Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread



Reflections

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December 31, 2011 — by Dennis Fisher
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit . . . and set my feet upon a rock. —Psalm 40:2

Not long ago, I passed a milestone marking 20 years since I began keeping a spiritual journal. As I reread my first few entries, I was amazed I ever kept it up. But now you couldn’t pay me to stop!

Here are some benefits I have received from journaling: From life experiences, I see that progress and failure are both part of the journey. I’m reminded of God’s grace when I read how He helped me to find a solution to a major problem. I gain insight from past struggles that help with issues I am currently facing. And, most important, journaling shows me how God has been faithfully working in my life.

Many of the psalms are like a spiritual journal. They often record how God has helped in times of testing. In Psalm 40, David writes: “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps” (vv.1-2). Later, David needed only to read that psalm to be reminded of God’s faithful deliverance.

Journaling may be useful to you too. It can help you see more clearly what God is teaching you on life’s journey and cause you to reflect on God’s faithfulness.

For Further Thought
To begin a journal: Record your struggles, reflect on a
verse that is especially comforting or challenging, or
write a prayer of thankfulness for God’s faithfulness.

Reflecting on God’s faithfulness in the past
brings hope for the future.

Re-posted From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread



Choices And Consequences

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December 28, 2011 — by Bill Crowder
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. —Galatians 6:7

In the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, England, the devastation of generations of enslaved men, women, and children is remembered. The price innocent people have paid for the greed of others is horrific—but theirs is not the only cost. Engraved in a wall of the museum is a profound observation made by Frederick Douglass, former slave and crusader for human rights, which reads, “No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.” In the act of dehumanizing others, we dehumanize ourselves.

The apostle Paul put it another way when he wrote, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7). Paul’s words form a stark reminder to us that our choices have consequences—and that includes how we choose to treat others. When we choose to hate, that hate can return to us in the form of consequences that we can never fully prepare for. We can find ourselves alienated from others, angry with ourselves, and hamstrung in our ability to serve Christ effectively.

Instead, let’s choose “not [to] grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap . . . . As we have opportunity, let us do good to all” (vv.9-10).

Sowing seeds of greed and hatred
Reaps corruption, loss, and pain;
But if we sow love and kindness,
We will reap eternal gain. —Sper

The seeds we sow today
determine the kind of fruit we’ll reap tomorrow.

Re-posted From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Re-post From Marvin Williams



Yet I Will Rejoice

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December 29, 2011 — by Marvin Williams
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. —Habakkuk 3:18

Life in our world can be difficult. At some point, most of us have wondered, Where is God in my trouble? And we may have thought, It seems like injustice is winning and God is silent. We have a choice as to how we respond to our troubles. The prophet Habakkuk had an attitude worth following: He made the choice to rejoice.

Habakkuk saw the rapid increase in Judah’s moral and spiritual failings, and this disturbed him deeply. But God’s response troubled him even more. God would use the wicked nation of Babylon to punish Judah. Habakkuk did not fully understand this, but he could rejoice because he had learned to rely on the wisdom, justice, and sovereignty of God. He concluded his book with a wonderful affirmation: “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation” (3:18). Though it was not clear how Judah would survive, Habakkuk had learned to trust God amid injustice, suffering, and loss. He would live by his faith in God alone. With this kind of faith came joy in God, despite the circumstances surrounding him.

We too can rejoice in our trials, have surefooted confidence in God, and live on the heights of His sovereignty.

Be this the purpose of my soul
My solemn, my determined choice:
To yield to God’s supreme control,
And in my every trial rejoice. —Anon.

Praising God in our trials turns burdens into blessings.

Re-posted From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Re-post From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread



Grace-Filled Waiting

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December 27, 2011 — by Anne Cetas
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
We do not lose heart. —2 Corinthians 4:16

Roger lost his job due to the company being downsized. For months he searched, applied for jobs, prayed, asked others to pray, and trusted God. Roger and his wife Jerrie’s emotions fluctuated though. They saw God provide for them in unexpected ways and experienced His grace, but sometimes they worried that a job would never come. For 15 long months, they waited.

