Sunday, January 15, 2017

January 15, 2017 ... Dying To Live

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 15 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images from Fernando Ortega singing an old, old hymn … When I Survey the Wondrous Cross … poignantly singing the reality of the cost Christ paid for our living in/with Him eternally.

Highlight Verse[s]: Matthew 10:39 [NKJV] … 
39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. 
… Dying to self is living for Christ.
Highlight Passage [context]: Matthew 10:37-42 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… Jesus on the cost of Christian discipleship.

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … Galatians 2:20 [NKJV] … 
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
… The ultimate Christian paradox … to live in Christ is to die to self.

Reference Passage #2 [NKJV] : … Philippians 1:21, 3:13-14 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… Truth … but do we die to self to live it, … keeping God’s ultimate prize in focus.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Amy Boucher Pye, used a story to illustrate how often we must sacrifice in life to gain life itself. The OBD author wrote: When I married my English fiancé and moved to the United Kingdom, I thought it would be a five-year adventure in a foreign land. I never dreamed I’d still be living here nearly twenty years later, or that at times I’d feel like I was losing my life as I said goodbye to family and friends, work, and all that was familiar. But in losing my old way of life, I’ve found a better one. 
The upside-down gift of finding life when we lose it is what Jesus promised to His apostles. When He sent out the twelve disciples to share His good news, He asked them to love Him more than their mothers or fathers, sons or daughters (Matt. 10:37). His words came in a culture where families were the cornerstone of the society and highly valued. But He promised that if they would lose their life for His sake, they would find it (v. 39). 

I’m grateful for the truth Paul expounded in Gal. 2:20 and Phil. 1:21 (see above). But fellow Christians, dying to self and living for Christ can be a painful process at times, can’t it? And so, … that’s why we must keep the ultimate prize in focus (see Phil. 3:13-14) so that the pain of dying to self can be overcome as the cost of discipleship in Christ.

That’s why I exhort any readers to hear Fernando Ortega, linked above, singing of the price Jesus paid on that wondrous cross so that we could, by dying to our selves, live in/with our Savior forever.

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … Yes, Lord, … Surveying the cross I’m brought to the reality of dying to myself so that I can live in You. ... 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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