Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Repost From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

The Road To Blessing

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November 12, 2011 — by Dave Branon
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
So [Moses] cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. —Exodus 15:25

Robyn and Steve have a counseling ministry that provides very little income. Recently, a family crisis forced them to embark on a 5,000-mile round trip in their well-used minivan.

After attending to the crisis, they started back to Michigan. While about 2,000 miles from home, their van began to sputter and stall. A mechanic looked at it and told them, “It’s done. You need a new engine.”

Unable to afford one, they had no choice but to coax the van home. Three days, a case of oil, and a lot of prayers later, they miraculously limped into their driveway. Then they heard of a “car missionary” who assisted people in ministry. Amazed that the van had made it, he offered to replace the engine free of charge. If Steve had gotten the van fixed en route, it would have cost him thousands of dollars he didn’t have.

In Exodus 15, the Israelites were led by God into the desert. Three days into their trip, they ran out of water and had no way to get it. But God knew about the problem. In fact, a solution awaited them in Marah (v.25) and Elim (v.27). God not only fixed their water problem but also provided a place to rest.

Even when our situation looks difficult, we can trust that God is leading. He already knows what we’ll need when we get there.

I know not by what methods rare
The Lord provides for me;
I only know that all my needs
He meets so graciously. —Adams

Facing an impossibility gives us the opportunity to trust God.

Reposted from Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Repost From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

True Security

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November 11, 2011 — by Bill Crowder
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. —Romans 8:37
Bible in a year:
Jeremiah 50; Hebrews 8

During the Cold War—a period of unrest between major world powers in the last half of the 20th century—Americans lived under the threat of nuclear war. I recall that during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, we seemed to be a heartbeat away from annihilation. It was heady stuff for a sixth-grader.

One of my strangest memories of those turbulent times was the school safety drill. An alarm would sound, and we would hide under our desks—for protection from atomic bombs. Looking back, I’m certain it wouldn’t have helped us in the event of a nuclear holocaust. It may have even given us a false sense of security.

While we may not face the same level of nuclear threat today, there are still many dangers that scare us—and some of them are spiritual. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that our battles are “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” These are mighty foes indeed, but God has given us His protective love (Rom. 8:35,38-39) and the spiritual resources of His armor (Eph. 6:13-17).

The result? While we face powerful enemies, “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37). In our heavenly Father, we have true security.

Though danger lurks on every side,
In Christ our Lord we will abide;
Our God is strong, our hope is sure—
In Him alone we are secure! —Fitzhugh

Safety is not found in the absence of danger,
but in the presence of God.

Reposted From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Repost From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

It’s All About Him

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November 10, 2011 — by Anne Cetas
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
He must increase, but I must decrease. —John 3:30

When Sheri got engaged, her single friend Amy celebrated with her. She planned a bridal shower, helped pick out her wedding dress, walked down the aisle just before her, and stood by her side during the ceremony. When Sheri and her husband had children, Amy gave baby showers and rejoiced in her friend’s blessings.

Sheri told Amy later, “You’ve comforted me during hard times, but the way I especially know you love me is that you rejoice with me in my good times. You haven’t let any jealousy hold you back from celebrating with me.”

When John’s disciples heard that a new rabbi named Jesus was gaining followers, they thought John might be jealous (John 3:26). They came to him and said, “He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!” But John celebrated Jesus’ ministry. He said, “I have been sent before Him. . . . The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled” (vv.28-29).

An attitude of humility should also characterize us. Rather than desiring attention for ourselves, everything we do should bring glory to our Savior. “He must increase, but I must decrease” (v.30).

Not I but Christ be honored, loved, exalted;
Not I but Christ be seen, be known, be heard;
Not I but Christ in every look and action;
Not I but Christ in every thought and word. —Whiddington

If we want an increase of Christ, there must be a decrease of self.

Reposted From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Repost From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

Waiting . . .

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November 9, 2011 — by Julie Ackerman Link
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Blessed are all those who wait for Him. —Isaiah 30:18

Autumn is hunting season here in Michigan. For a few weeks every year, licensed hunters are allowed to go out into the woods and hunt for various species of wildlife. Some hunters build elaborate tree stands high above the ground where they sit quietly for hours waiting for a deer to wander within rifle range.

When I think of hunters who are so patient when it comes to waiting for deer, I think of how impatient we can be when we have to wait for God. We often equate “wait” with “waste.” If we’re waiting for something (or someone), we think we are doing nothing, which, in an accomplishment-crazed culture, seems like a waste of time.