Then Roger had three interviews with a company, and a week later the employment agency called and said, “Have you heard the saying, ‘Sometimes clouds have a silver lining’? Well, you’ve got the job!” Jerrie told me later, “We wouldn’t trade this hard experience for anything. It brought us closer together and closer to the Lord.” Friends who had prayed rejoiced and gave thanks to God.

Paul wanted the Corinthian church to see the grace of God at work in his life, which could cause “thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God” (2 Cor. 4:15). His trials were so severe that he was “hard pressed on every side,” “perplexed,” “persecuted,” and “struck down” (vv.8-9). Yet he encouraged the people not to lose heart in troubles (v.16) but to trust God. During our difficulties, we can be drawn nearer to God and others, as Roger and Jerrie experienced, and praise will go to the Lord for His grace.

Thank the Lord when trouble comes,
His love and grace expressing;
Grateful praise releases faith,
Turns trials into blessing. —Egner

There’s no better time to praise God than right now.

Re-posted From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread



Wrong Worship

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December 26, 2011 — by Dave Branon
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
This trade of ours [is] in danger of falling into disrepute. —Acts 19:27

If you really want to get folks upset, threaten their economy.

A bad economic picture gets politicians voted out of office, and the threat of a downturn nearly got the apostle Paul kicked out of Ephesus.

Here’s what happened. Paul came to town and started “reasoning and persuading concerning . . . the kingdom of God” (Acts 19:8). For more than 2 years he shared the gospel, and many began following Jesus.

Because Paul was so successful in getting people to see that there is only one true God, many Ephesians stopped worshiping the goddess Diana. This was bad news for the local silversmiths, who made their living creating and selling Diana statuettes. If enough people stopped believing in her, business would dry up. A commotion and an uproar broke out when the craftsmen figured this out.

This Ephesus incident can remind us to evaluate our reasons for worshiping God. The silversmiths wanted to protect their worship as a way of protecting their prosperity, but may that never be said of us. Don’t ever let your worship of God become an avenue to good fortune.

We worship God because of His love for us and because of who He is, not because loving Him can help our bottom line. Let’s worship God the right way.

We worship God for who He is,
And not because of what we’ll get;
When we acknowledge what we owe,
We’ll thank Him that He paid our debt. —Sper

Don’t worship God to gain His benefits— you already have them.

Re-posted From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Re-post From Jennifer Benson Schuldt of Our Daily Bread



Now Is The Time

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December 25, 2011 — by Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Glory to God in the highest! —Luke 2:14

During our church’s Christmas celebration, I watched the choir members assemble in front of the congregation while the music director rifled through papers on a slim black stand. The instruments began, and the singers launched into a well-known song that started with these words: “Come, now is the time to worship.”

Although I expected to hear a time-honored Christmas carol, I smiled at the appropriate choice of music. Earlier that week I had been reading Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth, and I noticed that the first Christmas lacked our modern-day parties, gifts, and feasting—but it did include worship.

After the angel announced Jesus’ birth to some wide-eyed shepherds, a chorus of angels began “praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest!’” (Luke 2:13-14). The shepherds responded by running to Bethlehem where they found the newborn King lying in a barnyard bassinet. They returned to their fields “glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen” (v.20). Coming face to face with the Son inspired the shepherds to worship the Father.

Today, consider your response to Jesus’ arrival on earth. Is there room for worship in your heart on this day that celebrates His birth?

Grant us, Father, hearts of worship
At this time of Jesus’ birth;
We would see anew His glory
Shine throughout this sin-cursed earth. —D. De Haan

Heaven’s choir came down to sing
when heaven’s King came down to save.

Re-posted From Jennifer Benson Schuldt of Our Daily Bread

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Re-post From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread



Death Destroyed!

