Thursday, December 02, 2021

December 2, 2021 … Unity From Diversity …

Berry Patch Devotions in 2021 - Day 336 


Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ... </b>  Please take the time to take in a song and lyrics from the group Jesus Culture singing … Make Us One … powerfully singing of how we as diverse brothers/sisters in Christ must come together under His call to make us ONE CHURCH serving Him. 



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Highlight Passage: … Psalm 133:1   [NLT] …   

How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!   

  A song written to celebrate God’s diverse people ascending - IN UNITY - to celebrate their festivals in Jerusalem.                           

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Highlight Passage [Context]: … Psalm 133 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK … 

… David wrote this song to celebrate the diversity of Nations coming together to follow God in unity of purpose.                

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Reference Passage: … 1Corinthians 1:10 [NLT] …  

10 I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.   

Paul pleads with fellow Christians who were divided and under oppression to come TOGETHER in UNITY for Christ. 


Reference Passage: …2Corinthians 13:11 [NLT] …   

11 Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.   

Paul, again, closing his 2nd letter to Corinth pleas with fellow Christians to “live in harmony” with one another.    


Reference Passage: … Ephesians 4:3 [NLT] …   

Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.   

As Paul did often in his letters to fellow Christians under oppression, … begging them to come together and live in harmony and peace.   


Reference Passage: … Colossians 3:14 [NLT] …   

14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 

… Reading, ONCE AGAIN, Paul pleading with his fellow Christians to bind themselves together in the love of Christlikeness, which produces unity of purpose and peace.   

      

My Devotional JournalToday's Our Daily Bread author, Lisa M Samra, AT THIS LINK  tells of a high school graduation where the principal called off the birth nations of the 608  graduates, documenting that they came from sixty (60) different countries, but graduating TOGETHER that day.  


The story illustrates the type of unity out of diversity that King David (in the highlight passage) and the Apostle Paul in the NT Scriptures above both pleaded for from God’s people.  And that is the heart of God for all those, no matter where we come from, who have surrendered to follow Christ, Who died that His Church could - and would - be unified and find peace in His purpose.


And so, what are we doing - even today - to bring peace and harmony among the diverse brothers and sisters in Christ in our own sphere of influence.  I pray MUCH!                           


My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh, Abba Father, thank You, King Jesus, …for showing that we can - out of our diversity - come together in unity to serve You. 

My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... . I pray that all reading here will join me, …  to do all we can to serve You, Lord, … TOGETHER!!      … 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 “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.

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

December 1, 2021 … All About WE, … not me! …

Berry Patch Devotions in 2021 - Day 335 


Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...    Please take the time to take in a song and lyrics from worship gathering singing … We Gather Together … poignantly singing of how we Christians gather in corporate worship to praise our God and to worship Him TOGETHER. 



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Highlight Passage: … Hebrews 10:25   [NLT] …   

25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.  

  We come TOGETHER to worship our Lord with our shared lives and common commitment to serve Him.                          

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Highlight Passage [Context]: … Hebrews 10:19-25 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK … 

… As a family of God, we are to come TOGETHER to worship Him with the sharing of our lives which honor and glorify The Father.               

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Reference Passage: … Acts 2:45-47 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK … 

… The early Church came TOGETHER to share their lives in worship to The Lord.     


Reference Passage: … 1Corinthians 14:26 [NLT] …   

26 Well, my brothers and sisters, let’s summarize. When you meet together, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in tongues, and another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must strengthen all of you.  

Paul exhorts fellow Christians in Corinth, … as with us now, … to come TOGETHER, meeting to sing praises to God and to strengthen one another in orderly common worship. 


Reference Passage: … Colossians 3:16 [NLT] …   

16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.  

Paul exhorts fellow Christians to come TOGETHER to teach and counsel one another and to worship the Lord with singing and hymns of praise.


Reference Passage: … 1Thessalonians 5:11 [NLT] …   

11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.  

Paul again lauded fellow Christians for coming TOGETHER and encouraging and edifying one another.     

