Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Repost From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread

Empty Me

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July 16, 2011 — by Cindy Hess Kasper
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. —Luke 6:45

“What a rotten design,” I grumbled, as I emptied our paper shredder. I was following good advice about shredding personal documents, but I could not empty the container without spilling strips of confetti all over the carpet! One day as I was gathering trash, I debated whether I’d even bother since it was only half-full. But when I slipped a small plastic bag over the top and flipped it upside down, I was pleased to see that not a bit of paper had fallen on the floor.

The error had been mine. I had been waiting until the container was filled to the brim before emptying it!

When we allow sin to fill up our hearts, it too will overflow into our life. Luke 6:45 says that “an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil.” It is “out of the abundance of the heart” that we speak.

What if we were to empty our hearts of the rubbish of sin before it started spilling into our interactions with others? To dispose of our bitterness, stubborn pride, seething anger? (Eph. 4:26-32). First John 1:9 reminds us that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

A paper shredder is designed to be a rubbish receptacle. You and I are not!

Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free. —Orr

Own up to your sin—you can’t hide it from God anyway!

Reposted From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread

Friday, July 15, 2011

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

O. B. Markers

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July 15, 2011 — by C. P. Hia
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. —Psalm 119:75

In the game of golf, out-of-bounds or O. B. markers designate when a ball has gone out of play. If a player’s ball goes out-of-bounds, a one-stroke penalty is imposed.

The prophet Jeremiah warned the southern kingdom of Judah about their persistent rejection of God’s boundaries for them. He said that even the sea knows that the sand on the seashore is its O. B. marker, “an everlasting barrier it cannot cross” (Jer. 5:22 NIV). Yet, the Lord’s people had defiant and rebellious hearts (v.23). There was no fear of God, who gave them rain for their crops (v.24). They grew rich on deceit (v.27) and ignored the pleas of the disadvantaged (v.28).

God has given moral boundaries in His Word for us to live within. He gave them not to frustrate us but so that by keeping within them we may enjoy His blessings. David wrote: “I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are right” (Ps. 119:75). God told Israel through Moses, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life” (Deut. 30:19).

Don’t test God’s boundaries and invite His correction. Make wise choices to live within His O. B. markers in His Word.

The Lord has given us commands,
And told us to obey;
Our own designs are sure to fail,
If we neglect His way! —Bosch

A small step of obedience is a giant step to blessing.

Reposted From C. P. Hia of Our Daily Bread

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Repost From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

Seeing The Person Inside

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July 14, 2011 — by David C. McCasland
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
From now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. —2 Corinthians 5:16

On February 1, 1960, four students from an all-black college sat down at a “whites only” lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. One of them, Franklin McCain, noticed an older white woman seated nearby looking at them. He was sure that her thoughts were unkind toward them and their protest against segregation. A few minutes later she walked over to them, put her hands on their shoulders, and said, “Boys, I am so proud of you.”

Recalling the event years later on National Public Radio, McCain said he learned from this never to stereotype anyone. Instead he should pause to consider others and seek an opportunity to talk with them.

The first-century church, like ours today, was often fractured by divisions based on race, language, and culture. Paul wrote to the followers of Jesus in Corinth to help them respond to those who were more concerned with outward appearance than with what is in the heart (2 Cor. 5:12). Because Christ died for all, Paul said, “From now on, we regard no one according to the flesh” (v.16).

May we all look closely to see the person inside, for everyone is made in the image of God and can become a new creation in Christ.

First impressions can mislead us
For we do not know the heart;
We can often be mistaken
Since we only know in part. —Fitzhugh

It’s what’s in the heart that matters.

Reposted From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Repost From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

Occupational Hazard

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July 11, 2011 — by Julie Ackerman Link
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
The things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel. —Philippians 1:12
Bible in a year:
Psalms 1-3; Acts 17:1-15

My occupation is words. Whether I am writing or editing, I am using words to convey ideas so that readers can understand. I can usually see what’s wrong with someone else’s writing (though sometimes not with my own) and figure out how to fix it.

As an editor, I am paid for being critical. My job is to see what’s wrong with the way words are used. This ability becomes a disability when I carry it over into my personal life and always look for what is wrong. Focusing on what’s wrong can cause us to miss everything that’s good.

The apostle Paul had reason to focus on what was wrong in the Philippian church. Certain people were preaching the gospel out of selfish ambition to add to Paul’s suffering (Phil. 1:16). But instead of concentrating on the negative, he chose to look at the positive and rejoice in it: Jesus Christ was being preached (v.18).

God wants us to be discerning—we need to know good from bad—but He doesn’t want us to focus on the bad and become critical or discouraged. Even in circumstances that are less than ideal (Paul was writing from prison), we can find something good because in times of trouble God is still at work.

The eyes of faith when fixed on Christ
Give hope for what’s ahead,
But focus on life’s obstacles
And faith gives way to dread. —D. De Haan

When your outlook is blurred by problems, focus on Christ.

Reposted From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Repost From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Trouble Ahead

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July 10, 2011 — by Joe Stowell
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land; . . . the Lord is with us. Do not fear them. —Numbers 14:9
Bible in a year:
Job 41-42; Acts 16:22-40

Inevitably, trouble will invade our lives: A bad report from a medical test, the betrayal of a trusted friend, a child who rejects us, or a spouse who leaves us. The list of possibilities is long, but there are only two options: forge ahead on our own, or turn to God.

Flying solo into the face of trouble is not a good idea. It can lead to bad behavior patterns, blaming God, and retreating into defeat. Like the Israelites, we may spin out of control and into despair (Num. 14:1-4).

When the majority of the spies brought a report of intimidating giants and dangers ahead, they used the pronoun “we” seven times with no reference to the Lord (13:31-33). The Israelites were on the cusp of the ultimate blessing that God promised to them. They were eyewitnesses to the miracles in Egypt and their feet had walked the dry bottom of the Red Sea in jaw-dropping victory. God’s faithfulness had been amazingly evident. What short memories! What disappointing faithlessness! Sadly, they turned their backs on God and left the blessing behind.

Caleb and Joshua, on the other hand, opted to turn to the Lord with this confidence: “The Lord is with us” (14:9). When your giants show up, what will you do?

In this world of sin and trouble
Where so many ills are known,
If I shun the ways of evil,
I am kept by Him alone. —Smith

God’s presence is a life preserver that keeps
the soul from sinking in a sea of trouble.

Reposted From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

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