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December 24, 2011 — by David C. McCasland
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? —1 Corinthians 15:55

Medical researchers are working tirelessly to find a cure for cancer, a clue to the mystery of Alzheimer’s, and ways to conquer a host of other debilitating diseases. But what if you awoke to headlines saying DEATH DESTROYED! Would you believe it? Could you believe it?

The New Testament proclaims that for the believer in Christ, death has been destroyed—reduced to inactivity—rendered incapable of doing what it once did. “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’” (1 Cor. 15:54).

This good news is for everyone who will receive it—just as the angel told the shepherds when Jesus was born, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).

The birth of Jesus was the beginning of the end for death. “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:56-57).

That is why we celebrate Christmas!

Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth. —Wesley

The birth of Christ brought God to man;
the cross of Christ brings man to God.

Re-posted From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Re-post From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread



The Pursuing God

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December 23, 2011 — by Joe Stowell
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
God sent forth His Son, born of a woman . . . to redeem those who were under the law. —Galatians 4:4-5
Bible in a year:
Nahum 1-3; Revelation 14

Pastor Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan rightly observes that Christianity is unique among all religions for it is about God’s pursuit of us to draw us to Himself. In every other religious system, people pursue their god, hoping that through good behavior, keeping of rituals, good works, or other efforts they will be accepted by the god they pursue.

The British poet Francis Thompson catches the profound nature of this reality when he writes of the relentless pursuit of God in his life. In his work titled “The Hound of Heaven,” he writes that as he fled from God he couldn’t outrun “those strong feet that followed . . . with unhurrying chase and unperturbed pace.” But God’s untiring pursuit of the wayward is not just Thompson’s story. At the heart of the Christmas message is the wonderful truth of God’s pursuit of every one of us. As Paul affirms, “God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law” (Gal. 4:4-5).

And it’s not just the Christmas story. It’s the story of God’s pursuit of Adam and Eve after the fall. His pursuit of me! His pursuit of you! Where would we be today if God weren’t the “Hound of Heaven”?

Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me? —Wesley

God’s undying desire for you will never cease.

Re-posted From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread



Hidden Treasure

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December 22, 2011 — by Dennis Fisher
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
In [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. —Colossians 2:3
Bible in a year:
Micah 6-7; Revelation 13

A British treasure hunter discovered a huge stash of Roman coins buried in a field in southwest England. Using a metal detector, Dave Crisp located a large pot holding 52,000 coins. These ancient silver and bronze coins, which date from the third century AD and weigh more than 350 pounds, are valued at $5 million.

While Crisp’s treasure may cause us to dream about somehow finding similar riches, we as Christians should be on a different kind of treasure hunt. What we seek does not consist of silver and gold. Rather our quest is to gather the precious gems of insight so that we might gain the “full assurance of understanding . . . , both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:2-3). The hidden treasure of knowing the Lord more completely is found in the Bible. The psalmist said, “I rejoice at Your Word as one who finds great treasure” (Ps. 119:162).

If we read the Word of God hurriedly or carelessly, we will miss its deep insights. These truths must be sought earnestly with all the attention of someone seeking hidden treasure.

Are you eager to find the treasures stored in Scripture? Start digging!

When reading God’s Word, take special care,
To find the rich treasures hidden there;
Give thought to each line, each precept hear,
Then practice it well with godly fear. —Anon.

The treasures of truth in God’s Word are best mined with the spade of meditation.

Re-posted From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Re-post From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread



Rejected Light

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December 21, 2011 — by David C. McCasland
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. —John 12:46
Bible in a year:
Micah 4-5; Revelation 12

In the early hours of December 21, 2010, I witnessed an event that last occurred in 1638—a total lunar eclipse on the winter solstice. Slowly the shadow of the earth slipped across the bright full moon and made it appear a dark red. It was a remarkable and beautiful event. Yet it reminded me that while physical darkness is part of God’s created design, spiritual darkness is not.

