Friday, April 21, 2017

April 21, 2017 … For Goodness Sake

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 111 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of the group Newsong singing… For Goodness Sake … singing of our desire to follow Christ’s call to follow Him [see Luke 9:23] and give our lives to help others … “for goodness sake!”

Highlight Verse[s]: Luke 3:10-11 … [NLT] … 
10 The crowds asked, “What should we do?” … 11 John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” 
… John The Baptist on giving to the poor.
Highlight Passage [context]: Luke 3:7-14 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… John, The Baptizer, preaches to the people on giving to the poor

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … Psalm 72:13 [NLT] … 
13 He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and He (the Messiah) will rescue them. 
… Solomon’s prophesy of the caring generosity of the coming Messiah.

Reference Passage #2 [NKJV] : … Matthew 11:4-5 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Jesus declares, to John the Baptist, that He is fulfilling all this prophesies about the Messiah (see Isaiah 61:1-2) by his compassion for others.

Reference Passage #3 [NKJV] : … 2nd Corinthians 9:6-7 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… The Apostle Paul exhorted fellow Christians to give generously because God loves a cheerful giver.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Tim Gustafson, used a clever pastoral story to illustrate how we, as Christians, should be willing to give, literally, the shirt off our back to those in need [see candid photo taken in a subway]. The ODB author wrote: A pastor breathed life into the phrase “He’d give you the shirt off his back” when he gave this unsettling challenge to his church: “What would happen if we took the coats off our backs and gave them to the needy?” Then he took his own coat and laid it at the front of the church. Dozens of others followed his example. This was during the winter, so the trip home was less comfortable that day. But for dozens of people in need, the season warmed up just a bit. 

How many times, as Christians desiring to live like Jesus, have we heard it said, … ”It’s better to give than receive?” And does that grab any readers here with conviction like it does me? How often to I (or you) see someone appearing homeless on the street; and I want to give them something (as did the man literally the shirt off his back in the photo); and I walk on by. Oh, I have my excuses to ease my conscience; but the man may need my shirt … and I can certainly afford to give mine to him … but I don’t.

How often in God’s word does it exhort followers of Christ to have The Messiah’s attitude about giving to the poor (see all the Scriptures above)? Well, … I’m just going to have to leave it to us, … i.e., those who claim to be disciples of Christ, … and the Holy Spirit speaking to our conscience, to decide what we must do to be Christlike in our giving. Personally, I need to do more, as the group New Song sings, “For Goodness Sake,” to be like Christ.

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … dear Lord, … show me how to give of myself as you’ve given of Yourself for me. … 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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