      

My Devotional JournalToday's Our Daily Bread author, John Blase, AT THIS LINK  briefly discusses why church attendance is down in these troubled times, … quoting a Pastor who said, “We go to church for other people. Because someone may need you there.”


And that is an issue as old as the early church (see Scriptures above) who were exhorted strongly by Paul, and also the author if Hebrews (see highlight passage), to come TOGETHER (yes, that’s the key word today) … to encourage one another with corporate worship and mutual counsel … to build up the Body of Christ for His calling to serve the Lord in this troubled and sin-ridden world. 


And I ask all who might read this; … are we coming TOGETHER to worship and serve The Lord; or are we focusing on the ME in life rather than the WE in living for the Lord?  I leave that challenge for you to ponder along with God’s Spirit.  Personally, i’m convicted and driven to be with my brothers and sisters in Christ because I desperately need the “WE” of worship to overcome the “ME” in my everyday life.                          


My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh, Abba Father, thank You, King Jesus, …for calling me to corporate worship and service in order to overcome my selfishness.       

My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... . I pray that all reading here will join me, …  to come TOGETHER with fellow Christians to worship and to serve our Lord as His Body 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, November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021 … Light of the World …

Berry Patch Devotions in 2021 - Day 334 


Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...   Please take the time to take in a song and lyrics from Lauren Daigle singing … Light of the World … poignantly singing of how our The Light of the World has come to take away the darkness of our flesh and the world.  


Jesus is our Light ... 


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Highlight Passage: … Isaiah 9:2   [NLT] …   

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.  For those who live in a land of deep darkness,  

  God, thru Isaiah, promises a Light to come and bring God’s people out of their darkness of sin.                        

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Highlight Passage [Context]: … Isaiah 9:1-3 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK … 

… God promises a LIGHT to come for His people in darkness.              

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Reference Passage: … Psalm 119:106 [NLT] …   

105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.   

God gives us the Light of His truth to lead us out of our darkness in life.   


Reference Passage: … John 8:12, 9:5, 12:46 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK

… Jesus declares clearly that HE is the Light from God to lead those who would follow His light out of the darkness of our sin.    


Reference Passage: … 2Corinthians 4:6 [NLT] …   

For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.  

God, thru Paul, declares that He, has sent us His light, in the face of King Jesus, to shine His light to lead us out of our darkness. 


Reference Passage: … 1John 1:5-7 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK … 

God’s word, thru John, shows us that if we follow in surrender to Jesus, His light will lead us out of the darkness or sin.      

      

My Devotional JournalToday's Our Daily Bread author, Winn Collier, AT THIS LINK  used the story of the rescue of the soccer team in 2018, who were exploring a deep cave and were caught - in darkness - for almost 3 weeks, but were brought out of the darkness of near death to the light of life.  


I think all reading with me here hate the darkness of our sin nature (see Romans 3:23 on your own), a darkness that we all experience in our own flesh.  But for those of us who’ve surrendered the darkness of our sin to follow the light of Christ, we relish the Light of the World Whom we follow out of our darkness of sin and death and following His light of truth and life. 


And I pray that all of us are surrendered to follow His light - the Light of the World -  today and stay on the lighted path of His truth (see Ps 119:105, following His light out of our darkness and onto the path of righteousness (see Scriptures from John above).                        


My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh, Abba Father, thank You, King Jesus, …for shining Your Light on my patch every day to lead me out of my own darkness.     

My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... . I pray that all reading here will join me, …  to follow Your Light, Lord, out of our darkness and onto Your well-lit path 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.

Monday, November 29, 2021

November 29, 2021 … No Matter What !! …

Berry Patch Devotions in 2021 - Day 333 


Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...   Please take the time to take in a song and lyrics from the group Mercy Me singing … Even If … poignantly singing of how our faith is often test by severe persecution or trial and how we must stand firm … NO MATTER WHAT! 


Standing strong in faith - NO MATTER WHAT!!

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Highlight Passage: … Daniel 3:18   [NLT] …   

18 But even if He [God] doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up..  

  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego standing firm in faith in spite of the threat of death.         