Scottish pastor Alexander MacLaren said: “Rejected light is the parent of the densest darkness, and the man who, having the light, does not trust it, piles around himself thick clouds of obscurity and gloom.” Jesus described this self-imposed spiritual eclipse of heart and mind when He said, “If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:23).

The great invitation of Christmas is to open our hearts to the Savior who came to end our darkness. Jesus said, “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light. . . . I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:36,46).

The way out of our spiritual night is to walk in the light with Him.

Come to the Light, ’tis shining for thee,
Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me;
Once I was blind, but now I can see—
The Light of the world is Jesus. —Bliss

When we walk in the Light, we won’t stumble in the darkness.

Re-posted from David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Re-post From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread



Always On Duty

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December 20, 2011 — by Marvin Williams
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. —Hebrews 13:17
Bible in a year:
Micah 1-3; Revelation 11

As my kids were discarding their trash at the local mall food court, my oldest son was almost run into by a man who was clearly on a mission. My younger son jokingly remarked, “Maybe he stole something.” Thinking I might be able to use this as a teachable moment, I said, “That’s what the Bible calls judging.” He then asked with a smile: “Why are you always ‘pastoring’ me?” After I finished laughing, I told my sons that I could never take a vacation from shepherding them.

The apostle Paul told the Ephesian elders that they too could never take a vacation from shepherding God’s people (Acts 20). He was convinced that false teachers would try to ravage the church (v.29), and the elders needed to protect the group from them. Caring for God’s people includes feeding them spiritually, leading them gently, and warning them firmly. Leaders in the church are to be motivated by the incalculable price Christ paid on the cross (v.28).

Church leaders have a big responsibility to watch over our souls, for one day they will give an account to the Lord for their work among us. Let’s bring them joy now by responding to their faithful, godly leadership with obedience and submission (Heb. 13:17).

We join our hearts and hands together
Faithful to the Lord’s command:
We hold each other to God’s standards—
All that truth and love demand. —D. De Haan

After we hear the Word of God,
we should then take up the work of God.

Re-posted From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Re-post From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread



All Is Well

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December 19, 2011 — by Cindy Hess Kasper
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I will never leave you nor forsake you. —Hebrews 13:5
Bible in a year:
Jonah 1-4; Revelation 10

Recently, my husband and I were reacquainted with a young man we had known as a child many years ago. We fondly reminisced about a Christmas program when Matthew had sung—in a perfect boy soprano—the song “All Is Well” by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Michael W. Smith. It was a wonderful memory of a song beautifully sung.

All is well, all is well;
Lift up your voice and sing.
Born is now Emmanuel,
Born is our Lord and Savior.
Sing Alleluia, sing Alleluia, all is well.

To hear the words of that song at Christmastime is comforting to many. But some people are unable to absorb the message because their lives are in turmoil. They’ve experienced the loss of a loved one, persistent unemployment, a serious illness, or depression that will not go away. Their hearts loudly cry out, “All is not well—not for me!”

But for those of us who celebrate the birth of our Savior—despite the dark night of the soul we may experience—all is well because of Christ. We are not alone in our pain. God is beside us and promises never to leave (Heb. 13:5). He promises that His grace will be sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9). He promises to supply all our needs (Phil. 4:19). And He promises us the amazing gift of eternal life (John 10:27-28).

As we review God’s promises, we can agree with the poet John Greenleaf Whittier, who wrote, “Before me, even as behind, God is, and all is well.”


God’s peace pillows the head when God’s promises calm the heart.

Re-posted From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Re-post From David C. Egner of Our Daily Bread



Christmas Journey

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December 18, 2011 — by David C. Egner
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son. —Galatians 4:4
Bible in a year:
Obadiah; Revelation 9

How far is it from Nazareth to Bethlehem? If you’re in Pennsylvania, it’s about 9 miles and takes about 10 minutes by car. But if you’re in Nazareth of Galilee, and you’re traveling along with your pregnant wife, as Joseph was, it’s about 80 miles to Bethlehem. That journey probably took Joseph and Mary about a week, and they didn’t stay in a nice hotel when they got there. All Joseph could find was a stall in a stable, and that’s where Mary delivered “her firstborn Son” (Luke 2:7).

