Wednesday, August 10, 2022

August 10, 2022 … Standing Firm With Christ …

Berry Patch Devotions in 2021 - Day 222 


<b></u>Devotional Song</u>: ... GO TO THIS LINK ... </b> https://bit.ly/3uJp1Wd … Please take the time to take in song and lyrics from Danny Gokey singing … <b><i>Stand In Faith</b></i>poignantly singing of how we Christians are called to stand firm in our faith in the midst of all kinds of evil and discord. 



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Highlight Passage: … Esther 4:14 [NLT] …  

14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”  

  Mordecai declares - speaking for God to Esther - the Lord’s desire that she must stand strong and speak out to King Xerxes during a time when God’s people where threatened by destruction.           


Highlight Passage (Context): … Esther 4:7-14 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK  

  God reveals thru Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, that in the face of evil and destruction of God’s people, Esther had been chosen by God to stand strong.                                                               

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Reference Passage: … Joshua 1:9 [NLT] …  

This is My command — <b>be strong and courageous!</b> Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 

… God commands Joshua just as the Lord would command us , … to remain strong and stand firm in our faith to do His will.


Reference Passage: … 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. 

  Jesus charged those who followed Him to be willing to stand firm and follow Him no matter what crosses we must bear daily in life. 


Reference Passage: … 1Corinthians 16:13 [NLT] …  

13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.  

… God calls on Christians, thru Paul, to stand firm and be strong in our faith … ALWAYS!


Reference Passage: … Ephesians 6:10-13 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK … 

  God, thru Paul, calls on Christians to stand firm in their faith in the mighty power of the Lord, especially when battling the evils of our enemies.              


Reference Passage: … 1John 4:4 [NLT] …  

But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 

… God, thru John, reminds Christians, that we can fight on for God in this life because His power will alway prevail over the powers of the enemy.  

                                                                                

My Devotional JournalToday's Our Daily Bread author, Kimya Loder … AT THIS LINK  writes of a local Pastor in a small Illinois town, which was overcome by a plague of domestic violence, … declaring to his fellow townsmen, “Our prayers and compassion, coupled with some tangible support, can make an important difference.” 


The Pastor in this small town was standing strong and declaring that the only thing which could bring about a permanent reduction in the rash of domestic violence was standing firm in faith that God could be victorious in this spiritual warfare.  And I think we recognize that we are in desperate times - perhaps end times - which test our faith as we encounter all kinds of spiritual warfare all around us. 


My fellow Christians, today’s song and the Scriptures above mean a lot to me.  I’ve been called to lead a ministry which goes to battle daily against the evils of pervasive sexual sin in our world, … called to help Christian men to walk free from the evils of pornography addiction and other forms of sexual sin.  And often I feel like we’ve been called to empty an ocean of evil with a teacup of ministry.  But I know to stand strong; … because as the song rings true and the truth of God shouts to me thru His word [Scriptures above], … I can - AND MUST - stand firm in my faith and fight on for the battle is HIS and I march to follow HIM in battle every day.  


And if you believe in the power of prayer, as I do, please pray for this old soldier; … and for yourself … as we do battle every day to stand firm in our faith in God’s power to make all things right in the end.  


My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh, Abba Father, thank You, King Jesus, … for giving me Your empowering grace to do battle in Your Name and for Your glory today.

My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... . I pray that all reading here will join me, …  to stand firm and fight on, with Your power, Lord, … continuing to do battle in Your Name today.   … Amen


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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.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

August 9, 2022 … Humble and Kind … Like Christ …

Berry Patch Devotions in 2021 - Day 221 


Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...  Please take the time to take in song and lyrics from Tim McGraw singing … Humble and Kind … poignantly singing of how we Christians are called to be like Christ … always humble and kind. 



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Highlight Passage: … James 4:10 [NLT] …  

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor. …  

  James shows that we must humble ourselves to be honored by the Lord.         


Highlight Passage (Context): … James 4:1-11 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK  

  God, thru James, shows that Christians must set aside selfish ways to, in humility, become like Christ.                                                                                                                                         

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Reference Passage: … Matthew 11:29 [NLT] …  

29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 

  Jesus charged those who followed Him to follow His ways of being humble and gentle (also translated as “kind”)


Reference Passage: … John 13:13-17 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK … 

  After washing the feet of His disciples in the upper room, Jesus charges them (and us) to serve others in the same way.        