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Highlight Passage [Context]: … Daniel 3:12-18, 25-27 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK … 

… Thru the lives of three faithful Jewish boys, who stood strong in faith no matter the threat of death in the fiery furnace.               

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

…Trusting and following God … NO MATTER WHAT we face.   


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, reminds His Disciples in the upper room (and us too!) that they (and we) will face many trials in this world; but that HE had over come those trials. 


Reference Passage: … 1Corinthians 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.  

”Temptations” is also translated “tests, trials, or tribulations” as Paul reminds persecuted Christians that our Lord will ALWAYS stand with those who stand with Him.  


Reference Passage: … James 1:12 [NLT] …  

12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.  

God, thru James, reminds Christians that God will bless those who stand up in faith to endure testing and temptation.


Reference Passage: … 1Peter 5:10 [NLT] …   

10 In His kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.  

Peter reminds severely persecuted Christians (and us) that NO MATTER WHAT we suffer in this life, our God will restore Christians who stand with/for our Lord.      

      

My Devotional JournalToday's Our Daily Bread author, Lisa M Samra, AT THIS LINK  tells of a young lady, named Esther, who had suffered thru severe illness and threats of death for teaching a Bible study in an anti-christian area of the Philippians, and who was quoted saying,  “I can’t stop telling people about Jesus because I’ve experienced the power, love, goodness, and faithfulness of God in my life.” 


Right now, in our western world, I think my readers would agree that persecution of Christians is is increasing.  And so, by taking in the linked song and meditating on then truth of the Scriptures above, the ODB author reminds us of the story of the three Jewish boys in the book of Daniel (see highlight passage and the attached photo), who stood firm in their faith even with the threat of death in a fiery furnace. 


When - and if - any of us who are disciples of Christ encounter such persecution in the future, …which is becoming more and more likely, … I pray that all of us will remember the truth and promises of our God in the Scriptures above; and we stand strong in our faith.  


Do you join me in that prayer?                        


My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh, Abba Father, thank You, King Jesus, …for giving me the enabling - empowering - grace to stand for You, my King Jesus, in the trials I will face ahead in life.      

My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... . I pray that all reading here will join me, …  to stand strong in our faith, Lord, NO MATTER WHAT we sill face in our future.     … 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, November 28, 2021

November 28, 2021 … Withholding Judgment …

Berry Patch Devotions in 2021 - Day 332 


Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...   Please take the time to take in a song and lyrics from Tim McGraw singing … Always Be Humble and Kind … poignantly singing of how we. as messengers of our God, should ALWAYS be humble and kind with our words and actions. 


Job's critical "friends" ... 

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Highlight Passage: … Job 5:7   [NLT] …   

People are born for trouble as readily as sparks fly up from a fire. 

  One of Job’s friends, speaks a judgment to Job which is born out of personal judgment rather than Godly wisdom, … advice with an element of truth but best unsaid given Job’s tragedies and his pain.                        

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Highlight Passage [Context]: … Job 6:17-27 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK … 

…One of Job’s so-called “friends” spouts forth his inaccurate and very judgmental advice about Job’s calamity.                 

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Reference Passage: … Matthew 7:1-5 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK ...  

… Jesus preaches truth about withholding judgment of others in many instances when we, ourselves, are guilty of the many of the same sins.    


Reference Passage: … Romans 2:1-3 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK   

… Paul warns fellow Christians to avoid hypocritical judgment of others when we, ourselves, often are guilty of how we judge others.  


Reference Passage: … Ephesians 4:29b [NLT] …   

  Let EVERYTHING you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 

Paul exhorts all Christians (that’s us too!!) to withhold judgmental words to others, using only words which will give grace and uplift others. 


Reference Passage: … James 4:12 [NLT] …   

12 God alone, Who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?   

God, thru James, charges believers to let God be the judge of others rather than judging them ourselves.  

