Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Repost From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

He Guards Me Well

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October 23, 2011 — by David C. McCasland
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I lay down My life for the sheep. —John 10:15

During the quiet moments before a Sunday morning service, the organist played a hymn that was new to me. I turned to the page noted in the hymnal and read the words of the song “The Lord My Shepherd Guards Me Well,” a beautiful paraphrase of Psalm 23:

The Lord my Shepherd guards me well,
And all my wants are fed:
Amid green pastures made to lie,
Beside still waters led.
My care-worn soul grows strong and whole
When God’s true path I tread.

No matter how often we read or hear the familiar 23rd Psalm, it seems to come with a fresh message of God’s care for us.

Though I should walk in darkest ways
Through valleys like the grave,
No evil shall I ever fear;
Your presence makes me brave.
On my behalf Your rod and staff
Assure me You will save.
(© Hope Publishing Co.)

This image was familiar to the people who heard Jesus say, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Unlike a hired person who runs away from danger, the true shepherd stays with the sheep to protect them. “But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd . . . sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees . . . . I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep” (vv.12-14).

No matter what you’re facing today, Jesus knows your name, He knows the danger, and He will not leave your side. You can say with confidence: The Lord my Shepherd guards me well!

The Lamb who died to save us
is the Shepherd who lives to lead us.

Reposted From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Repost From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

One Heart At A Time

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October 21, 2011 — by Dennis Fisher
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
. . . no longer as a slave but more than a slave—a beloved brother. —Philemon 1:16

Quaker John Woolman was an itinerant preacher who waged his own personal campaign to end slavery in colonial America. Woolman met with slave-holders to speak of the injustice of holding other human beings as property. Although Woolman did not eradicate slavery completely, he did persuade many masters to free their slaves. His success was due to individual, personal persuasion.

The book of Philemon contains a similar one-on-one appeal. Onesimus was a runaway slave who had escaped from his Christian master Philemon. Onesimus had come to faith through Paul’s ministry, and now Paul was sending him back to Philemon with these words: “Perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave—a beloved brother” (vv.15-16). Although we don’t know if Onesimus was set free from slavery, his new faith in Jesus had changed his relationship with his Christian master. He was now also a brother in Christ. Paul was influencing his world one heart at a time.

By the transforming power of the gospel, people and situations can change. Like Woolman and like Paul, let’s seek to influence our world one heart at a time.

If I can help some wounded heart,
If I can by my love impart
Some blessing that will help more now—
Lord, just show me how. —Brandt

The kindest thing you can do for another is to show him the truth.

Reposted From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Repost From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

My Fingernails Or His Hand?

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October 20, 2011 — by Dave Branon
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
The Lord upholds him with His hand. —Psalm 37:24

Tough times can cause us to get our perspective turned around. I was reminded of this recently as I talked to a fellow-griever—another parent who, like Sue and me, lost a teenage daughter to death suddenly and without warning.

She told me she had been missing her daughter terribly, and she told God she felt as if she were hanging on by her fingernails. Then she felt as if God reminded her that His hand of protection was there to hold her up—that she could let go, and He would catch her.

That’s a better perspective, isn’t it? This picture reminds us that when troubles come and we feel least able to hold on to our faith, it’s not up to us. It’s up to God to support us with His mighty hand.

Psalm 37:23-24 says: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord . . . . Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” And Psalm 63:8 tells us: “My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.”

In tough times, we can become so preoccupied with our role in “clinging to God” that we forget about His promised protection. It’s not our fingernails that sustain us—it’s His loving, upholding hand.

God’s hand that holds the ocean’s depths
Can hold my small affairs;
His hand that guides the universe,
Can carry all my cares. —Anon.

No one is more secure than the one who is held in God’s hand.

Reposted From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Repost From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Investing In The Future

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October 19, 2011 — by Bill Crowder
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. —Matthew 6:20

Jason Bohn was a college student when he made a hole-in-one golf shot that won him a million dollars. While others may have squandered that money, Bohn had a plan. Wanting to be a pro golfer, he used the money as a living-and-training fund to improve his golf skills. The cash became an investment in his future—an investment that paid off when Bohn won the PGA Tour’s 2005 B.C. Open. Bohn’s decision to invest in the future instead of living for the moment was a wise one indeed.

In a sense, that is what Jesus calls us to do. We have been entrusted with resources—time, ability, opportunity— and we decide how to use them. Our challenge is to see those resources as an opportunity to invest long-term. “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” is how Jesus put it in Matthew 6:20. Those protected treasures cannot be destroyed nor taken away, Jesus assures us.