Reference Passage: … Philippians 2:5 [NLT] …  

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.  

… Paul exhorted fellow Christians to take on the attitude of Christ.   


Reference Passage: … 1Peter 2:21 [NLT] …  

21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in His steps. 

… Peter charges fellow Christians to humbly follow the example Christ set for His followers. 


Reference Passage: … 1John 2:6 [NLT] …  

Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. 

… The Apostle John also exhorts fellow Christians to live as Christ lived. 

                                                                                

My Devotional JournalToday's Our Daily Bread author, Monica La Rose … AT THIS LINK  quotes a 16th century Christian, Theresa of Avila, who was quoted to point fellow Christians to become more like Christ, by saying, “It is because God is the supreme Truth, and humility is the truth. . . . Nothing good in us springs from ourselves. Rather, it comes from the waters of grace, near which the soul remains, like a tree planted by a river, and from that Sun which gives life to our works.” 


Would my fellow Christian readers agree - by hearing the linked song and taking in the Scriptures above, that we are called, as born-again believers, to become more like Christ? … Well, duh!!  Of course we are!  … And in that calling probably the best place to start in our pursuit of Christlikeness is to see how Christ described Himself.  And that is found in Matthew 11:29, the only place in the NT where Jesus describes Himself with adjectives, … saying that He was “humble and gentle” (also translated “humble and kind”).


So, in taking in this charge from Jesus, Himself, and also from other NT Apostles like Paul, Peter, and John (see reference scriptures above), I’m personally convicted to ask myself if I’m truly pursing Christlike attitudes of humility an kindness with the fervor that God’s word calls me; or could I do more to be more like my Lord today?  How about you?   


My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh, Abba Father, thank You, King Jesus, … for showing me the way to be more like You. 

My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... . I pray that all reading here will join me, …  to do all we can today to be humble and kind, like you, Lord!  … Amen


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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.

Monday, August 08, 2022

August 8, 2022 … Following God’s Way …

Berry Patch Devotions in 2021 - Day 220 


Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...  Please take the time to take in song and lyrics from Lydia Walker singing … I Have Decided To Follow Jesus … poignantly singing of how we Christians must decide to follow God’s path in life to a relationship with Christ. 



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Highlight Passage: … Proverbs 22:6 [NLT] …  

6 Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. …   

  God directs parents to find God’s path and to lead our children to His ways.         


Highlight Passage (Context): … Proverbs 22:6, 17-21 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK  

  God, thru Solomon, charges His children to follow His ways and lead our children on the right path in life.                                                                                                                                        

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Reference Passage: … Deuteronomy 28:1 [NLT] …  

“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all His commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world.  

  God, thru Moses, commands His people to obey Him and follow His ways.


Reference Passage: … Proverbs 3:5-6 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK … 

  Solomon shows believers that we must trust God to lead us down the right path in life. 


Reference Passage: … 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.. 

  Jesus commands any who would be His disciples to deny our own way and follow only His.  


Reference Passage: … John 14:15, 21 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK … 

  Jesus said that the only ones who truly love Him are the ones who obey Him and follow His ways.        


Reference Passage: … 1Corinthians 11:1 [NLT] …  

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.. 

… Paul knew that others could follow him in life because he was dedicated to following Jesus.  

                                                                                

My Devotional JournalToday's Our Daily Bread author, Winn Collier … AT THIS LINK  used the story about the father of Brazilian skateboarder, Philipe Gustavo, who believed in his son’s skills and sold his car to send Philipe to Tampa in the USA where his son won a tournament which ultimately led to a great and rewarding career. 


And then the ODB author went to God’s word, thru Solomon, who showed that following God’s ways, and leading out children to do so, is the only way to right living in this life (see highlight passage).  And as we see from the linked song and the Scriptures above, our LORD, God, so desires that we obey and follow His ways in life.  Because when we trust and obey Him, He will lead us to Glory.  


Oh how I pray that all reading here with me have decided to follow Jesus, … no turning back, … no turning back.    


My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh, Abba Father, thank You, King Jesus, … for showing me the the way to go, Lord, thru Your word.  

My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... . I pray that all reading here will join me, …  to trust and follow Your ways, Lord, wherever You will lead us.  … Amen


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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.

