Friday, February 10, 2017

February 10, 2017 ... Thanks, I Needed That!

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 41 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images from a Gaither gathering singing the Southern Gospel hymn … Leaning On the Everlasting Arms … powerfully and poignantly declaring our need as Christians to lean on our Lord, especially in times of trial. … AT THIS LINK -  you can have the lyrics available for you to sing or follow along with the song on a separate website.

Highlight Verse[s]: 1st John 2:1 [NLT] … 
23 The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. 
… In the Greek, the NLT phrase “sitting next to Jesus” is also translated “leaning on Jesus’ bosom” in the KJV.
Highlight Passage [context]: John 13:12-26 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… The Disciples had just seen Jesus wash their feet; and they recited at the table of the “last supper” with John resting his head on Jesus’ bosom.

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … Isaiah 41:10 [NLT] … 
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. 
… [GOD to Isaiah] … If we lean on God in fearful times, … He promises to lift us up.

Reference Passage #2 [NKJV] : … Matthew 11:28-30 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… [JESUS] … Commands us, as His disciples, to rest on Him … especially when the burdens are too heavy for us.

Reference Passage #3 [NKJV] : … Philippians 4:6-7 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… [PAUL] … Exhorts Christians to avoid the sin of WORRY by thankfully bringing all our trials to Him so that He can give us His peace.

Reference Passage #4 [NKJV] : … 1st Peter 5:7 [NLT] … 
7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. 
… [PETER] … The Apostle’s exhortation to bring all our cares to a God who cares and a Lord Who’s big enough to handle them.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, James Banks, uses a personal image to illustrate how Jesus’ disciples (that’s you and me!) can - and should - lean on our Lord in times of trouble. The ODB author wrote: Sometimes when I put my head on my pillow at night and pray, I imagine I’m leaning on Jesus [see photo above]. 
 Whenever I do this, I remember something the Word of God tells us about the apostle John. John himself writes about how he was sitting beside Jesus at the Last Supper: “One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him” (John 13:23). 

And when I read Bank’s word picture today; and I sought an online image to illustrate it (see attached photo); … and then I found an old hymn, which I love to sing [see linked song], … my mind took me back to an old 1970s TV commercial (LINKED HERE), which states, … Thanks, I needed that!, … like a brisk slap in the face with after shave lotion.

And today, as I first went to pray in my morning quiet-time with God, I was feeling quite remorseful for all the divisiveness we are going thru in our world … as well as so many of my dear friends dealing with severe trials; … and then there’s my recent personal diagnosis of clinical depression which has led to bouts of rather severe fatigue and malaise.

Yeah, I know; … it’s the “Oh, woe is me!” attitude that Paul wrote about in Romans 7 or about which Isaiah describe in Isaiah 6. And then, after my prayer time, I read the ODB entry today; and it was like that brisk slap in the face in that commercial [see YouTube link] … where the beaten fighter was awakened by the slap of after shave.

God woke me up today to the reality of His promises from His word … to lift me up (see Isaiah 41), … to help carry my burdens (see Matthew 11), … to guard my heart with His peace (see Phil. 4), and from Peter’s admonition in 1st Peter 5 for my God to care for me ALWAYS when I bring my cares to Him. And that I did this morning! … Thanks, Lord … I needed that!!

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … I’m lifted up and strengthened by Your promises to be there for me in my times of trial. … 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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