Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Repost From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

An Amazing View

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July 23, 2011 — by David C. McCasland
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth. —Psalm 33:14
Bible in a year:
Psalms 33-34; Acts 24

From my home in Colorado, I recently used Google Maps to “wander around” the neighborhood in Nairobi, Kenya, where my family lived 2 decades ago. A satellite image on my computer screen enabled me to identify roads, landmarks, and buildings. In some cases, I got a street-level view, as if I were standing on the ground there.

It was quite a view, but only a small taste of how the Lord must see our world.

The psalmist celebrated God’s view by writing these words: “The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. . . . He considers all their works. . . . The eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine” (33:13-19).

Unlike an unfeeling satellite, the Lord sees with His heart of love as He considers who we are and what we do. The Bible reveals that He longs for us to trust Him and follow His way. We are never out of God’s sight, and He keeps a close eye on everyone whose hope is in Him.

For all who know the Lord through faith in Jesus Christ, it’s encouraging to realize that every day we’re part of His amazing view.

Beneath His watchful eye
His saints securely dwell;
That hand which bears all nature up
Shall guard His children well. —Doddridge

Keep your eyes on God; He never takes His eyes off you.

Reposted From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Repost From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

Our Best Defense

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July 22, 2011 — by Randy Kilgore
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see. —John 9:25

Thrown together as seatmates for an 8-hour train ride, a retired US ambassador and I quickly clashed as he sighed when I pulled out my Bible.

I took the bait. At first, we traded one-liners aimed at goading the other or scoring points. Gradually, though, bits and pieces of our respective life stories started creeping into the discussion. Curiosity got the better of both of us and we found ourselves asking questions instead of feuding. A political science major in college and a political junkie by hobby, I was intrigued with his career, which included two prominent ambassadorships.

Strangely enough, his questions to me were about my faith. How I became “a believer” was what interested him most. The train ride ended amicably, and we even traded business cards. As he left the train, he turned to me and said, “By the way, the best part of your argument isn’t what you think Jesus can do for me. It’s what He’s done for you.”

In John 9, as on that train, God reminds us that the best story is the one we know intimately: Our own encounter with Jesus Christ. Practice telling your story of faith to loved ones and close friends so you’ll be able to tell it clearly to others.

You may be tempted to debate
To change another’s view,
But nothing speaks more powerfully
Than what Christ did in you. —Sper

People know true faith stories when they hear them.

Reposted From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Repost From Philip Yancey of Our Daily Bread

Pain No More

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July 21, 2011 — by Philip Yancey
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

For a good portion of my life, I shared the perspective of those who rail against God for allowing pain. I could find no way to rationalize a world as toxic as this one.

As I visited people whose pain far exceeded my own, though, I was surprised by its effects. Suffering seemed as likely to reinforce faith as to sow doubt.

My anger about pain has melted mostly for one reason: I have come to know God. He has given me joy and love and happiness and goodness. It leaves me with faith in a Person, a faith so solid that no amount of suffering can erode it.

Where is God when it hurts? He has been there from the beginning. He designed a pain system that, in the midst of a fallen world, bears His stamp. He transforms pain, using it to teach and strengthen us if we allow it to turn us toward Him.

He has hurt and bled and cried and suffered. He has dignified for all time those who suffer, by sharing their pain. But one day He will gather the armies of heaven and will unleash them against the enemies of God. The world will see one last terrifying moment of suffering before the full victory is ushered in. Then God will create for us a new, incredible world. And pain will be no more (Rev. 19:11–22:6).

He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race. —Wesley

Pain will either turn us against God or draw us to Him.

Reposted From Philip Yancey of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Repost From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread


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July 20, 2011 — by Bill Crowder
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Those who leave the paths of uprightness . . . rejoice in doing evil, and delight in the perversity of the wicked. —Proverbs 2:13-14
Bible in a year:
Psalms 26-28; Acts 22

England’s Imperial War Museum is housed in a building in London that was a former location of the Bethlem Royal Hospital, a care center for the mentally ill. The hospital was commonly known as “Bedlam,” which gradually became a term used to describe scenes of chaos and madness.

It’s ironic that the War Museum would occupy Bedlam’s former location. As you walk through the museum, in addition to stories of heroism and sacrifice in wartime, you also find bone-chilling accounts of the madness of man’s inhumanity to man. From the exhibits about modern genocide and ethnic cleansing to the one on the Holocaust, it is evil on display.

