Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Repost From Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Jupiter Falling

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July 30, 2011 — by Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
In Him all things consist. —Colossians 1:17
Bible in a year:
Psalms 51-53; Romans 2

One day I bought an inexpensive model of the solar system for my son. Installing it required me to suspend each planet from the ceiling. After bending up and down several times, I was lightheaded and tired. Hours later, we heard a “plink” as Jupiter hit the floor.

Later that night, I thought about how our flimsy replica fell apart, yet Jesus sustains the actual universe. “He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Col. 1:17). The Lord Jesus holds our world together, maintaining the natural laws that rule the galaxy. Our Creator also upholds “all things by the word of His power” (Heb. 1:3). Jesus is so mighty that He keeps the universe in order simply by commanding it to be so!

As amazing as this is, Jesus is more than a cosmic caretaker. He sustains us too. He “gives life and breath to everything, and He satisfies every need” (Acts 17:25 NLT). While Jesus sometimes provides for us differently than we might expect, our Savior keeps us going whether we are brokenhearted, in need of money, or enduring illness.

Until the day He calls us home, we can trust that the One who keeps Jupiter from falling is the One who holds us up as well.

Awesome is our God and King,
Who upholds the stars above;
We now bow before His throne,
Thanking Him for His great love. —D. De Haan

The God who sustains the universe sustains me.

Reposted From Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Repost From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread

The Good Life

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July 29, 2011 — by David H. Roper
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
It is good for me to draw near to God. —Psalm 73:28
Bible in a year:
Psalms 49-50; Romans 1

Philosophers ponder, “What is the good life and who has it?” I instantly think of my good friend Roy.

Roy was a gentle, quiet man who sought no recognition, who left the care of his life to his heavenly Father, and who occupied himself solely with his Father’s will. His was a heavenly perspective. As he often reminded me: “We are but sojourners here.”

Roy passed away last fall. At his memorial service, friends reminisced over his influence on their lives. Many spoke of his kindness, selfless giving, humility, and gentle compassion. He was, for many, a visible expression of God’s unconditional love.

After the service, Roy’s son drove to the assisted-living facility where his father lived out his final days. He gathered up his dad’s belongings: two pairs of shoes, a few shirts and pants, and a few odds and ends—the sum of Roy’s earthly goods—and delivered them to a local charity. Roy never had what some would consider the good life, but he was rich toward God in good deeds. George MacDonald wrote, “Which one is the possessor of heaven and earth: He who has a thousand houses, or he who, with no house to call his own, has ten at which his knock arouses instant jubilation?”

Roy’s was the good life after all.

Let us be Christ’s true disciples
Looking to another’s need;
Making stony pathways smoother
By a gentle word or deed. —Thorson

No one can know the good life without God.

Reposted From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Repost From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

For The God I Love

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July 28, 2011 — by Marvin Williams
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
When you fast, do not be like the hypocrites. —Matthew 6:16
Bible in a year:
Psalms 46-48; Acts 28

A couple of years ago in our church we did a sermon series on the Old Testament tabernacle. Leading up to the message on the table of showbread, I did something I had never done before—I fasted from food for several days. I fasted because I wanted to experience the truth that “man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord” (Deut. 8:3). I wanted to deny myself something I love, food, for the God I love more. As I fasted, I followed Jesus’ teaching about fasting in Matthew 6:16-18.

Jesus gave a negative command: “When you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance” (v.16). Then He gave a positive command about putting oil on your head and washing your face (v.17). The two commands taken together meant that they should not draw attention to themselves. Jesus was teaching that this was a private act of sacrificial worship that should not provide any room for religious pride. Finally, He gave a promise: Your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you (v.18).

Although fasting isn’t required, in giving up something we love, we may have a deeper experience of the God we love. He rewards us with Himself.

Lord, we desire to walk closely with You every day.
Help us to seek You diligently that we might
know You intimately and follow You
obediently. Amen.

Moving away from the table can bring us closer to the Father.

Reposted From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Repost From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread


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July 27, 2011 — by Julie Ackerman Link
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning. —Exodus 23:8

While traveling in a foreign country, my husband noticed that the paved roads had deep indentations. When he asked about them, our driver explained that they were caused by the tires of trucks carrying illegal, overweight loads. When stopped by police, the drivers paid bribes to avoid being fined. The truckers and police officers came out ahead financially, but other drivers and taxpayers were left with an unfair financial burden and the inconvenience of poor roads.

Not all bribery is overt; some is more subtle. And not all bribes are financial. Flattery is a type of bribe that uses words as currency. If we give people preferential treatment for saying something nice about us, it’s similar to taking a bribe. To God, any kind of partiality is an injustice. He even made justice a condition of remaining in the Promised Land. The Israelites were not to pervert justice or show partiality (Deut. 16:19-20).