Think of your resources: talent, time, knowledge. These are temporal and limited. But if you invest them with an eye toward eternity, these temporary things can have enduring impact. What is your focus? Now or forever? Invest in the future. It will not only have an eternal impact, but it will also change the way you view life each day.

Whatever is done in love for Christ
Will one day have heaven’s reward;
Today let’s do what we can for Him,
Our loving Savior and Lord. —Hess

The richest people on earth
are those who invest their lives in heaven.

Reposted From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Repost From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread

Papa Didn’t Say “Oh!”

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October 18, 2011 — by David H. Roper
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion. —Psalm 145:8

I have a friend who was working in his home office one evening, trying to get some necessary paperwork done. His little girl, who was about 4 years old at the time, was playing around his desk, puttering about, moving objects here and there, pulling out drawers, and making a good deal of noise.

My friend endured the distraction with stoic patience until the child slammed a drawer on one of her fingers and screamed in pain. Reacting in exasperation he shouted, “That’s it!” as he escorted her out of the room and shut the door.

Later, her mother found her weeping in her bedroom and tried to comfort her. “Does your finger still hurt?” she asked. “No,” the little girl sniffled. “Then why are you crying?” her mother asked. “’Cause,” she whimpered, “when I pinched my finger, Papa didn’t say, ‘Oh!’”

Sometimes that’s all we need, isn’t it? Someone who cares and who will respond with kindness and compassion, someone who will say, “Oh!” We have One named Jesus who does that for us.

Jesus loves us, understands our sorrows, and gave Himself for us (Eph. 5:2). Now we are to “walk in love” and imitate Him.

Knowing God—what comfort there,
Drawn by His eternal care;
Love from God—what joy we share,
Drawn into His mercies rare. —Branon

God’s whisper of comfort quiets the noise of our trials.

Reposted From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Repost From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Character At Play

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October 17, 2011 — by Anne Cetas
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. —2 Peter 1:3

A college football coach in the Bronx (New York) built his team around good character qualities. Instead of displaying their names on the back of their jerseys, the Maritime College players displayed words like family, respect, accountability, and character. Before each game, coach Clayton Kendrick-Holmes reminded his team to play by those principles on the field.

The apostle Peter had his own list of Christian qualities (2 Peter 1:5-7) that he encouraged believers to add to their life of faith:

Virtue. Fulfilling God’s design for a life with moral excellence.

Knowledge. Studying God’s Word to gain wisdom to combat falsehood.

Self-control. Revering God so much that we choose godly behavior.

Perseverance. Having a hopeful attitude even in difficulties because we’re confident in God’s character.

Godliness. Honoring the Lord in every relationship in life.

Brotherly kindness. Displaying a warmhearted affection for fellow believers.

Love. Sacrificing for the good of others.

Let’s develop these qualities in increasing measure and integrate them into every part of our life.

Just as the body grows in strength
With exercise each day,
Our spirit grows in godliness
By living life God’s way. —D. De Haan

Godly exercise is the key to godly character.

Reposted From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Repost From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread

The Wooden Rule

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October 16, 2011 — by Cindy Hess Kasper
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
The body is not one member but many. —1 Corinthians 12:14

Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden had an interesting rule for his teams. Whenever a player scored, he was to acknowledge the person on the team who had assisted. When he was coaching high school, one of his players asked, “Coach, won’t that take up too much time?” Wooden replied, “I’m not asking you to run over there and give him a big hug. A nod will do.”

To achieve victory on the basketball court, Wooden saw the importance of teaching his players that they were a team—not “just a bunch of independent operators.” Each person contributed to the success of everyone else.

That reminds me of the way the body of Christ should work. According to 1 Corinthians 12:19-20, each of us is a separate part of one body. “If they were all one member, where would the body be? But . . . there are many members, yet one body.” Is the success of a pastor, a Bible study, or a church program based solely on one person’s accomplishments? How many people contribute to the smooth operation of a church, a Christian organization, a family?

Coach Wooden’s rule and 1 Corinthians 12 are both rooted in the principle of seeing our need for one another. Let’s use our gifts within the body of Christ to build up, strengthen, and help to carry out God’s purposes (vv.1-11).

All Christians have been gifted
By grace from God above,
Equipped to build and strengthen
The church in faith and love. —Fitzhugh

There are no unimportant people in the body of Christ.

Reposted From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread

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