Sunday, August 07, 2022

August 7, 2022 … His Strength, Not Mine …

Berry Patch Devotions in 2021 - Day 219


Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...   Please take the time to take in song and lyrics from Steven Curtis Chapman singing … His Strength Is Perfect … powerfully singing of how our - omnipotent - God will supply His strength when we’re too weak to handle the challenges of life. 


Paul Anderson - World's Strongest Man at the 1956 Olympics ... 


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Highlight Passage: … Isaiah 40:31a [NLT] …  

31 But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength, …  

  God promises new strength for those who trust in Him.       


Highlight Passage (Context): … Isaiah 40:28-31 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK  

  God, thru Isaiah, promises His strength for those who trust in Him in times of our human weakness.                                                                                                                                        

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Reference Passage: … Psalm 73:25 [NLT] …  

26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.

  Asaph, the Psalmist, sings of God’s strength being his (and ours) forever.


Reference Passage: … Isiah 41:10 [NLT] …  

10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.  

  God, once again thru Isaiah, promises to provide His strength in our times of weakness. 


Reference Passage: … 2Corinthians 12:9-10 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK … 

  Paul recognized and gave witness to the reality that, in our times of weakness and pain, our only strength can - and often will - come from God.       


Reference Passage: … Philippians 4:13 [NLT] …  

13 For I can do everything through Christ, Who gives me strength.  

  God, thru Paul, assures Christians that our God will give us the strength to deal with the challenges of life.  


Reference Passage: … 2Timothy 1:7 [NLT] …  

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.. 

  In times of trial and weakness, the Apostle Paul teaches Timothy (and us) that God will lift us up with His Spirit of power.  

                                                                                

My Devotional JournalToday's Our Daily Bread author, Patricia Rayon … AT THIS LINK  tells of how Paul Anderson, considered the world’s strongest man at the 1956 Olympics, became weakened by illness and fever.  However, on his last attempt to do a lift, prayed to God and set a world record, lifting 413.5 lbs (see photo).  After the lift, about his prayer to God, Anderson was quoted as saying,  “I wasn’t making a bargain [with God]. I needed help.”


And if my readers have heard the powerful song from Steven Curtis Chapman and meditated on the Scriptures above, I think we all can identify with those who go to God in times of trial, or pain, or weakness.  Because, my fellow Christian, sometimes God is the only One to go to when we’re challenged beyond our limits in life. 


Maybe you’re there today.  To some degree I am., dealing with some personal pain.   So, today I’m taking Jesus as His words to Paul when the Apostle was dealing with that “thorn in the flesh,” … when Paul remembered Jesus saying, … “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”  Or … ss Steven Curtis Chapman sings, ”His strength is perfect when my strength is gone … “ 


I need HIs strength today; … perhaps you do too.  


My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh, Abba Father, thank You, King Jesus, … for giving me Your strength when I’m so weak.      

My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... . I pray that all reading here will join me, …  to plea for Your strength, Lord, … we need it today!!   … Amen


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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.

Saturday, August 06, 2022

August 6, 2022 … Letting God Be God …

Berry Patch Devotions in 2021 - Day 218 


Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...  Please take the time to take in song and lyrics from Twila Paris singing … God Is In Control … powerfully singing of how we, as children of Control need to surrender our desire to control to God.  


Trying to reshape nature ... 

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Highlight Passage: … Ezekiel 17:24 [NLT] …  

24 And all the trees will know that it is I, the Lord, who cuts the tall tree down and makes the short tree grow tall. It is I who makes the green tree wither and gives the dead tree new life. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do what I said!”  

  God declares that He will replant Judah as a tree in Babylon if they’re unwilling to follow His ways in Jerusalem.       


Highlight Passage (Context): … Ezekiel 17:19-24 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK  

  God, thru Ezekiel, declares to Judah that if His people do not repent and surrender to follow His ways, … HE, … the Lord God, will strip them of His promised peace and protection and replant them in Babylon.                                                                                                                    ===============                                                                 


Reference Passage: … Proverbs 3:5-6 [NLT] …  

Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart; and do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in ALL you do, and He will show you which patch to take. </i> 

  God, thru Solomon, shows that trusting in the Lord to be in control and lead our lives is the only way to go in life.  


Reference Passage: … Proverbs 16:9, 9:21 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK … 

… God, also thru Solomon, shows that we, HIs children, may make plans but those plans must be shaped by seeking God’s will and following His ways. 


