 [NLT] … 
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, … 
… Paul expresses his love and thankfulness for His fellow Christians in Philippi, … just as we should pray and express our thanks for friendships, … most especially the friendship of Christ.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Anne Cetas, writes of a friend, Sue, who devised a clever way to recognize God’s blessing with a thankful heart. The ODB author wrote: Wanting to mature in her spiritual life and become more thankful, Sue started what she called a Thanks-Living jar. Each evening she wrote on a small piece of paper one thing she thanked God for and dropped it in the jar. Some days she had many praises; other difficult days she struggled to find one. At the end of the year she emptied her jar and read through all of the notes. She found herself thanking God again for everything He had done. He had given simple things like a beautiful sunset or a cool evening for a walk in the park, and other times He had provided grace to handle a difficult situation or had answered a prayer. 

Wow … that’s a good idea! … And I’m going to implement a version of Sue’s “Thanks-Living” jar as a New Year’s resolution for 2017. But instead of using a jar to contain my “thanks-living” entries, I’m using a large Ziploc bag; and, as you can see in the photo, each Sunday, I’ll be entering the blessings I can remember from the previous week. And each day in my morning prayer time, I can look at the previous entries to help me express my thankfulness to my Lord for His many blessings (see song link above).

When we take the time to remember God providence and blessing, with a humble and thankful heart, as King David did in Psalm 23 and the Apostle Paul did in Phil. 1:3, our heart remembers the grace, mercy, and love God sheds upon His “sheep” as the Good Shepherd. Join me today - and all through the New Year - joyfully expressing our thanks to our Lord.

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … Lord, … One-by-one I recount Your blessings. ... 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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