Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Repost From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread

Bel Bows Down

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April 9, 2011 — by David H. Roper
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I will carry you! —Isaiah 46:4

The prophet Isaiah draws a picture for us in Isaiah 46 of the siege of Babylon and the evacuation of its idols. The carts and carriages that carry them creak, and the weary animals groan under the load (v.1).

In contrast, Isaiah says that God carries His children from birth (v.3). “Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you!” God declares (v.4). The contrast is precise and vivid in the Hebrew text: The carts and carriages are “loaded” with the weight of the idols (v.1), but we are loaded upon God (v.3). Idols are a “burden,” a thing carried (v.1), but God has gladly “carried” us from the womb (v.3).

The Lord has made us (v.4). Nothing could be more comforting, for our Father loves and cares for His children. He promises, “I will carry you!” and that includes every care and worry that comes our way throughout our lifetime.

So we may let Him carry us and our every burden. This song by Annie Johnson Flint challenges us to experience God’s care: “Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision, / Our God ever yearns His resources to share; / Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing; / Thy Father both thee and thy load will upbear.”

Heavenly Father, I want to unload my
burdens on You today. Help me to leave them with You.
I trust You with my past, present, and future.
Thank You for Your goodness to me. Amen.

Our work is to cast care; God’s work is to take care!

Reposted From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Repost From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Getting It

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April 8, 2011 — by Dave Branon
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more. —1 Corinthians 9:19

A Christian sports reporter was visiting a major league baseball clubhouse. While he was chatting with a Christian player, a team official came by and noticed that they were talking about “Christian stuff” after a tough loss. He scolded the reporter for not talking about the game and then he left. The All-Star pitcher said to the reporter, “Sorry. He just doesn’t get it.”

We live in a world of people who “don’t get it.” They don’t understand that while we strive to be the best at what we do, the most important thing in life is to please God. For the believer, it is for God’s glory and the gospel of Jesus that we play ball, sell insurance, run a printing press, or teach school.

In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul explained that the disciple of Christ should “endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ” (v.12). The goal of the believer is getting the word out about Jesus. “Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!” he said (v.16). One way to do that is to live out a godly lifestyle that prompts others to ask about the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15).

Around us are people who think the things of this world are most important. But instead of becoming frustrated at the resistance we meet, our goal should be to advance the gospel by helping others to “get it.”

Dim not, little candle,
Show Jesus through me!
Glow brightly till others
The Light clearly see! —Adams

May God make your life a lighted window of Christian example.

Reposted From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Repost From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

School Of Hard Knocks

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April 7, 2011 — by Joe Stowell
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
No chastening seems to be joyful for the present . . . ; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness. —Hebrews 12:11

Of all my childhood memories, one stands out above the others. While I have no idea what my teacher said, I clearly remember telling her to “shut up.” She sent me home, so I got up and left my kindergarten class to walk the half-block home. Walking down the sidewalk, I saw my mother weeding in the garden behind our house. I was now faced with a strategic decision—continue on my way and tell my mother why I was home early from school, or turn around and go back to face my teacher.

When I returned to the classroom, I was immediately escorted to the restroom where my teacher washed my mouth out with soap. That kind of discipline probably wouldn’t happen today, but take it from me, it was effective! To this day I am acutely sensitive about the impact of my words.

God is passionately interested in our positive growth as His children. At times He needs to confront us with unpleasant circumstances to catch our attention and reorient our lives to more consistently produce the “peaceable fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11).

Don’t resist God’s corrective hand. Respond to His reproofs with thankfulness that He loves you enough to care about what kind of a person you are becoming.

Because our Father’s heart is grieved
Each time we go astray,
He lifts His chastening hand in love
To help us to His way. —D. De Haan

God’s correction is our hope for a better life.

Reposted From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Repost From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Spiritual Superstars

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April 6, 2011 — by Dennis Fisher
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
When one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? —1 Corinthians 3:4

Superstars abound in today’s culture. Great soccer players can create such excitement that fans have been known to riot in the bleachers. Popular musicians have fans who stand with adoration throughout entire concerts. And Hollywood celebrities hire bodyguards to protect themselves from adoring stalkers.

The first-century Corinthian believers had become divided over their own “spiritual superstars.” Paul viewed such favoritism as a reflection of the sinful nature in a believer’s unyielded heart. “For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not carnal?” he asked (1 Cor. 3:4).

