Wednesday, June 14, 2017

June 14, 2017 … Going With Grace

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 165 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images and lyrics from the group Unspoken singing their song … Call It Grace … poignantly singing of the force of God which gives us new and more power-filled life.

Highlight Verse[s]: Matthew 11:28-30 [NKJV} … 
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” 
… Jesus invited His followers to yoke ourselves WITH Him, not to work FOR Him. 
Highlight Verse[s]: Matthew 11:28-29 [The Message} … 
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” 
… The Message version of the highlight passage.
Highlight Passage [context]: Matthew 11:25-30 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… Jesus invites His disciples to walk WITH Him, … not FOR Him.

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … Luke 9:23 [NLT] … 
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. ..." 
 … Jesus commands His followers to FOLLOW Him, … not to try to outrun Him.

Reference Passage #2 [NKJV] : … Philippians 4:6-7 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… God, thru Paul, disclaims our human desire to control things and worry about the outcomes … He commands us to pray and to seek His peace (see also Isaiah 26:3).

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, David C McCasland, helps his readers evaluate the efficacy of our walk with Christ The ODB author wrote: A friend and his wife, now in their early nineties and married for sixty-six years, wrote their family history for their children, grandchildren, and generations to come. The final chapter, “A Letter from Mom and Dad,” contains important life-lessons they’ve learned. One caused me to pause and take inventory of my own life: “If you find that Christianity exhausts you, draining you of your energy, then you are practicing religion rather than enjoying a relationship with Jesus Christ. Your walk with the Lord will not make you weary; it will invigorate you, restore your strength, and energize your life” (Matt. 11:28–29).  

I found today’s OBD entry a convicting self-exam into my Christian walk. It motivated me to ask whether I was really receiving and using God’s grace [hear today’s song] to follow my Lord’s lead; or was I trying to do the work myself? And today’s OBD teaching was very convicting for me. What about you? … McCasland wrote: When I think that serving God is all up to me, I’ve begun working for Him instead of walking with Him. There is a vital difference. If I’m not walking with Christ, my spirit becomes dry and brittle. 

OUCH!! … I don’t know about my fellow readers; but all too often I find myself trying to work FOR Christ, rather that doing what He commanded me in Luke 9:23; and also what He offered to me in Matthew 11:28-30.

 So, I’ve decided to be more careful to yoke myself to my Lord and let HIM take the lead; and then see if that doesn’t yield more of the peace He promises in Isaiah 26:3 and Phil. 4:6-7.

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … Lord, help me to take You up on Your offer to help me walk WITH You rather thank work FOR 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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