      

My Devotional JournalToday's Our Daily Bread author, Mart DeHaan, AT THIS LINK writes about Fred Allen, a radio comedian back in the golden days of radio [in the early 1900s] who once saved a boy from certain death and was critically quoted as saying to the boy,  “What’s the matter with you, kid? Don’t you want to grow up and have troubles?”


With that comedic, but crass, remark from Fred Allen, the ODB author today was trying to show that there are just some critical or judgmental words which should be withheld because of their hypocrisy or hurtfulness.  And that was certainly the case with some of the comments and criticisms which Job’s so-called “friends” spoke to Job while he was going thru all the loss/pain Job experienced [see highlight passage and the attached photo). 


So, the point we need to take away from these thoughts today is best summarized in the wisdom shared in the linked song and the Scriptures above.  For if we speak and live by such Godly wisdom, we’ll more likely honor God with our lives than if we bespeak hasty personal judgments or criticisms of others.                       


My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh, Abba Father, thank You, King Jesus, …for showing us the way to speak to others from the wisdom of Your word, Lord.    

My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... . I pray that all reading here will join me, …  to be careful with the words we share, making sure they give grace or encourage others and withholding personal critiques or judgments.    … 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, November 27, 2021

November 27, 2021 … Standing Strong …

Berry Patch Devotions in 2021 - Day 331 


Devotional Song: ... GO TO THIS LINK ...   Please take the time to take in a song and lyrics from Steve Green singing … People Need The Lord … poignantly singing of how we. as God’s messengers need to stand up and share the Gospel message with the lost. 


A strong messenger for the Lord ... 

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Highlight Passage: … Acts 4:12   [NLT] …   

12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” 

  Peter, a common fisherman, strongly stands for the truth of the Gospel, surprising the religious leaders of his day by showing Christ’s healing power and leading many away from religious dogma to follow Christ.                    

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Highlight Passage [Context]: … Acts 4:8-13 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK … 

… Peter and John, common fishermen, standing strong and sharing the Gospel news to all who would listen to be saved and healed.                 

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Reference Passage: … Matthew 28:19-20 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK  ...

… Jesus charges all disciples who’ve surrendered to His saving grace to go and lead the lost to Him or discipling other Christians to follow the Lord more closely.   


Reference Passage: … Romans 12:1-2 [NLT] …  USE THIS LINK  

… Paul exhorts fellow Christians to separate ourselves from the world and becoming living sacrifices to the Gospel and God’s saving grace. 


Reference Passage: … 1Corinthians 15:58 [NLT] …   

58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless  

Paul exhorts all Christians (that’s us too!!) to stand strong for the Lord ALWAYS.


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

… God, thru Paul, calls Christians to stand and do battle for the Lord everyday.   

      

My Devotional JournalToday's Our Daily Bread author, Arthur Jackson, AT THIS LINK writes about Pres Pradhan, a physically wounded missionary in Nepal, who was quoted as saying, “I have a lame leg. Isn’t it strange of God that He called [me] to preach the gospel in the Himalaya Mountains?”  The story shows how we all, no matter our physical condition, are called (by no less than Jesus - see Matt 28:19-20) to take God’s good news to all who will listen and receive it. 


That’s what common fishermen, like Peter and John, did, as recorded in the highlight passage, … much to the chagrin of the religious leaders who were amazed that unschooled men like Peter and John carried such a Spirt-powered message which so many followed to seek after the Gospel of Christ.  And that’s what we should be doing to any/all, within our own sphere of influence, … especially any non-Christians we know.  


Just as Steve Green sings in the linked song … “People Need the Lord!”  So, the question is, … will we, as the Scriptures above exhort, step out and share our testimonies of the power of Christ to save, … maybe even today if God gives us the opportunity.                      


My THANKFULNESS: ... Oh, Abba Father, thank You, King Jesus, …for Your charge to be Your Gospel messenger … maybe even today.    

My Prayer Today: Oh Abba Father, ... King Jesus, ... . I pray that all reading here will join me, …  to speak out, Lord  - maybe today - for Your Gospel truth     … 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.