Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Repost From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

The Way We Walk

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October 14, 2011 — by Julie Ackerman Link
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. —Romans 6:4

A television program that I enjoy watching has a segment called Ambush Makeover. Two women are chosen to undergo 3 hours of pampering to update their hair, makeup, and wardrobe. The change is often dramatic. When the women step from behind a curtain, the audience gasps. Friends and family members sometimes start to cry. After all of this, the person with the new look finally gets to see herself. Some are so shocked that they keep looking in the mirror as if to find proof that it’s really them.

As the women walk across the set to join their companions, the former self becomes evident. Most do not know how to walk in their new shoes. Although they look chic, their clumsy walk gives them away. Their transformation is incomplete.

This is true in our Christian lives as well. God does the work in us to give us a new start, but to walk in the way of the Lord (Deut. 11:22) requires time, effort, and lots of practice. If we just stand still and smile, we can pass as being transformed. But the way we walk tells how far along we are in living out that transformation. Being changed means giving up our previous way of life and learning a new way to walk (Rom. 6:4).

The new life in Christ has begun—
The past with its darkness is gone;
Look closer to see what the Savior has done,
For change is beginning to dawn. —Hess

A change in behavior begins with a change in the heart.

Reposted From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Repost From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

A Debt Of Gratitude

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October 15, 2011 — by Bill Crowder
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
[They] risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. —Romans 16:4

Dave Randlett was someone of whom I can say, “Because of him, my life will never be the same.” Dave, who went to heaven in October 2010, became a mentor to me when I was a new follower of Jesus in my college years. He not only invested time in me, but he took risks by giving me opportunities to learn and grow in ministry. Dave was God’s instrument to give me the opportunity to be a student preacher and travel with a college music team. As a result, he helped shape and prepare me for a life of teaching God’s Word. I’m glad I was able to express thanks to him on a number of occasions.

Just as I am thankful for Dave’s influence in my life, the apostle Paul was grateful for Aquila and Priscilla, who served the Lord with him. He said they “risked their own necks for my life.” In gratitude, he thanked them, as did “all the churches of the Gentiles” (Rom. 16:4).

You too may have people in your life who have taken risks by giving you opportunities to serve or who have greatly influenced you spiritually. Perhaps pastors, ministry leaders, friends, or family members have given of themselves to move you further along for Christ. The question is, have you thanked them?

Consider what the Lord has done
Through those who’ve shown you love;
And thank Him for each faithful one—
A blessing from above. —Sper

For those who have helped you, take time to give them thanks.

Reposted From Bill Crowder

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Repost From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

Too Busy To Know God?

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October 13, 2011 — by Randy Kilgore
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. —Luke 10:39

One day when I was waiting to board a plane, a stranger who had overheard me mention that I was a chaplain began to describe to me his life before he met Christ. He said it was marked by “sin and self-absorption. Then I met Jesus.”

I listened with interest to a list of changes he had made to his life and good deeds he had done. But because everything he told me was about his busyness for God and not his fellowship with God, I wasn’t surprised when he added, “Frankly, chaplain, I thought I’d feel better about myself by now.”

I think the New Testament character Martha would have understood that stranger’s observation. Having invited Jesus to be a guest at her home, she set about doing what she thought were the important things. But this meant she couldn’t focus on Jesus. Because Mary wasn’t helping, Martha felt justified asking Jesus to chide her. It’s a mistake many of us make: We’re so busy doing good that we don’t spend time getting to know God better.

My advice to my new airplane friend came from the core of Jesus’ words to Martha in Luke 10:41-42. I said to him: “Slow down and invest yourself in knowing God; let His Word reveal Himself to you.” If we’re too busy to spend time with God, we’re simply too busy.

Savior, let me walk beside Thee,
Let me feel my hand in Thine;
Let me know the joy of walking
In Thy strength and not in mine. —Sidebotham

Our heavenly Father longs to spend time with His children.

Reposted From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Repost From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Drained Of All Strength

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October 12, 2011 — by Dennis Fisher
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. —Isaiah 40:29

When I was a teenager, my dad and I went on many hunting and fishing trips together. Most became happy memories, but one fishing expedition was nearly a disaster. We drove up into a high mountain range and set up camp in a remote area. Then Dad and I trudged a long way down the mountain to get to a stream to fish. After a long day fishing in the hot sun, it was time to return to camp. But as we began to head back, Dad’s face grew pale. He was dizzy and nauseated, and he had almost no strength.