Bribery deprives others of justice, which is an offense against the character of God, who is “God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe” (10:17).

Thankfully, the Lord treats all of us alike, and He wants us to treat each other the same way.

It matters not what race or gender,
Rich or poor or great or small,
The God who made us is not partial;
He sent Christ to die for all. —D. De Haan

Bribery displays partiality; love displays justice.

Reposted From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Repost From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Joy In The Morning

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July 26, 2011 — by Dennis Fisher
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. —Psalm 30:5

Angie could not see through the fogged-up windows in her car. Inadvertently, she pulled out in front of a truck. The accident caused such damage to her brain that she could no longer speak or take care of herself.

Over the years, I have been amazed at the resiliency of Angie’s parents. Recently I asked them, “How have you managed to get through this experience?” Her father thoughtfully responded, “In all honesty, the only way we have been able to do this is by drawing close to God. He gives us the strength we need to help us through.”

Angie’s mother agreed and added that around the time of the accident their grieving was so deep that they wondered if they would ever have joy again. As they both leaned upon God, they experienced countless unexpected provisions for the physical and spiritual care of Angie and their entire family. Although Angie may never regain her ability to speak, she now responds to them with wide smiles and this gives them joy. Her parents’ favorite verse continues to be: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5).

Have you experienced extreme sorrow? There is the promise of future joy amid your tears as you lean upon our loving Lord.

New mercies every morning,
Grace for every day,
New hope for every trial,
And courage all the way. —McVeigh

Leave your sorrows with Jesus, the “Man of Sorrows.”

Reposted From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Repost From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

The Pleasure Is Mine

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July 25, 2011 — by Joe Stowell
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure . . . All was vanity and grasping for the wind. —Ecclesiastes 2:10-11
Bible in a year:
Psalms 37-39; Acts 26

I always look forward to summer. The warm sunshine, baseball, beaches, and barbecues are pleasures that bring joy after a long, cold winter. But pleasure-seeking isn’t just seasonal. Don’t we all enjoy good food, engaging conversation, and a crackling fire?

The desire for pleasure isn’t wrong. God has built us for it. Paul reminds us that God “gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17). Other passages welcome us to the healthy pleasure of food, friends, and the intimacy of a marriage relationship. But thinking that we can find lasting pleasure in people and things is ultimately an empty pursuit.

Ultimate pleasure is not found in the short-lived thrills our world offers, but rather in the long-term joy from a deepening intimacy with our Lord. King Solomon learned this the hard way. “I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure,” he admitted (Eccl. 2:10). But after his pleasure-seeking spree, he concluded: “All was vanity and grasping for the wind” (v.11). It’s no wonder he warned, “He who loves pleasure will be a poor man” (Prov. 21:17).

What we are really looking for is satisfied only in a fulfilling and growing relationship with Jesus. Pursue Him and taste His delights!

The world is filled with so much good
That brings us joy and pleasure,
But true fulfillment only comes
When Christ we love and treasure. —Sper

Are we living for our own pleasure,
or living to please our heavenly Father?

Reposted From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Repost From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Stay Close

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July 24, 2011 — by Anne Cetas
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Comfort each other and edify one another. —1 Thessalonians 5:11
Bible in a year:
Psalms 35-36; Acts 25

My friend and I were traveling together, and she seemed a bit frazzled. When we got to the airport, she forgot to have her identification readily available and couldn’t find her reservation confirmation number. The ticket agent waited patiently, smiled, and then helped her at the “self” check-in. After receiving her ticket, she asked, “Where do we go next?” The agent smiled again, pointed at me, and said to her, “Stay close to your friend.”

That can be good advice for all of us when our lives get frazzled—stay close to your friends. Although Jesus is our best friend, we also need relationships with fellow believers to help us survive in this life.

In his first epistle, Peter was writing to believers who needed one another because they were suffering for their faith. In a few short sentences in chapter 4, Peter mentioned the need to receive and give “fervent love,” prayer, and hospitality (vv.7-9). He also included the need for believers to use their spiritual gifts to minister to one another (v.10). In other passages, we’re encouraged to comfort each other with the comfort we’ve been given by God (2 Cor. 1:3-4) and to build each other up in love (1 Thess. 5:11).

When life gets difficult and we get frazzled, staying close to our Christian friends will help us to get through.

When our friends encounter trials,
We can help them if we’re near;
Some may need a word of comfort,
Others just a listening ear. —Sper

Staying close to godly friends helps us to stay close to God.

Reposted From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

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