Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Re-post From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Risky Business

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December 10, 2011 — by Joe Stowell
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Then Joseph . . . did as the angel of the Lord commanded him. —Matthew 1:24
Bible in a year:
Hosea 1-4; Revelation 1

On some of the Christmas cards you will receive this year, no doubt there will be a man standing in the background looking over the shoulder of Mary, who is prominently displayed caring for the baby Jesus. His name is Joseph. And after the nativity narratives, he isn’t heard from much again. If we didn’t know better, we would think Joseph was an insignificant bystander or, at best, a mere necessity to undergird Jesus’ claim to the throne of David.

But, in fact, the role that Joseph played was strategically important. If he had disobeyed the angel’s command to take Mary as his wife (Matt. 1:20), he would have, from a human perspective, put the entire mission of Jesus at risk. Taking Mary as his wife was a risky assignment. Public perception that he was the baby’s father put him in serious violation of Jewish law and made him a public disgrace. Yet today all of us are thankful that he was willing to risk his reputation to participate in and facilitate God’s unfolding drama.

Most of us are insignificant compared to the major players in this world. But all of us are called to obey. Who knows what God has in store when we are willing to surrender to God’s will—even when it puts us at risk!

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey. —Sammis

It’s no small thing to trust and obey.

Re-posted From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Only A Sketch

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December 8, 2011 — by Dennis Fisher
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. —1 Corinthians 13:12
Bible in a year:
Daniel 8-10; 3 John

In The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis tells the story of a woman who gave birth to a son while confined as a prisoner in a dungeon. Since the boy had never seen the outside world, his mother tried to describe it by making pencil drawings. Later when he and his mother were released from prison, the simple pencil sketches were replaced by the actual images of our beautiful world.

In a similar way, the inspired picture the Bible gives us of heaven will someday be replaced by joyful, direct experience. Paul understood that our perception of heaven is limited until one day in the future when we will be in Christ’s presence. “Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known” (1 Cor. 13:12). Yet Paul’s confidence in future glory gave him strength in the midst of trial: “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).

Our current idea of the glories of heaven is only a simple sketch. But we can be completely confident in Jesus’ claim that He has gone to prepare a place for us (John 14:1-3). The best is yet to come!

Sometimes I grow homesick for heaven
And the glories I there shall behold;
What a joy that will be when my Savior I see
In that beautiful city of gold! —Anon.

Now we see Jesus in the Bible,
but one day we’ll see Him face to face.

Re-posted From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Re-post From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

This Do In Remembrance

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December 7, 2011 — by Randy Kilgore
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
When [Jesus] had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you.” —1 Corinthians 11:24
Bible in a year:
Daniel 5-7; 2 John

When a US Navy vessel arrives or departs from the military bases in Pearl Harbor, the crew of that ship lines up in dress uniform. They stand at attention at arm’s length on the outer edges of the deck, in salute to the soldiers, sailors, and civilians who died on December 7, 1941. It is a stirring sight, and participants often list it among the most memorable moments of their military career.

Even for spectators on shore, the salute triggers an incredible emotional connection, but especially between the servants of today and the servants of yesterday. It grants nobility to the work of today’s sailor, while giving dignity to the sacrifice of those from the past.

When Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper (Matt. 26:26-29), it was surely with an eye toward creating this same kind of emotional bond. Our participation in the Lord’s Table honors His sacrifice while also granting us a connection to Him unlike any other act of remembrance.

Just as the Navy carefully prescribes the way it salutes the fallen, so too Scripture teaches us how to remember Jesus’ sacrifice (1 Cor. 11:26-28). These acts of reverence and thanksgiving serve to honor past action while giving purpose to present service.

Action Suggestion:
Read with fresh eyes the detailed instructions Scripture
offers for the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians 11, and
experience anew its power in your spiritual journey.

The Lord’s Supper— Christ’s memorial that He left for us.

