Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Repost From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

The Need For Tears

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September 3, 2011 — by Bill Crowder
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
As He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it. —Luke 19:41

Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, we were all overwhelmed by the images of devastation and hardship endured by the people of that tiny nation. Of the many heartbreaking pictures, one captured my attention. It showed a woman staring at the massive destruction—and weeping. Her mind could not process the suffering of her people, and as her heart was crushed, tears poured from her eyes. Her reaction was understandable. Sometimes crying is the only appropriate response to the suffering we encounter.

As I examined that picture, I thought of the compassion of our Lord. Jesus understood the need for tears, and He too wept. But He wept over a different kind of devastation—the destruction brought on by sin. As He approached Jerusalem, marked by corruption and injustice and the pain they create, His response was tears. “Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it” (Luke 19:41). Jesus wept out of compassion and grief.

As we encounter the inhumanity, suffering, and sin that wreak havoc in our world, how do we respond? If the heart of Christ breaks over the broken condition of our world, shouldn’t ours? And shouldn’t we then do everything we can to make a difference for those in need, both spiritually and physically?

Lord, when I learn that someone is hurting,
Help me know what to do and to say;
Speak to my heart and give me compassion,
Let Your great love flow through me today. —K. De Haan

Compassion offers whatever is necessary
to heal the hurts of others.

Reposted From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Repost From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

The Trouble With Heroes

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September 2, 2011 — by Dave Branon
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. —Psalm 139:14

When I was a kid, I had a hero: Pete Maravich, a high-scoring basketball player who handled the ball like a magician.

Problem was, my desire to be like Pistol Pete blocked my satisfaction with who God made me to be. When I realized I could never play like Pete, I grew discouraged. I even quit my college team briefly because I couldn’t measure up to the Maravich standard.

Kids still do that kind of thing. They grow unhappy with who God made them to be because they measure themselves by their “perfect” heroes.

Christian singer Jonny Diaz recognized this and wrote a song called “More Beautiful You.” The song begins: “Little girl fourteen flipping through a magazine; says she wants to look that way.” Some young girls wish they could be like Disney star Selena Gomez or another star the way I wanted to be like Maravich. Diaz sings, “There could never be a more beautiful you; don’t buy the
lies . . . ; you were made to fill a purpose that only you could do.” Diaz is saying what another songwriter said under the inspiration of God thousands of years ago: “[We are] fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14).

God made us the way He wants us to be. Believe it. There could never be a more beautiful you.

Lord, we are Yours, You are our God;

We have been made so wondrously;

This human frame in every part

Your wisdom, power, and love we see. —Anon.

Reposted From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Repost From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Find The Book

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September 1, 2011 — by Marvin Williams
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord. —2 Kings 22:8

One Sunday at the church where I pastor, I invited three children to find several scrolls with Bible verses written on them that I had hidden in our worship center. I told them that once they found them and read the words aloud, I would give them a prize. You should have seen those kids! They ran, moved chairs, and looked under plants and in purses (with permission). Their search for the scrolls was intense, but exciting. Their diligent search and subsequent discovery of the scrolls led to joy in the children, affirmation from our congregation, and a renewed sense of the importance of God’s Word.

In 2 Kings 22–23, we read how King Josiah and the people of Judah rediscovered the joy and importance of God’s Word. During the repairing of the temple, Hilkiah the high priest found the Book of the Law. It must have been lost or hidden during the reign of Manasseh. Then when the scroll was read to King Josiah, he listened and responded to it (vv.10-11). He sought further understanding of it (vv.12-20), and he led the people to renew their commitment to its importance in their lives (23:1-4).

Many today have unprecedented access to God’s Word. Let’s renew our commitment to “find” it every day and by our lives show its prominence.

O Book divine, supreme, sublime

Entire, eternal, holy, true;

Sufficient for all men and time—

We pledge our faith to thee anew. —Anon.

To know Christ, the Living Word,

is to love the Bible, the written Word.

Reposted From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Repost From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

A Teachable Spirit

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August 31, 2011 — by Anne Cetas
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Do not be wise in your own eyes. —Proverbs 3:7

Just before our church service began, I overheard a young man behind me talking with his mother. They were reading an announcement in the bulletin about a challenge to read one chapter of Proverbs each day for the months of July and August. He asked his mom, “What will we do with chapter 31 in August since there are only 30 days?” She said she thought there were 31 days in August. He responded, “No, there are only 30.”

When it was time in the service to greet each other, I turned back toward him and said hello. Then I added, “August does have 31 days.” He insisted, “No, it doesn’t. There can’t be 2 months in a row with 31 days.” The singing started, so I just smiled.

