Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Repost From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Master Craftsman

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August 13, 2011 — by Bill Crowder
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
The vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter. —Jeremiah 18:4
Bible in a year:
Psalms 87-88; Romans 13

When my wife and I were engaged, her dad gave us a special wedding present. As a watchmaker and jeweler, he made our wedding rings. To make my wedding band, Jim used gold scraps left over from resizing other rings—scraps that were seemingly without much value. But in the hands of this craftsman, those pieces became a thing of beauty that I cherish to this day. It is amazing what a master craftsman can do with what others might view as useless.

That is also how God works in our lives. He is the greatest Master Craftsman of all, taking the wasted pieces and broken shards of our lives and restoring them to worth and meaning. The prophet Jeremiah described this when he compared God’s work to that of a potter working clay: “The vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make” (Jer. 18:4).

No matter what messes we have made of our lives, God can remold us into vessels that are good in His eyes. As we confess any sin and submit ourselves in obedience to His Word, we allow the Master to do His redemptive work in our lives (2 Tim. 2:21). That is the only way for the pieces of our brokenness to be made whole and good once again.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay;
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still. —Pollard

Broken things can become blessed things
if you let God do the mending.

Reposted From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Repost From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread

A New Purpose

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August 12, 2011 — by Cindy Hess Kasper
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. —Jeremiah 29:11
Bible in a year:
Psalms 84-86; Romans 12

A 60-year-old hotel in Kansas is being renovated into apartments. A rusty ship that is docked in Philadelphia is being restored and may become a hotel or a museum. Hangar 61, an admired piece of architecture at the old Stapleton Airport in Colorado, is being transformed into a church. Each structure had a specific use that is no longer viable. Yet someone was able to see promise and a new purpose in each one.

If structures can find new life and purpose, why not people? Think about these men in the Bible whose lives took an unexpected direction. There was Jacob, who wrestled with the angel of the Lord (Gen. 32); Moses, who talked to a burning bush (Ex. 3); Paul, who was temporarily blinded (Acts 9). Their stories were different, but all had a change of purpose when their encounter with God sent them down a new path.

We too may experience circumstances that change the course of our lives. But God reminds us of this: I loved you before you loved Me. I want to give you hope and a future. Give all your worries to Me because I care about you (1 John 4:19; Jer. 29:11; 1 Peter 5:7; John 10:10).

As you cling to God’s promises, ask Him to reveal new direction and purpose for your life.

God has a purpose for your life,
So what you have to do
Is follow Him, believing that
He’ll keep directing you. —Sper

Keep your eyes on the Lord
and you won’t lose sight of life’s purpose.

Reposted From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Repost From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Throw The Book At Him

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August 11, 2011 — by Joe Stowell
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. —Matthew 4:1

Things were off to a great start for Jesus at the beginning of His ministry. In Matthew 3, He was baptized and heard the affirming words of His Father, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (v.17). But then things took a turn for the worse.

What happened next—Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness—was not a mere coincidence. The Holy Spirit led Him into this face-off between the powers of heaven and hell. Thankfully, Jesus’ victory in the face of temptation provides a great example when we find ourselves in the wilderness of Satan’s sinister seductions.

Notice that the tempter caught Jesus at a time when He was tired and hungry. Satan uses the same tactic with us. Waiting for those vulnerable moments, he lures us with the bait of seductive suggestions that offer quick relief and opportunities for self-advancement. When facing such challenges, it’s important to follow Jesus’ example—throw “the Book” at Satan! Jesus responded to temptation by quoting Scripture: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4; see Deut. 8:3). The Bible is full of verses about lust, greed, lying, and other sins. If we tuck them away in our memory, we can use them when under attack. It’s our best chance for success!

If we never faced the tempter
With his sharp and fiery sting,
We would never know the victory
That our trust in God can bring. —Robert

When Satan strikes, strike back with the Word of God.

Reposted From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Repost From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Wearing Yourself Out

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August 10, 2011 — by Dennis Fisher
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
You will surely wear yourselves out. —Exodus 18:18

My friend Jeff was asked by his daughter to officiate at her wedding. This would be a great joy as they traveled to an exotic and romantic location for the ceremony. But there was one major problem—because the wedding party was very small, Jeff would have to perform three separate roles that could be in conflict. He would be the officiating minister, the father of the bride, and the wedding photographer!

Have you ever felt as if you were wearing too many hats? Jethro thought his son-in-law Moses was (Ex. 18). Leading the Israelites, arbitrating personal disputes, and handing down legal judgments for a great multitude was taking its toll. Finally, Jethro approached Moses, telling him: “This thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself” (v.18). He wisely counseled Moses to delegate smaller disputes to other advisors and take the more challenging cases himself (v.22).