Trying not to panic, I had him sit down and drink liquids. Then I prayed aloud to God for help. Bolstered by prayer, rest, and nourishment, Dad improved, and we began to go slowly back up the mountain. He held on to my loosened belt as I crawled upward—leading the way back to camp.

Sometimes we find ourselves in what feels like a hopeless valley without the strength to go on. When this happens, it’s important to recall God’s promise: “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isa. 40:29).

Do you feel drained? Exhausted? Ask God for help. Depend on Him for the power to go on and the strength to make it through the valley.

When circumstances overwhelm
And seem too much to bear,
Depend upon the Lord for strength
And trust His tender care. —Sper

When we have nothing left but God,
we discover that God is enough.

Reposted From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Repost From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

The Forgotten God

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October 11, 2011 — by Marvin Williams
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
No one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. —1 Corinthians 2:11

When we quote The Apostles’ Creed, we say, “I believe in the Holy Spirit.” Author J. B. Phillips said, “Every time we say [this] we mean that we believe that [the Spirit] is a living God able and willing to enter human personality and change it.”

Sometimes we forget that the Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force. The Bible describes Him as God. He possesses the attributes of God: He is present everywhere (Ps. 139:7-8), He knows all things (1 Cor. 2:10-11), and He has infinite power (Luke 1:35). He also does things that only God can do: create (Gen. 1:2) and give life (Rom. 8:2). He is equal in every way with the other Persons of the Trinity—the Father and the Son.

The Holy Spirit is a Person who engages in personal ways with us. He grieves when we sin (Eph. 4:30). He teaches us (1 Cor. 2:13), prays for us (Rom. 8:26), guides us (John 16:13), gives us spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 12:11), and assures us of salvation (Rom. 8:16).

The Holy Spirit indwells us if we have received forgiveness of sin through Jesus. He desires to transform us so that we become more and more like Jesus. Let’s cooperate with the Spirit by reading God’s Word and relying on His power to obey what we learn.

God’s guidance and help that we need day to day
Is given to all who believe;
The Spirit has sealed us—He’s God’s guarantee
Of power that we can receive. —Branon

The Christian who neglects the Holy Spirit
is like a lamp that’s not plugged in.

Reposted From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Repost From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

The Joy Of Remembering

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October 10, 2011 — by David C. McCasland
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. —Psalm 103:2

A long-time friend described the days surrounding his 90th birthday as “a time . . . to do a little reflecting, looking in the rearview mirror of my life, and spending many hours in what I call ‘The Grace of Remembrance.’ It’s so easy to forget all the ways that the Lord has led! ‘Forget not all His benefits’” (Ps. 103:2).

This was typical of the person I’ve known and admired for more than 50 years. Rather than reviewing disappointments, his letter was filled with thankfulness and praise to God.

First, he recalled the Lord’s temporal mercies—his good health, the enjoyment of his wife and children, the joy and success of work, his enriching friendships, and the opportunities he’d had to serve God. He considered them all gifts—none deserved, but all gratefully received.

Next, he reviewed God’s spiritual mercies—the influence of Christian parents and the experience of God’s forgiveness when he accepted Christ as a teenager. He concluded with the encouragement he’d received from churches, schools, and Christian men who cared and prayed for each other.

It’s a model we should follow on a regular basis—the joy of remembering. “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!” (v.1).

He knoweth best! His will for me
Is better than my plans.
Do not all good and perfect gifts
Come from my Father’s hand? —Doonan

Give loving thanks for the Lord’s lavish gifts.

Reposted From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Repost From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

The Cost Of Fighting

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October 9, 2011 — by Bill Crowder
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? —James 4:1

During a documentary on World War I, the narrator said that if Britain’s casualties in “the war to end all wars” were marched four abreast past London’s war monument, the processional would take 7 days to complete. This staggering word picture set my mind spinning at the awful cost of war. While those costs include monetary expense, destruction of property, and economic interruption, none of these compare to the human cost. Both soldiers and civilians pay the ultimate price, multiplied exponentially by the grief of the survivors. War is costly.

When believers go to war with one another, the cost is also high. James wrote, “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” (James 4:1). In our own selfish pursuits, we sometimes battle without considering the price exacted on our witness to the world or our relationships with one another. Perhaps that is why James preceded these words with the challenge, “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (3:18).

If we are to represent the Prince of Peace in our world, believers need to stop fighting with one another and practice peace.

The wars and fights within the church
Disrupt our unity and peace;
How can we show the peace of Christ
Unless our conflicts cease? —Sper

When Christians are at peace with one another, the world can more clearly see the Prince of Peace.

Reposted From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

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