Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Repost From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Getting Focused

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June 18, 2011 — by Bill Crowder
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Forgetting those things which are behind . . . , I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 3:13-14

I enjoy playing golf, so I occasionally watch instructional videos. One such video, however, left me disappointed. The teacher presented a golf swing that had at least 8 steps and a dozen sub-points under each step. That was just too much information!

While I’m not a great golfer, years of playing have taught me this: The more thoughts you have in your head as you swing, the less likely you are to be successful. You must simplify your thought process and focus on what matters most—making solid contact with the ball. The instructor’s many points got in the way.

In golf and in life, we must focus on what matters most.

In Philippians 3, Paul describes how that relates to the Christian. Rather than being distracted by lesser things, he wanted to focus on what mattered most. He said, “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (vv.13-14).

“One thing I do.” In a world of distractions, it’s vital for the child of God to stay focused, and there is no better point of focus in the universe than Jesus Christ Himself. Is He what matters most to you?

Lord, my focus is too easily distracted from You
on to lesser things. Please draw me back to Your ways
and teach me what’s most important.
May I learn to always put You first. Amen.

We live most effectively for Christ when we keep our eyes on Him.

Reposted From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Repost From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

True Wealth

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June 17, 2011 — by Joe Stowell
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God. —1 Timothy 6:17
Bible in a year:
Nehemiah 7-9; Acts 3

Money is a powerful force. We work for it, save it, spend it, use it to satisfy our earthside longings, and then wish we had more. Aware of its distracting danger, Jesus taught more about money than any other topic. And, as far as we know, He never took an offering for Himself. Clearly, He didn’t teach about giving to fill His own pockets. Instead, Jesus warned us that trusting in wealth and using it to gain power clogs our spiritual arteries more readily than most other impediments to spiritual development. In telling the story of the “rich fool,” He shamed His listeners for not being rich toward God (Luke 12:13-21), indicating that God has a far different definition of wealth than most of us.

So, what does it mean to be rich toward God? Paul tells us that those who are rich should not be conceited about their wealth, “nor to trust in uncertain riches” (1 Tim. 6:17). Rather, we are to “be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share” (v.18).

Interesting! God measures wealth by the quality of our lives and our generous disbursement of wealth to bless others. Not exactly Wall Street insider talk, but great advice for those of us who think that our security and reputation are tied up in the size of our bank account.

If we’ve been blessed with riches,
We must be rich in deeds;
God wants us to be generous
In meeting others’ needs. —Sper

Riches are a blessing only to those
who make them a blessing to others.

Reposted From Jeo Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Repost From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread


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June 16, 2011 — by David C. McCasland
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. —Colossians 1:13

In the aftermath of Haiti’s devastating earthquake in January 2010, the scenes of destruction and death were often punctuated by someone being pulled alive from the rubble, even after all hope seemed gone. Relief and tears of joy were followed by deep gratitude toward those who worked around the clock, often risking their own lives to give someone else another chance to live.

How would you feel if it happened to you? Have you ever been rescued?

In Colossians 1, Paul wrote to people who had come to know Jesus Christ and whose lives showed evidence of their faith. After assuring them of his prayers for them to know God’s will and to please Him, Paul used a powerful word picture to describe what God had done for them all: “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (vv.13-14).

In Christ, we have been rescued! He has taken us from danger to safety; from one power and destiny to another; from death to life.

It’s worth pondering all that being rescued means to us, as we thank God for His grace and power.

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. —Newton

Those who’ve been rescued from sin
are best able to help in the rescue of others.

Reposted From David C. McCasland

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Repost From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

Do I Have To Read Leviticus?

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June 15, 2011 — by Randy Kilgore
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
My Word . . . shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please. —Isaiah 55:11

Do I really have to read Leviticus?” A young executive asked me this in earnest as we talked about the value of spending time in reading the Bible. “The Old Testament seems so boring and difficult,” he said.

Many Christians feel this way. The answer, of course, is that the Old Testament, including Leviticus, offers background and even contrasts essential to grasping the New Testament. While Isaiah challenges us to seek God (55:6), he also promises us that God’s Word accomplishes what the Lord wants it to accomplish (v.11). Scripture is alive and powerful (Heb. 4:12), and it is useful to teach, correct, and instruct us (2 Tim. 3:16). God’s Word never returns void (Isa. 55:8-11), but sometimes it is not until later that God’s words come to mind as we need them.

The Holy Spirit uses the truths we’ve stored from reading or memorization, and He helps us to apply them at just the right time. For example, Leviticus 19:10-11 speaks of business competition and even caring for the poor. The Spirit can remind us of these concepts, and we can use them, if we’ve spent time reading and contemplating that passage.

