Monday, March 27, 2017

March 27, 2017 ... The Real Me

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 86 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images from Phillips, Craig, and Dean singing there song … He’ll Do Whatever It Takes … poignantly singing God’s promise to finish transforming us in to His images.

Highlight Verse[s]: Isaiah 43:4 [NLT] … 
4  Others were given in exchange for you (Israel). I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to Me. You are honored and I love you. 
… God’s declaration of love for Israel … in spite of their disobedience.
Highlight Passage [context]: Isaiah 43:1-9 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK …
... God declares His love for recalcitrant Israel.

Reference Passage #1 : … Lamentation 3:22-23 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… In spite of whom we really are, God loves us and is willing to extend His faithful mercies to us, His chosen ones.

Reference Passage #2 : … Romans 8:35-37 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Paul declares the truth about nothing - even our own selves - can separate us from the love of God.

Reference Passage #3 : … Philippians 1:6 [NLT] … 
6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. 
… As in the linked song, God is going to do whatever it takes, in spite of our selves, to transform His repentant children into His image.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Sheridan Voysey, used a historical reference to illustrate how we need to be transparent and vulnerable as witness to/for Christ. The ODB author wrote: To celebrate Winston Churchill’s eightieth birthday, the British parliament commissioned artist Graham Sutherland to paint a portrait of the celebrated statesman. “How are you going to paint me?” Churchill reportedly asked the artist: “As a cherub, or the Bulldog?” Churchill liked these two popular perceptions of him. Sutherland, however, said he would paint what he saw. Churchill was not happy with the results. Sutherland’s portrait had Churchill slumped in a chair wearing his trademark scowl—true to reality, but hardly flattering [see photo]. After its official unveiling, Churchill hid the painting in his cellar. It was later secretly destroyed. 

We’re not that much different from Churchill, are we? At times most of us - if not all - have our ego-driven desires to wear masks, … to hide our real faces, … or to appear better to others than we really are. Christlike humility, transparency, and vulnerability are just not clarion character traits for most Christians, are they? And yet, God still shows his love, mercy, and grace to those of us who’ve been chosen by our Lord for glory, … just as he declared for Israel (see highlight passages above). Israel continually was like a recalcitrant child, … revealing and hiding behind worldly idols and personal desires.

And yet, as Isaiah declared, God still loved them; and He will fulfill His promise to Israel in glory. And the Apostle Paul, in Romans 8:35-37 and Philippians 1:6 declared that, even though Christians have so much trouble being honest, real, and transparent to God and others, … He is still ALWAYS william to provide His mercies and love to His repentant children (see also Lam. 3:22-23).

So, my fellow Christians, let’s get real for God today!!

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … Lord, …Help me to take off the masks and be real in witnessing for You today. … 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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