Solomon observed mankind’s propensity for evil, describing it as those who “rejoice in doing evil, and delight in the perversity of the wicked” (Prov. 2:14). While this may describe much of the world around us, followers of Jesus have a refreshingly different way to handle life. Paul challenged us: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). Christ-centered actions such as living morally (v.17), making peace (v.18), and treating our enemies with care (v.20) will affect the world for good.

If each of us were to live as a reflection of God’s love, perhaps there would be a lot less bedlam.

The godless and sinful everywhere
Are objects of God’s love and care,
But they will always know hopeless despair
Unless His love with them we share. —D. De Haan

A despairing world needs caring Christians.

Reposted From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Repost From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Fear Factor

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July 19, 2011 — by Joe Stowell
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Abraham said, “. . . surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife.” —Genesis 20:11

If you’re a fan of Shakespeare, you know that his heroes always have a serious character flaw. It makes for a good story and teaches some important lessons. The same is true of our Bible hero Abraham. His flaw? Fear.

Twice Abraham succumbed to his fear that a ruler would kill him and steal his wife (Gen. 12:11-20; 20:2-13). Fearing for his life, he deceived both Pharaoh and King Abimelech by saying, “She is my sister”—in essence welcoming the king to take Sarah into his harem (20:2). With fear dictating his actions, he put at risk God’s plan that through him and Sarah a great nation would arise (12:1-3).

But before we judge Abraham, we should ask ourselves a few questions. For fear of losing our job, would we compromise our integrity? For fear of appearing old-fashioned, would we set aside our values? For fear of being ridiculed or misunderstood, would we neglect sharing the gospel and put someone’s eternity at risk? Only one thing will conquer our fears: tenacious faith in God’s presence, protection, power, and promises.

If your fear is putting God’s wonderful plans for you at risk, remember that He will never ask you to do anything He can’t bring to completion, even if it requires miraculous intervention on His part.

It often helps in time of trial
When fearful and alone,
To know that every doubt we feel
The greatest saints have known. —D. De Haan

Let your faith overcome your fear,
and God will turn your worry into worship.

Reposted From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Repost From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread

Sticks And Stones

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July 18, 2011 — by David H. Roper
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Read: Psalm 123
Our soul is exceedingly filled with . . . the contempt of the proud. —Psalm 123:4

The psalmist was fed up with “the contempt of the proud” (Ps. 123:4). Perhaps you are too. People in your neighborhood, office, or classroom may be scornful of your faith and determination to follow Jesus. Sticks and stones do break our bones, but words can wound more deeply. In his commentary on this psalm, Derek Kidner refers to contempt as “cold steel.”

We can fend off the jeers of the proud by becoming like them, or we can view their attempt to humiliate us as a badge of honor. We can rejoice that we’ve been “counted worthy to suffer shame for [Jesus’] name” (Acts 5:41). Better to bear shame for a short time than to endure “everlasting contempt” (Dan. 12:2).

We must not be like the mockers by mocking them in turn, but bless those who persecute us. “Bless and do not curse,” Paul reminds us (Rom. 12:14). Then God may draw them to faith and repentance, and turn our moments of shame into eternal glory.

Finally, as the psalmist counsels us, we must “look to the Lord our God” (123:2). He understands as no other, for He too has endured reproach. He will show compassion to us according to His infinite mercy.

When persecution comes your way
And people mock your Lord,
Remember what’s in store for those
Who love and trust His Word. —Sper

When others’ treatment of you gets you down, look up to Jesus.

Reposted From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Repost From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

Perfect Fit

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July 17, 2011 — by Julie Ackerman Link
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
[Christ], in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. —Ephesians 2:21

Too long. Too short. Too big. Too small. Too tight. Too loose. These words describe most of the clothes I try on. Finding the perfect fit seems impossible.

Finding a church that is a “perfect fit” poses similar problems. Every church has something that’s not quite right. Our gifts aren’t recognized. Our talents aren’t appreciated. Our sense of humor is misunderstood. Certain attitudes, beliefs, people, or programs make us uncomfortable. We feel as if we don’t fit. We struggle to find our place.

We know, however, that God wants us to fit together with one another. The apostle Paul said we are being “built together to become a dwelling in which God lives” (Eph. 2:22 NIV).

The believers in the church today, like the tabernacle in the days of Moses (Ex. 26) and the temple in the days of Solomon (1 Kings 6:1-14), are the dwelling place of God on earth. God wants us to fit together—for there to be no divisions in His church. This means that we, the building blocks, are to be “perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10).

No church will be a perfect fit, but we can all work at fitting together more perfectly.

For Further Study
Check out the online resource The Church We Need
for help in learning to get along with brothers and
sisters in Christ. See

Christ’s love creates unity in the midst of diversity.

Reposted From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

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