Whether you’re a mother with small children, an overwhelmed business executive, or an overworked church volunteer, you too can take a lesson from Moses. Why not prayerfully discern if there may be tasks you can delegate to others or even discontinue—so that you don’t wear yourself out.

Father, we need help with our priorities.

Teach us to understand what’s most important and

needs to be accomplished, and to let go of what we can

so that we are at our best for You. Amen.

If we don’t come apart and rest awhile,

we may just plain come apart! —Havner

Reposted From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Repost From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

Like A Flock

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August 9, 2011 — by David C. McCasland
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. —Psalm 77:20
Bible in a year:
Psalms 77-78; Romans 10

During a demonstration of sheep- herding using a Border Collie, the dog trainer explained that because sheep are highly vulnerable to wild animals, their main defense against predators is to stay together in a tightly knit group. “A sheep alone is a dead sheep,” the trainer said. “The dog always keeps the sheep together as it moves them.”

The biblical image of God as our shepherd is a powerful reminder of how much we need each other in the community of faith. When writing about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, the psalmist said, “[God] made His own people go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock; and He led them on safely, so that they did not fear” (Ps. 78:52-53).

As part of God’s flock, we who have trusted Christ are under His guiding, protecting hand while being surrounded by the shielding presence of others. We are part of a larger body of believers in which there is safety and accountability.

While we don’t give up our personal responsibility for thought and action as members of the flock, we are to embrace the concept of “we” rather than “me” in our daily lives. With Christ as our Shepherd and fellow believers around us, we find safety in the flock.

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love!
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above. —Fawcett

As part of God’s flock, we’re protected by Him and by each other.

Reposted From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Repost From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread

Fishing Where They Ain’t

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August 8, 2011 — by David H. Roper
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
One of the Pharisees asked [Jesus] to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. —Luke 7:36

I have a good friend I fish with now and then. He’s a very thoughtful man. After climbing into his waders and boots and gathering up his gear, he sits on the tailgate of his truck and scans the river for 15 minutes or more, looking for rising fish. “No use fishing where they ain’t,” he says. This makes me think of another question: “Do I fish for souls where they ain’t?”

It was said of Jesus that He was “a friend of tax collectors and sinners” (Luke 7:34). As Christians, we are to be unlike the world in our behavior, but squarely in it as He was. So we have to ask ourselves: Do I, like Jesus, have friends who are sinners? If I have only Christian friends, I may be fishing for souls “where they ain’t.”

Being with nonbelievers is the first step in “fishing.” Then comes love—a heart-kindness that sees beneath the surface of their off-hand remarks and listens for the deeper cry of the soul. It asks, “Can you tell me more about that?” and follows up with compassion. “There is much preaching in this friendliness,” pastor George Herbert (1593–1633) said.

Such love is not a natural instinct. It comes solely from God. And so we pray: “Lord, when I am with nonbelievers today, may I become aware of the cheerless voice, the weary countenance, or the downcast eyes that I, in my natural self-preoccupation, could easily overlook. May I have a love that springs from and is rooted in Your love. May I listen to others, show Your compassion, and speak Your truth today.”

We are to be channels of God’s truth— not reservoirs.

Reposted From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Repost From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Time For The Armor
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August 7, 2011 — by Anne Cetas
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. —Ephesians 6:17

I discovered rather quickly that a young boy quoting Scripture in a children’s program at church didn’t know much about the Bible. He was quoting Ephesians 6:17 from our study on spiritual armor: “Take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”

When he tried quoting the reference, he said, “I didn’t think I needed to memorize the numbers, since that’s just the time of day.” That’s what he thought the numbers meant since it was close to 6:17 p.m. at the time! I smiled, opened my Bible, and showed him that the numbers refer to the chapter and verse.

While knowing the Bible reference is helpful, hiding God’s Word in our hearts is what is truly important (Ps. 119:11). Memorizing Scripture allows us to have it in mind so we can ward off Satan’s attacks (Eph. 6:10-18). For instance, when the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Christ withstood him by quoting the Scriptures (Matt. 4:1-11). Likewise, when we are tempted to disobey God, we can recall what we’ve learned and choose to obey. We can also share the teachings of the Word with others to encourage them to trust Him too.

No matter what time of day it is, we should always take the spiritual armor of the Word of God with us.

For Further Study
What specific temptations do you face? Look in a
concordance in the back of a Bible for verses that can
guide you in those situations. Review them often.

No evil can penetrate the armor of God.

Reposted From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

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