But the journey for the infant Jesus was much farther than 80 miles. He left His place in heaven at God’s right hand, came to earth, and accepted our humanity. Eventually, He was stretched out on a cross to die, and He was buried in a borrowed tomb. But the journey was not over. He conquered death, left the tomb, walked again among men, and ascended to heaven. Even that is not the journey’s end. Someday He will return as King of kings and Lord of lords.

As you take a Christmas journey this month, reflect on the journey Jesus made for us. He came from heaven to earth to die for us, making salvation available through His death on the cross and His glorious resurrection.

Praise God for that first Christmas journey!

When God stepped out of heaven above
And came down to this earth,
He clothed Himself in human flesh—
A Child of lowly birth. —D. De Haan

Jesus came to earth for us so we could go to heaven with Him.

Re-posted From David C. Egner of Our Daily Bread

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Re-post From Jennifer Benson Schuldt of Our Daily Bread



Hope In Him

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December 17, 2011 — by Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Read: Isaiah 53
The virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. —Isaiah 7:14
Bible in a year:
Amos 7-9; Revelation 8

As we drove home from a Christmas party one evening, my family and I approached a small country church nestled between glittering snowbanks. From a distance, I could see its holiday display. Strings of white lights formed the capital letters: H-O-P-E. The sight of that word shining in the darkness reminded me that Jesus is, and always has been, the hope of humankind.

Before Jesus was born, people hoped for the Messiah—the One who would shoulder their sin and intercede with God on their behalf (Isa. 53:12). They expected the Messiah to arrive through a virgin who would bear a son in Bethlehem and would name Him Immanuel, “God with us” (7:14). The night Jesus was born, their hope was fulfilled (Luke 2:1-14).

Although we’re no longer waiting for Jesus in the form of an infant, He is still the source of our hope. We watch for His second coming (Matt. 24:30); we anticipate the heavenly home He is preparing for us (John 14:2); and we dream of living with Him in His celestial city (1 Thess. 4:16). As Christians, we can look forward to the future because the baby in the manger was, and still is, “the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope” (1 Tim. 1:1).

That night so many years ago
Which brought the Savior’s birth,
Gave promise of a brighter hope:
Good will—and peace on earth. —Anon.

The key word of Christmas is “Immanuel”— God with us!

Re-posted From Jennifer Benson Schuldt of Our Daily Bread

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread



Avoid The Husks

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December 16, 2011 — by Dave Branon
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
He would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate. —Luke 15:16
Bible in a year:
Amos 4-6; Revelation 7

Ah, the life of a pig! Each new day brings nothing but slopping through the mud and snorting happily at mealtime. And what meals they have! Crunchy corn husks—or whatever leftovers get tossed into the pen.

Sound good? No? It probably didn’t sound good to the prodigal son either.

Before he started eating with pigs, he had a warm bed, a rich inheritance, a loving father, a secure future—and probably good food. But it wasn’t enough. He wanted “fun.” He wanted to run his own life and do whatever he desired. It resulted in a pig’s dinner.

Whenever a young person ignores the guidance of godly parents and the instruction of God’s Word, similar results occur. It always shocks me when someone who professes to know Jesus chooses a life that rejects God’s clear teaching. Whether the choices include sexual sin, addictive substances, a lack of ambition, or something else, any action that leaves God out risks ending badly.

If we ignore clear biblical morals and neglect our relationship with God, we can expect trouble. Luke tells us that the young man turned things around after he came to his senses (Luke 15:17). Keep your senses about you. Live for God by the guidance of His Word—unless you have a hankering for the husks.

When we are lured to turn away
To follow sinful lust,
Lord, help us to resist the pull
And in You put our trust. —Sper

If sin were not deceitful, it wouldn’t seem delightful.