Re-posted From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Fret-Free Living

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December 6, 2011 — by Dave Branon
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Do not fret—it only causes harm. —Psalm 37:8
Bible in a year:
Daniel 3-4; 1 John 5

Does it bother you to see how much attention is paid in today’s culture to people who stand for all the wrong things? Perhaps it is entertainment stars who get the headlines while espousing immoral philosophies in their music, movies, or programs. Or it could be leaders who openly thumb their noses at right-living standards.

It would be easy to fret about this and wring our hands in despair, but Psalm 37 suggests a better way. Listen to David’s wise advice: “Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity” (v.1).

While it is right to be “salt and light” (Matt. 5:13-14) in this tasteless, dark world—attempting to counter sin by reflecting Jesus’ light wherever possible—we cannot let negative forces cause us to live in anger and wrath (Ps. 37:8). Instead, we must rely on God to have the ultimate say about evildoers: “They shall soon be cut down like the grass” (v.2). Beyond that, we should take David’s approach: (1) “Trust in the Lord, and do good.” (2) “Feed on His faithfulness.” (3) “Delight yourself also in the Lord.” (4) “Commit your way to the Lord.” (5) “Rest in the Lord” (vv.3-7).

We may not like what we see and hear from some aspects of society, but remember this: God is in control. Trust Him to do what is right. And don’t fret.

When tragedy, heartache, and sorrow abound,
When evil appears to have conquered the right,
We center our heart on our Father’s great love,
For He will bring hope in the darkest of night. —D. De Haan

Don’t despair because of evil; God will have the last word.

Re-posted From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Re-post From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread


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December 5, 2011 — by David C. McCasland
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
We love Him because He first loved us. —1 John 4:19
Bible in a year:
Daniel 1-2; 1 John 4

A friend described his grandmother as one of the greatest influences in his life. Throughout his adult years, he has kept her portrait next to his desk to remind himself of her unconditional love. “I really do believe,” he said, “that she helped me learn how to love.”

Not everyone has had a similar taste of human love, but through Christ each of us can experience being well-loved by God. In 1 John 4, the word love occurs 27 times, and God’s love through Christ is cited as the source of our love for God and for others. “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (v.10). “We have known and believed the love that God has for us” (v.16). “We love Him because He first loved us” (v.19).

God’s love is not a slowly dripping faucet or a well we must dig for ourselves. It is a rushing stream that flows from His heart into ours. Whatever our family background or experiences in life—whether we feel well-loved by others or not—we can know love. We can draw from the Lord’s inexhaustible source to know His loving care for us, and we can pass it on to others.

In Christ our Savior, we are well-loved.

Loved with everlasting love,
Led by grace that love to know—
Spirit, breathing from above,
Thou hast taught me it is so! —Robinson

Nothing is more powerful than God’s love.

Re-posted From David C. McCasland of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Re-post From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread


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December 4, 2011 — by Julie Ackerman Link
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
You, who once were alienated . . . now He has reconciled. —Colossians 1:21
Bible in a year:
Ezekiel 47-48; 1 John 3

In the days of Adam and Eve, peace was lost. As soon as they ate the forbidden fruit and realized their nakedness, they started blaming each other (Gen. 3:12-13) and introduced conflict to God’s peaceful planet. Sadly, all of their descendants, including us, have followed their bad example. We blame others for our own bad choices and become angry when no one will accept the guilt. Blaming others for our unhappiness breaks apart families, churches, communities, and nations. We can’t make peace because we’re preoccupied with placing the blame.

Christmas is the season of peace. The Old Testament tells the story of how God set the stage to introduce the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6). Jesus came to break the cycle of sin and blame by making peace for us with God “through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:20). Instead of blaming us for all the trouble we cause, He bore the blame for all of us. He is now recruiting followers who, having received His forgiveness, want others to receive it as well.

When we accept forgiveness from God, we lose our desire to withhold it from others. And when we live in peace with God, we are eager to make peace with others. We can both give and receive the gift of peace this Christmas.

At Christmastime we celebrate
The coming of the Prince of Peace;
Though now our world is locked in strife,
One day He’ll make all conflict cease. —Sper

Jesus took our place to give us His peace.

Re-posted From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

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