But waiting serves many purposes. In particular, it proves our faith. Those whose faith is weak are often the first to give up waiting, while those with the strongest faith are willing to wait indefinitely.

When we read the Christmas story in Luke 2, we learn of two people who proved their faith by their willingness to wait. Simeon and Anna waited long, but their time wasn’t wasted; it put them in a place where they could witness the coming of Messiah (vv.22-38).

Not receiving an immediate answer to prayer is no reason to give up faith.

Not ours to know the reason why
Unanswered is our prayer,
But ours to wait for God’s own time
To lift the cross we bear. —Anon.

Waiting for God is never a waste of time.

Reposted From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Repost From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

What A Great Neighborhood

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November 8, 2011 — by Joe Stowell
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. —Romans 14:17

Where you live has a way of making certain demands on how you live. In my neighborhood, the garbage collector comes on Tuesday mornings, so it’s my responsibility to get our garbage can out to the curb the night before. Letting the trash pile up on the curb for days before doesn’t make for happy neighbors. And we have lots of children playing outside, so signs are posted everywhere reminding drivers to slow down. That means I drive slowly and watch for little ones who, without looking, chase wayward balls into the street.

It’s important to remember that God has placed us into the “kingdom of the Son” (Col. 1:13). Living in His neighborhood means there are life-transforming behavior patterns that should clearly reflect our spiritual location. This is why Paul reminds us that God’s kingdom is not about arguing and bickering over earthly stuff but about “righteousness and peace and joy” (Rom. 14:17). Living by God’s right standards, living to be a peacemaker, and living to be a source of joy in our relationships are what kingdom life is all about. And, when we live like this, our lives please God and bless others (v.18).

Sounds like the kind of neighborhood anyone would love to live in!

The world gets a glimpse of God
When those who claim to be
The followers of Jesus Christ
Are living righteously. —Sper

If you’re part of the kingdom of God,
it will make a difference in how you live.

Reposted From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Repost From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Mighty Waters

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November 6, 2011 — by Bill Crowder
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters. —Revelation 1:15

While in Brazil, I went to see Iguazu Falls, one of the greatest waterfalls in the world. The massive falls are breathtaking, but what impressed me most at Iguazu was not the sight of the falls or the spray of the water. It was the sound. The sound was beyond deafening—I felt as if I was actually inside the sound itself. It was an overwhelming experience that reminded me how small I am by comparison.

Later, with this scene in mind, I couldn’t help but think about John in Revelation 1:15. While on the island of Patmos, he saw a vision of the risen Christ. The apostle described Jesus in the glory of His resurrection, noting both His clothing and His physical qualities. Then John described Christ’s voice “as the sound of many waters” (v.15).

I’m not sure I fully appreciated what that meant until I visited Iguazu and was overwhelmed by the thundering sound of the falls. As those mighty waters reminded me of my own smallness, I better understood why John fell at the feet of Christ as if dead (v.17).

Perhaps that description will help you grasp the awesomeness of Jesus’ presence and prompt you to follow John’s example of worshiping the Savior.

Pay honor to our marvelous Savior—
Daily His wonders proclaim;
Dwell always in the presence of Jesus,
And worship His holy name. —Branon

True worship of Christ changes admiration into adoration.

Reposted From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

A Repost From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

Plowing Straight Lines

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November 7, 2011 — by Randy Kilgore
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 3:14

It’s my first day on the tractor! A crisp morning breeze brushes across the field. Crickets and country silence yield to the roar of the engine. Dropping the plow into the soil, I head out across the field. I look down at the gauges and gearshift, squeeze the cold steel of the steering wheel, and admire the power at my disposal. Finally, I look back to view the results. Instead of the ramrod straight line I was expecting, I see what looks like a slithering snake, with more bends and curves than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

We know better. “Plow with your eye on the fence post,” we’ve been told. By staying focused on a point across the field, a person plowing is assured of a straight line. On the return I comply, with telling results: The line is straight. The row was messed up only when I didn’t have a focus point.

Paul had similar wisdom when he wrote of having his focus on Jesus Christ and the impact it had on him. Not only did he ignore distractions (Phil. 3:8,13), he set the focus (vv.8,14), noted the result (vv.9-11), and observed the pattern it sets for others (vv.16-17).

Like Paul, if we focus on Christ, we will plow a straight path and accomplish God’s purpose in our lives.

Lord, help us keep our eyes on You
And focused on the task
Of bringing glory to Your name
By doing what You ask. —Sper

When you keep your eyes on Christ,
everything will come into focus

Reposted From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

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