Reading the Bible turns our minds into storehouses through which the Spirit can work. That’s a great reason to read Leviticus and the other 65 books as well.

Lord, I want to learn to love Your Word more and more.
Teach me and help me to hide it in my heart
so that I can live it, be encouraged by it, and
help others to know it too. Amen.

To understand the Word of God, rely on the Spirit of God.

Reposted From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Repost From Philip Yancey of Our Daily Bread

Under God

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June 14, 2011 — by Philip Yancey
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. —1 John 5:3
Bible in a year:
Ezra 9-10; Acts 1

Every parent knows the difference between rules designed primarily for the benefit of the parent and those designed for the benefit of the child. God’s rules fall into the latter category. As Creator of the human race, God knows how human society will work best.

I began to look at the Ten Commandments in this light—as rules designed primarily for our benefit. Jesus underscored this principle when He said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).

The Bible is a most realistic book. It assumes human beings will be tempted to lust after a neighbor or covet someone else’s property, to work too hard, to strike out in anger at those who wrong them. It assumes humanity will bring disorder to whatever we touch. Each of the Ten Commandments offers a shield of protection against that disorder. We have the freedom to say no to our sinful inclinations. By doing so, we avoid certain harm.

Taken together, the Ten Commandments weave life on this planet into a more meaningful and structured whole, the benefit of which is to allow us to live as a peaceful, healthy community under God.

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

Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed. —Psalm 119:5-6

Reposted From Philip Yancey of Our Daily Bread

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Repost From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Your Spiritual Pipeline

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June 13, 2011 — by Dennis Fisher
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Read: Psalm 57
My soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge. —Psalm 57:1
Bible in a year:
Ezra 6-8; John 21

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline stretches 800 miles through Alaska. Because it was built through an earthquake zone, engineers had to be sure the pipe could withstand earth trauma. They decided on a network of Teflon sliders designed to ease the shock when the ground moved below the pipes. Engineers were delighted when the first big test came. In 2002, an earthquake occurred causing the ground to move 18 feet to one side. The Teflon sliders moved gently to accommodate the movement without any damage to the pipe. The key was flexibility.

The believer’s spiritual pipeline to heaven is built upon firm trust in God. But if we are inflexible in our expectations of how God should work, we can run into trouble. In a crisis, we can make the mistake of shifting our focus from God to our painful circumstances. Our prayer should be, “God, I don’t understand why You have allowed this painful situation. But I am trusting in Your ultimate deliverance despite all that’s going on around me.” The psalmist expressed this so well when he wrote: “My soul trusts in You . . . until these calamities have passed by” (Ps. 57:1).

When the earth seems to move under us, let’s be flexible in our expectations but firmly confident in God’s steadfast love and care.

Press forward and fear not! Though trials be near;
The Lord is our refuge; whom then shall we fear?
His staff is our comfort, our safeguard His rod;
Then let us be steadfast and joy in our God. —Anon.

God may delay or deny our request,
but He will never disappoint our trust.

Reposted From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Repost From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

The Great Comeback

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June 12, 2011 — by Dave Branon
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea . . . heed my words.” —Acts 2:14
Bible in a year:
Ezra 3-5; John 20

We like to read about comebacks—about people or companies who face near disaster and turn things around. The Ford Motor Company is an example of that. In the 1940s, a reluctance by leadership to modernize almost destroyed Ford. In fact, the government nearly took over the company lest its demise threaten the US war effort. But when Henry Ford II was released from his military duties to run the company, things turned around. Ford became one of the biggest corporations in the world.

Occasionally, we need a comeback. We need to correct wrong directions or compensate for wrong decisions. In those times, we have an example in Peter. He had failure written all over him. First, he nearly drowned when his faith faltered (Matt. 14:30). Then he said things that were so wrong Jesus called him “Satan” (16:22-23). And when Jesus needed Peter the most, he denied that he even knew Him (26:74).

But that’s not the end of the story. In the power of the Spirit, Peter made a comeback. On the Day of Pentecost, he preached and 3,000 people came to faith in Christ (Acts 2:14,41). Peter returned to effectiveness because his faith was renewed, he guarded what he said, and he stood up for Jesus.

Struggling? If Peter can come back, so can you.

Today Christ calls, “Come follow Me!”
Do not look back to yesterday;
Fresh grace He’ll give to do His will,
His joy you’ll find as you obey. —D. De Haan

To become whole, yield to the Holy Spirit.

Reposted From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

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