Monday, August 07, 2017

August 7, 2017 … Abundant Living

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 219 

Devotional Song: … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images from Dennis Jernigan and Natalie Grant singing Dennis' song … You Are My All In All … poignantly singing of how a Christian can live the abundant life ... by being willing to and striving toward giving one's all to/for Christ. AND THEN USE THIS LINK  with the lyrics to Big Daddy Weave singing a contemporary version of the old hymn, Trust and Obey, where we hear in song of the only way to live “happy in Jesus,” … i.e., the abundant life He promises.

Highlight Verse[s]: John 10:10 [NLT] … 
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. 
… Jesus wants us to have His promise of abundant life.
Highlight Passage [context]: John 10:9-10[NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Jesus clearly states His desire that His followers avoid the pitfalls of Satan and come to Him for His promise of abundant life.

Reference Passage #1 [NLT] : … Mark 10:17-31 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… In HIs ministry to others, Jesus clearly points to the reality that attaining eternal, completely abundant, life will cost much ... but it's SO WORTH IT!

Reference Passage #2 [NLT ] : … Matthew 5:3-12 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK
… Jesus lays out the kingdom (and heavenly) blessings which are promised to all who follow Him as surrendered disciples; and to me, it's well worth the cost to obey and follow our Lord.

Reference Passage #3 [NLT ] : … 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' demands of His disciples are costly and tough to follow with the temptations of the world; but when we do ... abundant life is ours (see John 10:10 above).

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Monica Brands, used a personal story to illustrate how we humans try to motivate ourselves to live, in our perception, a more abundant life. The ODB author wrote: When I stopped by to visit my sister’s family, my nephews eagerly showed me their new chore system, a set of Choropoly boards. Each colorful electronic board keeps track of their chores. [See attached photo] 
 A job well done means the kids can hit a green button, which adds points to their “spending” account. A misdeed like leaving the back door open results in a fine being deducted from the total. Since a high-points total leads to exciting rewards such as computer time—and misdeeds deduct from that total—my nephews are now unusually motivated to do their work and to keep the door closed! 

As a parent, and now a grandparent, we always found that constructive parental “bribery” goes a long way to motivating our kiddos to follow our commands. And quite often we'd find that they would do so much for their reward, … even though it was tough for them to follow thru with what they knew we demanded of them.

But also quite often, the promised rewards from us, their earthly parents, were not enough to overcome the temptations offered by the world to young ones, ... rewards which can seem to be oh, so appealing to the flesh. And Jesus encountered that with the rich young man (in Mark 10), who couldn't overcome Jesus' demands of His disciples to surrender all to Him. The cost of discipleship to this young man was just too much; and he was unable to follow Jesus.

What Jesus promises often is very, very costly; but if we truly believe Him, the outcome is WAY WORTH IT, isn't it?! It's that faith thing that is the hang up. The eternal "bribe" (really God’s "reward") is really incredible; but we've got to be able to overcome our own flesh and natural selfishness to take up our cross daily and follow our Heavenly parent and Lord (see Luke 9:23).  The question is ... WILL WE?!  

In other words, ... is, as the first song relates above, Jesus our all in all?  Do we really seek His promised abundant life (John 10:10) by doing what Big Daddy Weave sings … by trusting and obeying all that He models and all that He commands of us as His disciples?

My Prayer Today: Abba Father, … King Jesus, … I pray that all who read here are following our Lord and experiencing at least some of the “abundant life” He promises. … 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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