The apostle’s teaching on how we view Christian leaders puts the topic in a biblical perspective that provides mutual appreciation for those who minister: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (v.6). Each person did his part: Paul had planted spiritual seed through evangelism, and Apollos had watered it with his eloquent Bible teaching. But it was God alone who made the seed of spiritual life grow. He alone is the “superstar.”

We should be careful not to put any Christian leader on a pedestal. Instead, let’s appreciate how God is using a variety of spiritual leaders for His honor and His glory.

Lord, give us wisdom. We know it’s good to follow the
example of our godly leaders, but help us not
to think so highly of them that we worship them
instead of You. Amen.

Each person has his place in God’s service,
and only God deserves the glory.

Reposted From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Repost From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread

The Last Jellybean

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April 5, 2011 — by Cindy Hess Kasper
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good . . . . Those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing. —Psalm 34:8,10

One afternoon Angela gave her young daughter four jellybeans and let her know that was all the candy she was going to receive.

After practically inhaling the first three candies, Eliana lingered over the final one. She sucked on it, took it out of her mouth, bit into it, sucked on it some more, then gnawed at the outer shell. Knowing that this was her last jellybean, she took a full 45 minutes to ingest the treat completely.

Angela observed her little girl with amusement. It occurred to her that she was watching Eliana learn the value of savoring—enjoying taste and texture and learning to draw out every possible bit of flavor from the pleasurable experience.

When we read, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8), we can be sure that God wants us to “savor” His presence. He allows us to gain intimate and satisfying knowledge of Him. And when we meditate on His Word, we will draw out a deeper understanding of who He is (Ezek. 3:1-3). As we taste His goodness and love, He will reveal the distinctive flavor of His creativity, sovereignty, holiness, and faithfulness.

Our Father must look on with enjoyment as we learn how to enjoy and savor Him.

Oh, taste the goodness of the Lord
And savor all that He has done;
Draw close and give your praise to Him—
The holy, sovereign, faithful One. —Sper

Our greatest privilege is to enjoy God’s presence.

Reposted From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Repost From C. P. Hia of Our Daily Bread

An Attached Fuel Hose

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April 4, 2011 — by C. P. Hia
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life. —2 Timothy 2:4
Bible in a year:
Ruth 1-4; Luke 8:1-25

Felipe Massa of Brazil should have won the Formula One Grand Prix in Singapore in September 2008. But as he drove off from a refueling stop while in the lead, the fuel hose was still attached. By the time his team removed the hose, he had lost so much time that he finished 13th.

The apostle Paul warned Timothy of another kind of attachment that would cause him defeat—“the affairs of this life” (2 Tim. 2:4). He urged Timothy not to let anything slow him down or distract him from the cause of his Lord and Master.

There are many attractive things in our world that are so easy to get entangled with—hobbies, sports, TV, computer games. These may start off as “refueling” activities, but later they can take up so much of our time and thought that they interfere with the purpose for which God created us: to share the good news of Christ, serve Him with our gifts, and bring glory to Him.

Paul told Timothy why he ought not be entangled with this world’s affairs: So that he could “please Him” (v.4). If your desire is to please the Lord Jesus, you will want to stay untangled from the world. As John reminds us, “The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).

Reposted From C. P. Hia of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Repost From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Time For A Checkup

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April 3, 2011 — by Bill Crowder
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. —1 Corinthians 11:28

Every year I have a physical—that periodic visit to the doctor’s office where I’m poked and prodded, screened and studied. It is something that can be easy to dread, and even to fear. We aren’t sure what the tests will show or what the doctors will say. Still, we know that we need this evaluation to understand our physical well-being and what is needed as we move forward.

The same is true spiritually in the life of the Christ-follower. We need to pause from time to time and reflect on the condition of our hearts and lives.

One place for an important self-study is at the Lord’s Table. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, some of whom were eating in an unworthy manner: “Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Cor. 11:28). In the remembrance of Christ’s death for us, there can be a sobering clarity of thought and understanding, for as we consider the price Jesus paid for us, it is the best time to consider the condition of our heart and our relationships. Then, with honest understanding of our spiritual well-being, we can turn to Him for the grace we need to move forward in His name.

Is it time for your checkup?

Search me, O God, my heart discern;
Try me, my inmost thoughts to learn.
Help me to keep from sin, I pray,
Guarding my mind throughout this day. —Anon.

Self-examination is one test from which no Christian is excused.

Reposted From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

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