Re-posted From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Re-post From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread



A Supporting Role

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December 15, 2011 — by David C. McCasland
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another. —Romans 12:10
Bible in a year:
Amos 1-3; Revelation 6

After the American TV personality Ed McMahon died in 2009, one newspaper headline read, “When it came to being the No. 2 man, he was No. 1.” Best known for his 30-year tenure as Johnny Carson’s late-night sidekick, McMahon excelled at helping Carson succeed in the spotlight. While most entertainers strive for top billing, McMahon was content with a supporting role.

When the apostle Paul gave instructions about how to exercise our gifts as members of the body of Christ (Rom. 12:3-8), he affirmed the value of supporting roles. He began by saying that we should have a realistic opinion of ourselves (v.3), and he concluded with a call to genuine, unselfish love: “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another” (v.10). Or, as J. B. Phillips translates it, “a willingness to let the other man have the credit.”

Our gifts and abilities come to us by God’s grace and are to be used by faith (vv.3,6) in love and service for Christ—not for personal recognition.

May God grant us the ability to embrace with enthusiasm the supporting roles to which He calls us. The ultimate goal is His glory and not our own.

The church, a living body, containing all the parts—
It lives, it moves, it functions, and touches many hearts;
When each part is committed to do the Savior’s will,
His members are united, His purpose they fulfill. —Fitzhugh

The church works best when we see ourselves
as participants, not as spectators.

Re-posted From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Re-post From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread



The Horse And Her Boy

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December 14, 2011 — by David H. Roper
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
[We are] strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience. —Colossians 1:11
Bible in a year:
Joel 1-3; Revelation 5

When I was about 5 years old, my father decided that I needed a horse of my own to care for. So he bought an old bay mare and brought her home to me. I named her Dixie.

Dixie was a formidable beast for me at my age and small stature. No saddle was small enough, no stirrups short enough for my legs, so I rode bareback most of the time.

Dixie was plump, which meant that my feet stuck straight out, making it difficult to stay astride. But whenever I fell off, Dixie would simply stop, look at me, and wait while I tried to climb on her back again. This leads me to Dixie’s most admirable trait: She was wonderfully patient.

I, on the other hand, was less than patient with Dixie. Yet she bore my childish tantrums with stoic patience, never once retaliating. I wish I could be more like Dixie, having patience that overlooks a multitude of offenses. I have to ask myself, “How do I react when others aggravate me?” Do I respond with humility, meekness, and patience? (Col. 3:12). Or with intolerance and indignation?

To overlook an offense. To forgive 70 times 7. To bear with human frailty and failure. To show mercy and kindness to those who exasperate us. To gain such control over our souls—this is the work of God.

God of grace and God of goodness,
Teach me to be ever kind,
Always gentle and forgiving
With the Savior first in mind. —Brandt

Love that is born at Calvary bears and forbears, gives and forgives.

Re-posted From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Re-post From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread



Free Pizza!

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December 13, 2011 — by Anne Cetas
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I am the bread which came down from heaven. —John 6:41

Money is tight when you’re a college student. So when free food is available, students will show up anytime, anywhere. If a company wants to recruit new employees, it will entice young people on college campuses to come to a presentation by offering free pizza. Some students attend presentation after presentation—just for the pizza. The food in the present seems to be more important than the job for the future.

Jesus fed a crowd of 5,000, and the next day many searched for Him (John 6:10-11,24-25). He challenged them: “You seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled” (v.26). It seems that the food was more important to some of the people than the everlasting life Jesus offered in Himself. He told them He was “the bread of God . . . who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (v.33). Some didn’t believe, wouldn’t accept His teaching, and “walked with Him no more” (v.66). They had wanted the food, but they didn’t want Him and what would be required of them to follow Him.

Jesus calls us today to come to Him—not for the blessings from His hand but to receive the eternal life He offers and to follow Him, “the bread of God.”

Examining our motives
For following the Lord
Will show if we’re authentically
Believing in His Word. —Sper

Only Christ the Living Bread can satisfy our spiritual hunger.

