Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Repost From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread

Fresh Fruit

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May 21, 2011 — by Cindy Hess Kasper
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Read: Psalm 92
The righteous . . . shall still bear fruit in old age. —Psalm 92:12,14

I love the old photographs that are often printed on the obituary page of our local newspaper. A grinning young man in a military uniform and words such as: 92 years old, fought for his country in WWII. Or the young woman with sparkling eyes: 89 years young, grew up on a farm in Kansas during the Depression. The unspoken message is: “I wasn’t always old, you know.”

Too often, those who have had a long life feel sidelined when they reach their later years. Psalm 92, however, reminds us that no matter how old we are, we can have a fresh and fruitful life. Men and women who have been “planted” in the rich soil of God’s vineyard will continue to “bear fruit” and be “fresh and flourishing” (v.14). Jesus promised that “he who abides in Me, and I in him,” will continue to bear “much fruit” (John 15:5).

Yes, muscles may ache and joints may hurt, and life may slow down a bit. But inwardly we can be “renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16).

I recently saw a T-shirt on a beautiful white-haired woman that said: “I’m not 80. I’m 18 with 62 years experience.” No matter how old we get, we can still be young at heart—but with the benefit of a well-lived lifetime of knowledge and wisdom.

We can be young in heart and mind,
To others we can yet be kind,
Sing songs of praise to God through tears,
And grow in grace through all our years. —Zimmerman

Faithfulness is God’s requirement; fruitfulness is His reward.

Reposted From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Repost From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

We Shall Be Changed

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May 18, 2011 — by Dennis Fisher
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. —1 John 3:2

Being afflicted with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, Thomas DeBaggio chronicled his gradual memory loss in the book Losing My Mind. This book records the disturbing process by which—little by little—tasks, places, and people are all forgotten.

Alzheimer’s disease involves the failure of nerve cells in the brain, leading to gradual memory loss, confusion, and disorientation. It can be tragic to watch a previously mentally alert person slowly forget how to dress or fail to recognize the faces of loved ones. It’s like losing the person before he dies.

Memory loss can occur by other means as well, such as injury or life trauma. And for those of us who live into old age, the breakdown of our bodies is inevitable.

But for the Christian, there is hope. When believers receive their glorified bodies at the resurrection, they will be perfect (2 Cor. 5:1-5). But even more important, in heaven we will recognize the One who died to redeem us. We will remember what He did and know Him by the nail prints in His hands (John 20:25; 1 Cor. 13:12).

Forgetfulness may beset our earthly bodies, but when we see the Lord, “We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).

Our Savior’s life for us was given
That we might one day bloom in heaven,
Our mortal bodies changed to be
Like His through all eternity! —Spicer

In the twinkling of an eye . . . we shall all be changed.
—The Apostle Paul

Reposted From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Repost From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Alternatives To Revenge

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May 17, 2011 — by Marvin Williams
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
You shall not take vengeance . . . , but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. —Leviticus 19:18

One Sunday while preaching, a pastor was accosted and punched by a man. He continued preaching, and the man was arrested. The pastor prayed for him and even visited him in jail a few days later. What an example of the way to respond to insult and injury!

While there is a place for self-defense, personal revenge was forbidden in the Old Testament: “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18; see also Deut. 32:35). It was also forbidden by Jesus and the apostles (Matt. 5:38-45; Rom. 12:17; 1 Peter 3:9).

The Old Testament law exacted like for like (Ex. 21:23-25; Deut. 19:21), which ensured that judicial punishment was not unjust or malicious. But there was a larger principle looming when it came to personal revenge: Justice must be done, but it must be left in the hands of God or the authorities ordained by God.

Instead of returning injury and insult, may we live by Christ-honoring and Spirit-empowered alternatives: Live at peace with everyone (Rom. 12:18), submit to a spiritual mediator (1 Cor. 6:1-6), and leave it in the hands of authorities and, most of all, in God’s hands.

Lord, when I’m troubled by the insult of another,
help me to let go of my desire for revenge. May I seek
justice but also realize that it will happen in Your
time. I want to learn to overcome evil with good. Amen.

Leave final justice in the hands of a just God.

Reposted From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Repost From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

When Life Seems Unfair

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May 16, 2011 — by Joe Stowell
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Read: Psalm 73
I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. —Psalm 73:3

Have you ever felt that life is unfair? For those of us who are committed to following the will and ways of Jesus, it’s easy to get frustrated when people who don’t care about Him seem to do well in life. A businessman cheats yet wins a large contract, and the guy who parties all the time is robust and healthy—while you or your loved ones struggle with finances or medical issues. It makes us feel cheated, like maybe we’ve been good for nothing.

If you’ve ever felt that way, you’re in good company. The writer of Psalm 73 goes through a whole list of how the wicked prosper, and then he says, “Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain” (v.13). But the tide of his thoughts turns when he recalls his time in God’s presence: “Then I understood their end” (v.17).

When we spend time with God and see things from His point of view, it changes our perspective completely. We may be jealous of the nonbelievers now, but we won’t be at judgment time. As the saying goes, what difference does it make if you win the battle but lose the war?

Like the psalmist, let’s praise God for His presence in this life and His promise of the life to come (vv.25-28). He is all you need, even when life seems unfair.

All wrongs will one day be set right
By God who sees both bad and good;
All motives and all deeds will then
Be fairly judged and understood. —D. De Haan

Spending time with God puts everything else in perspective.

Reposted From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Repost From David C. Egner of Our Daily Bread

Strong Words

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May 15, 2011 — by David C. Egner
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God. —1 John 3:10

The book titled UnChristian lists reasons why some non-Christians don’t like people who profess faith in Jesus Christ. Their major complaints have to do with the way some Christians act toward unbelievers. The unbelievers in the study tended to view Christians as being hypocritical, judgmental, harsh, and unloving toward people not like themselves.

I’m sure you dislike hearing their view of Christians as I do. Sometimes there’s more truth in their perceptions than we wish there was. In 1 John 3, which begins with the words, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (v.1), John introduces a sharp contrast: Believers love righteousness, keep themselves from sin, and love one another; nonbelievers practice sin, hate others, and abide in death.

These are strong words! We are either followers of Jesus Christ or of the devil. We are like Cain or Abel (v.12; Gen. 4:8-15). John says that love for others is what proves we are genuine children of God (3:10,18-19; 4:7-8). We can’t continue to practice sin and claim to be followers of Christ. Let’s always make sure our words and deeds back up our beliefs.

O help us, Lord, to live our lives
So unsaved people clearly see
Reflections of Your loving heart,
Your kindness, and Your purity. —Sper

Following Christ has two requirements:
Believing, and acting like you do.

Reposted From David C. Egner of Our Daily Bread

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