Sunday, July 02, 2017

July 2, 2017 … No Shortcuts

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 183 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …   Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images and lyrics from Kathy Troccoli singing … Clean … poignantly singing of the route we must take in following Christ as His disciples.

Highlight Verse[s]: Luke 9:23 [NLT] … 
23 Then He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow Me. …” 
… Follow Jesus means taking no shortcuts.
Highlight Passage [context]: Luke 9:23, 57-62 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Jesus spells out clearly that being His disciple will cost.

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … Proverbs 3:5-6 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Solomon knew that doing life God’s way would mean denying our own way and following the Lord obediently.

Reference Passage #2 [NKJV] : … Acts 1:8 [NLT] … 
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 
… Jesus promises His Spirit to provide us with the power necessary to be His witnesses.

Reference Passage #3 [NKJV] : … 1st Corinthians 10:13 [NLT] … 
13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 
… No matter how difficult the temptation or test in life, God is faithful to be there for us.

Reference Passage #4 [NKJV] : … 2nd Corinthians 12:9 [NLT] … 
9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 
… Jesus tells Paul (and us) that His grace is all we need to overcome our tendency to take the shortcuts to avoid the pains of life.

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Tim Gustafson, used a personal analogy to illustrate our human tendency to take shortcuts in life rather than doing what it takes to follow Christ. The ODB author wrote: Sipping her tea, Nancy gazed out her friend’s window and sighed. Spring rains and sunshine had coaxed a riotous expanse of color from a well-groomed flowerbed of lilies, phlox, irises, and evening primrose. 
“I want that look,” she said wistfully, “without all the work.” 
Some shortcuts are fine—even practical. Others short-circuit our spirit and deaden our lives. We want romance without the difficulties and messiness of committing to someone so different from ourselves. We want “greatness” without the risks and failures necessary in the adventure of real life. We desire to please God, but not when it inconveniences us. 

The attached photo pretty well describes our human tendency to cut corners in life, doesn’t it? Our human nature would default us to take the shortcut around the tough roads in life, wouldn’t it? In fact a whole food industry - i.e., fast-foods - was born of our human desire to cut corners, wasn’t it?

So, what does this mean to us Christians today, when we take in what God has to say to us in the Scriptures above about following Him as His disciples? … Well, duh!!! … It means that we’re going to have to avoid our human tendencies and go where He leads, … even if that’s not the easy way. No shortcuts in following King Jesus!

The question for us then, from this OBD entry, is … ARE WE taking His way rather than defaulting to take the easy way? And personally, I’m more than a little convicted by today’s charge; and I need to do more of what Kathy Troccoli sings in the linked song above.

My Prayer Today: Abba Father, … King Jesus, … I choose to follow You today, Lord, no matter where You lead me. And tomorrow too!! … 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.

No comments: