Friday, March 10, 2017

March 10, 2017 ... Going Home With Hope

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 69 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images and lyrics sung by the lead singer from Third Day singing a contemporary arrangement of the classic hymn … Blessed Assurance … powerfully singing of our assurance of a Savior and our hope of heaven.

Image of “Without a Home” taken from ODB Devotional  

Highlight Verse[s]: Ephesians 2:12-13 [NLT] … 
12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. 13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ. 
… The blessed assurance of being IN CHRIST forever.
Highlight Passage [context]: Ephesians 2:11-22 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Paul, writing to disenfranchised Christians to encourage them to know that their hope was in heaven, not in this world.

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … Proverbs 3:5-6 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Trusting in Christ is being led to Him in eternity.

Reference Passage #2 [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 will always direct and lift up His chosen one.

Reference Passage #3 [NKJV] : … 1st Peter 2:11 [NLT] … 
11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 
 … As long as we’re headed toward our heavenly hope and staying away from earthly temptations, we’ll be okay.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Mart DeHaan, used a true story of a young african boy to illustrate our condition as temporary travelers, headed to our home in heaven. The ODB author wrote: A young African refugee who goes by the name of Steven is a man without a country [see ODB photo]. He thinks he may have been born in Mozambique or Zimbabwe. But he never knew his father and lost his mother. She fled civil war, traveling country to country as a street vendor. Without ID and unable to prove his place of birth, Steven walked into a British police station, asking to be arrested. Jail seemed better to Steven than trying to exist on the streets without the rights and benefits of citizenship. 

Sometimes it’s easy to feel lost, isn’t it? We can feel like we’re walking thru a minefield with all those deadly dangers all around us, … not knowing which way to go. But then, when we realize that we can follow THE ONE Who knows exactly where all the mines are, we can have confidence and hope that we’re headed in His right direction, … headed home with Christ.

That’s why Paul, from a prison, was writing to the Ephesian Christians, … a people who were on the run and feeling oppressed by the world, with their lives threatened every day. But he helped them (and prayerfully us) to realize that we need not fear this world, we can follow Christ out of the minefield of this life, … all the way to our permanent, eternal, home in heaven.

That’s the Blessed Assurance that Third Day sings of in today’s linked song (above). And I pray it’s the assurance that all who read here have, especially with the truths espoused in today’s highlight and reference passages.

My friends, all we need to do is follow our Savior; and He will lead us out of the minefield and all the way to our heavenly home.

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … We follow You, … confidently today, knowing You will lead us home. … 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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