Re-posted From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread



A Growing Belligerence

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December 12, 2011 — by Bill Crowder
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. —Romans 12:18
Bible in a year:
Hosea 9-11; Revelation 3

On a recent trip, the flight attendant asked if I flew very often. When I said I did, he asked, “Have you noticed people on planes becoming increasingly more belligerent and aggressive in recent months?” I had to confess that I agreed with him. We began talking about what might be contributing to it—things like increased airport security, higher costs, fewer services, and a general dissatisfaction with travel. As if to prove the point, our conversation was interrupted by a passenger who refused to sit in his assigned seat because he liked someone else’s seat assignment better!

When we encounter anger and belligerence, the follower of Christ can be a peacemaker. Paul wrote to the church at Rome with this challenge, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Rom. 12:18). What does that mean? For one thing, it means that we must control what we can control. We can’t control the attitudes of others, but we can control our response.

When we see angry or hostile attitudes displayed around us, we can show the heart of the Prince of Peace by responding graciously in a peaceful manner. In this way we will demonstrate the attitude of our Savior in a world filled with a growing belligerence.

Sometimes in a conversation
Words of anger can be heard;
If in peace we can defuse it,
We are living by God’s Word. —Hess

The world needs a peace that passes all misunderstanding.

Re-posted From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Re-post From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread



Breathtaking

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December 11, 2011 — by Julie Ackerman Link
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
A man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life. —Ecclesiastes 8:15
Bible in a year:
Hosea 5-8; Revelation 2

A popular slogan says, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” I see the phrase everywhere, on everything from T-shirts to pieces of art. It’s a catchy phrase, but I think it’s misleading.

If we measure life by breathtaking moments, we miss the wonder of ordinary moments. Eating, sleeping, and breathing seem “ordinary” in that we do them every day, usually without much thought. But they are not ordinary at all. Every bite and every breath are miracles. In fact, having breath is more miraculous than anything that takes our breath away.

King Solomon may have had more breathtaking moments than anyone. He said, “I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure” (Eccl. 2:10). But he expressed cynicism about it by saying, “All of it is meaningless” (v.17 NIV).

Solomon’s life reminds us that it’s important to find joy in “ordinary” things, for they are indeed wonderful. Bigger is not always better. More is not always an improvement. Busier doesn’t make us more important.

Rather than look for meaning in breathtaking moments, we should find meaning in every breath we take, and make every breath meaningful.

All that I want is in Jesus;
He satisfies, joy He supplies;
Life would be worthless without Him,
All things in Jesus I find. —Loes

Breathing is more miraculous than anything
that takes our breath away.

Re-posted From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Re-post From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread



Risky Business

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December 10, 2011 — by Joe Stowell
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Then Joseph . . . did as the angel of the Lord commanded him. —Matthew 1:24
Bible in a year:
Hosea 1-4; Revelation 1

On some of the Christmas cards you will receive this year, no doubt there will be a man standing in the background looking over the shoulder of Mary, who is prominently displayed caring for the baby Jesus. His name is Joseph. And after the nativity narratives, he isn’t heard from much again. If we didn’t know better, we would think Joseph was an insignificant bystander or, at best, a mere necessity to undergird Jesus’ claim to the throne of David.

But, in fact, the role that Joseph played was strategically important. If he had disobeyed the angel’s command to take Mary as his wife (Matt. 1:20), he would have, from a human perspective, put the entire mission of Jesus at risk. Taking Mary as his wife was a risky assignment. Public perception that he was the baby’s father put him in serious violation of Jewish law and made him a public disgrace. Yet today all of us are thankful that he was willing to risk his reputation to participate in and facilitate God’s unfolding drama.

Most of us are insignificant compared to the major players in this world. But all of us are called to obey. Who knows what God has in store when we are willing to surrender to God’s will—even when it puts us at risk!

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey. —Sammis

It’s no small thing to trust and obey.

Re-posted From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread


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