Reference Passage: … Isaiah 14:27 [NLT] …  

27 The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has spoken - who can change His plans? When His had is raised, who can stop Him? 

  God declares to His people that nothing or no one can change God’s plans.


Reference Passage: … John 16:33 [NLT] …  

33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”  

  Jesus shows His disciples (and us) that He, their Lord and Messiah, is in control, no matter what they may encounter in this world.      


Reference Passage: … Romans 8:28 [NLT] …  

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  

  God, thru Paul, assures Christians that He is control of all things which work together for our good and His glory.             

                                                                                

My Devotional JournalToday's Our Daily Bread author, Karen Pimpo … AT THIS LINK  shows the force of man trying to control nature by seeing how botanical artisans reshape a larger tree into a smaller, reshaped, Bonsai tree (see photo) - by cutting and controlling the tree’s roots and branches.     


And unfortunately that’s an all-too-accurate life picture of what we try to do in life, isn’t it?  Our sin nature so often drives us to try to take control and do life as we see it rather than letting God be God and seeking His will and His omnipotent control.


So, taking in the linked song and God’s truths above, what in our lives do we need to relinquish and allow God’s plans to lead us in HIS righteous and purposeful paths?  Personally I can think of a number of ways I can let go and let God, … how about you?              


My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh, Abba Father, thank You, King Jesus, … for always being there to show me Your way when I open myself to follow You.    

My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... . I pray that all reading here will join me, …  to let You, Lord, show us the way to go today.    … Amen


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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.

Friday, August 05, 2022

August 5, 2022 … We All Need Jesus …

Berry Patch Devotions in 2021 - Day 217 


Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...  Please take the time to take in song and lyrics from Danny Gokey singing … We All Need Jesus … poignantly singing of how all of us in our weakness need Jesus.  



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Highlight Passage: … John 15:5 [NLT] …  

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.   

  Jesus declares to His disciples (and to us) that they (we) will only be fruitful in life if we abide in Christ and obey His commands.       


Highlight Passage (Context): … John 15:1-10 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK  

  Jesus clearly shows His disciples in the upper room that they (and we) will need to abide in their Messiah/Savior to be fruitful in life.                                                                                            ===============                                                                 


Reference Passage: … Proverbs 3:5-6 [NLT] …  

Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart; and do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in ALL you do, and He will show you which patch to take.  

  God, thru Solomon, shows that trusting in the Lord is the only way to go. 


Reference Passage: … John 16:33 [NLT] …  

33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” 

  Jesus shows His disciples (and us) that they (we) will encounter problems in the world but that HE has overcome the world. Therefore only by following Jesus can we find His peace.    


Reference Passage: … Galatians 5:22-23[NLT] …  

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

  God’s Spirit produces this kind of fruit in those who abide in Christ.  


Reference Passage: … Philippians 4:4-7 [NLT] … USE THIS LINK … 

… God, thru Paul, shows that we will only find God’s peace when we’re willing to bring ALL our challenges to our Savior with a grateful and humble heart. 


Reference Passage: … Hebrews 4:16 [NLT] …  

16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. 

  God, thru the author of Hebrews, promises that we can find the Lord’s mercy/grace when we’re willing to bring our cares to God’s throne of grace.           

                                                                                

My Devotional JournalToday's Our Daily Bread author, John Blasé … AT THIS LINK  tells of thinking of his father as almost invincible and then having to take care of almost all of his dad’s needs when his father sustained a severe back injury. And at that time, his dad told his boy, … ”I can’t do anything without your help!” … the boy learning that there are times when we all need help from others.     


And then the ODB author took his readers to the time in the upper room when Jesus’ disciples were learning that the One Whom they had been following as “Messiah” for several years was about to die and leave them.  And they heard Jesus say to them (and to all of us) that they must trust and follow Him, ALWAYS abiding in and following His teaching and commandments (see highlight passage) 


May I assume that all my readers desire to be fruitful (as Paul described in Galatians 5:22,23)?  Well, if so, Jesus declared to all HIs disciples (including those of us who follow Him today) that we’ll never be fruitful unless we abide in Him.  So, that’s my heart’s desire!!   Is it yours?             


My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh, Abba Father, thank You, King Jesus, … for giving me Your strength and direction when I follow You, Lord, with all my heart.    

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My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... . I pray that all reading here will join me, …  to follow You, Lord, no matter where You lead us.   … Amen

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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 to the blog via email at that site.