This brief encounter made me think about our need to develop a teachable spirit, seeking wisdom beyond our own. In Proverbs 3, the attitude the father recommends to the son is one of humility: “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord” (v.7). In chapter 2, he says, “Incline your ear to wisdom . . . ; search for her as for hidden treasures” (vv.2,4).

Knowing whether August has 30 or 31 days doesn’t matter much, but having a teachable spirit does. It will help us gain wisdom from God and others. Reading a chapter from Proverbs each day next month may give us a start.

Lord, teach us from Your holy Word
The truth that we must know,
And help us share the joyous news
Of blessings You bestow. —D. De Haan

True wisdom begins and ends with God.

Reposted From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Repost From Albert Lee of Our Daily Bread

Christ Living In Us

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August 30, 2011 — by Albert Lee
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness. —2 Timothy 4:7-8

The Ironman Triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run. It is not an easy feat for anyone to accomplish. But Dick Hoyt participated in the race and completed it with his physically disabled son Rick. When Dick swam, he pulled Rick in a small boat. When Dick cycled, Rick was in a seat-pod on the bike. When Dick ran, he pushed Rick along in a wheelchair. Rick was dependent on his dad in order to finish the race. He couldn’t do it without him.

We see a parallel between their story and our own Christian life. Just as Rick was dependent on his dad, we are dependent on Christ to complete our Christian race.

As we strive to live a God-pleasing life, we realize that in spite of our best intentions and determination, we often stumble and fall short. By our strength alone, it is impossible. Oh, how we need the Lord’s help! And it has been provided. Paul declares it with these insightful words, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God” (Gal. 2:20).

We cannot finish the Christian race on our own. We have to do so by depending on Jesus living in us.

With longing all my heart is filled
That like Him I may be,
As on the wondrous thought I dwell,
That Christ liveth in me. —Whittle

Faith connects our weakness to God’s strength.

Reposted From Albert Lee of Our Daily Bread

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Repost From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

A Matter Of Perspective

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August 29, 2011 — by David C. McCasland
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. —Exodus 14:4

Are you part of the problem or part of the solution? Whether that question is posed during a business meeting, a church council, or a family discussion, it often springs from a sense of exasperation in trying to comprehend why someone has acted in a certain way. More often than not, the answer is a matter of perspective.

If we had been among the Israelites leaving Egypt after 400 years of slavery, we would likely have seen Pharaoh as part of the problem—and he was. Yet God saw something more.

Inexplicably, the Lord told Moses to take the people back toward Egypt and camp with their backs to the Red Sea so Pharaoh would attack them (Ex. 14:1-3). The Israelites thought they were going to die, but God said that He would gain glory and honor for Himself through Pharaoh and all his army, “and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord” (vv.4,17-18).

When we simply cannot understand why God allows circumstances that threaten to overwhelm us, it’s good to remember that He has our good and His glory in mind. If we can say, “Father, please enable me to trust and honor You in this situation,” then we will be in concert with His perspective and plan.

Your words of pure, eternal truth
Shall yet unshaken stay,
When all that man has thought or planned,
Like chaff shall pass away. —Anon.

Faith helps us to accept what we cannot understand.

Reposted From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Repost From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

Failure To Discipline

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August 28, 2011 — by Julie Ackerman Link
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
No chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness. —Hebrews 12:11

We live in the woods, so we get very little prolonged sunlight in the summer. But we love fresh tomatoes, so I decided to try growing them in pots set in a few sunny spots.

The plants started to grow right away and really fast. I was thrilled—until I realized that their fast growth was due to their efforts to reach out to the limited sunlight. By the time I figured out what was happening, the vines were too heavy to support themselves. I found some stakes, lifted the vines carefully, and fastened them in an upright position. Even though I tried to be gentle, one of the twisted vines broke when I tried to straighten it.

This reminded me that discipline must begin before character is permanently bent and twisted.

Eli the priest had two sons whom he failed to discipline. When their wickedness got so bad that he could no longer ignore it, he tried gentle rebuke (1 Sam. 2:24-25). But it was too late, and God announced the dire consequences: “I will judge [Eli’s] house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them” (3:13).

Being straightened out is painful, but being left crooked will ultimately hurt even more.

Lord, even though it’s painful, we’re thankful that
You, in love, discipline us as Your children.
Help us to respond with repentance and obedience
to Your ways. Amen.

God’s love confronts and corrects.

Reposted From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

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