Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Re-post From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Purge Out The Old

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January 21, 2012 — by Marvin Williams
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. —1 Corinthians 5:7
Bible in a year:
Exodus 18-20

Several days before their New Year celebration, many Chinese families give their home a thorough cleaning. There’s a Cantonese saying that goes: “Wash away the dirt on ninyabaat” (28th day of month 12). They practice this tradition because it is believed the cleaning sweeps away the bad luck of the preceding year and makes their homes ready for good luck.

When the apostle Paul wrote to the believers at Corinth, he asked them to give their lives a thorough cleansing—not for good luck but to please God. He told them to “purge out the old leaven” (1 Cor. 5:7).

Paul used the Jewish feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread (Ex. 12:1-28) as a backdrop for this statement. Leaven (yeast) was a symbol of sin and corruption and was to be removed from Jewish homes to celebrate these festivals (Deut. 16:3-4). Because Jesus is the Passover Lamb who cleanses us from sin, the Corinthians were to scour their hearts and remove the leaven of sexual immorality, malice, and wickedness from their lives and their assembly (1 Cor. 5:9-13).

Out of gratitude to Jesus for His sacrifice, let us purge out the sin in our lives and celebrate the holiness that only He can bring.

The holiness of God demands
A heart that’s pure within,
Yet grace unites with holiness
To purge the heart from sin. —D. De Haan

Sin’s contamination requires the Savior’s cleansing.

Re-posted From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Friday, January 20, 2012

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

Extending Grace

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January 20, 2012 — by David C. McCasland
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. —Matthew 9:12
Bible in a year:
Exodus 14-17

In the mid-1970s, divorce filings and final decrees appeared in the Public Records section of our local newspaper. Rev. Bill Flanagan, a pastor at our church, read those names week after week and began to picture people, not statistics. So he created a Divorce Recovery Workshop to offer help and healing in Christ to hurting people during a difficult time. When concerned church members told Bill he was condoning divorce, he softly replied that he was simply extending God’s grace to folks in need.

When Jesus invited Matthew the tax collector to follow Him, he accepted. Matthew then invited Jesus to dinner at his house. After the religious leaders criticized Him for eating with tax collectors and sinners, Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Matt. 9:12-13). Jesus, the Great Physician, wants to meet each of us at our point of need, offering forgiveness, healing, and hope. What we don’t deserve, He freely gives.

By reaching out to people in need, we can extend to others this grace of God in Christ—guiding them to His healing touch.

There’s advantage in our weakness,
There is blessing in our pain;
It is when we’re feeling helpless
That God’s grace and strength sustain. —Fitzhugh

When you know God’s grace, you’ll want to show God’s grace.

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

Thursday, January 19, 2012

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

Magic Eye

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January 19, 2012 — by Julie Ackerman Link
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
[God] is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. —Hebrews 11:6
Bible in a year:
Exodus 11-13

One of my nephews brought a book of Magic Eye images to a family gathering. Magic Eye images look like ordinary two-dimensional patterns, but when viewed in a certain way, the flat surface appears three-dimensional.

We took turns trying to train our eyes to make the three-dimensional image pop out. One family member had trouble seeing the extra dimension. Several times I noticed he had the book open, looking at it from all different distances and directions. But even though he couldn’t see the hidden image, he believed it was there because others had seen it.

His persistence made me think about the importance of having the same tenacity in matters of faith. The danger for those who doubt is that they stop looking for God because they believe He can’t be found. Moses warned the Israelites that future generations would wander from God. He promised, however, that those who seek God with all their heart and soul will find Him (Deut. 4:29). The book of Hebrews confirms that God rewards those who diligently seek Him (11:6).

If you struggle to believe, remember: Just because you don’t see God doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist. He promises to be found by those who seek Him.

I searched with all my heart to know
If God was really there;
He graciously revealed Himself,
His mercy, love, and care. —Cetas

Because God is great, He will be sought;
because God is good, He will be found.

Re-posted From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Regaining Our Balance

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January 18, 2012 — by Bill Crowder
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. —Ephesians 6:13
Bible in a year:
Exodus 8-10

For the last few years, my wife, Marlene, has suffered from inner-ear problems that cause her to lose her equilibrium. Without warning, something inside her ear is upset and she becomes dizzy. If she tries to sit or stand, a condition called vertigo makes that impossible—and she has to lie down. No amount of effort can compensate for the power of the inner ear to disrupt and disturb. An active person, Marlene finds these unwelcome episodes frustrating.

Sometimes life is like that. Something unexpected upsets our routine, and we are knocked off-balance. Perhaps it’s bad news about our job being eliminated or disturbing test results from our doctor. It may even be an attack from our spiritual enemy. In each case, our emotional equilibrium is hammered, and we feel as if we can’t stand.

Those moments should cause us to turn to God. When we feel we are losing our balance, He can help. He provides spiritual resources to help us stand. Paul says, “Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph. 6:13).

When life knocks us off our feet, we don’t have to be frustrated. With God’s strength lifting us up and God’s armor protecting us, we can still stand strong.

With patience in His love I’ll rest,
And whisper that He knoweth best,
Then, clinging to that guiding hand,
A weakling, in His strength I’ll stand. —Pentecost

We can endure anything if we depend on God for everything.

Re-posted From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

The Book Of Nature

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January 16, 2012 — by Dennis Fisher
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. —Romans 1:20
Bible in a year:
Exodus 1-4

Scottish-American John Muir (1838– 1914) was raised by a Christian father who placed great emphasis on Scripture memory. By young adulthood, John allegedly could recite from memory all of the New Testament and large portions of the Old Testament.

As a young man, Muir developed a great love for God’s creation and viewed it as a source for understanding God. Historian Dennis Williams says that Muir referred to creation as the “Book of Nature.” While exploring the wilderness, he was able to study the plants and animals in an environment that “came straight from the hand of God, uncorrupted by civilization and domestication.” Muir went on to lead the forest conservation movement and was instrumental in creating many US national parks, including Yosemite, Sequoia, and Mount Rainier.

To nurture the spiritual interest of children and youth, we should primarily focus on the Bible. But we can also take them to God’s outdoor classroom, where we can cultivate their love for the Creator by showing the majesty of creation: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead” (Rom. 1:20).

O Lord, we can see all around us each day
The wisdom the creatures of nature display;
O help us to learn from Your marvelous world
The wonder and beauty Your hands have unfurled. —Bosch

In God’s pattern book of nature
we can trace many valuable lessons.

Re-posted From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Each Life A Gift

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January 15, 2012 — 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
Bible in a year:
Genesis 47-50

A young woman was pregnant but unmarried. And even though she lived in a society that didn’t place a high value on unborn life, she wisely chose to allow her baby to live.

The child, whom she generously made available for adoption, became part of a loving Christian family who nurtured their precious daughter, loved her, and showed her the way to Christ.

Before that girl reached adulthood, however, she died. Her death left a massive void in her family’s life, but it also left behind memories of childhood joy and youthful enthusiasm. Sure, her death created a gaping hole in the hearts of all who loved her, but imagine what they would have missed had they never held her in their arms, shared Jesus with her, laughed with her, taught her, and cherished her.

Every life—every child—is a wonderfully made sample of God’s handiwork (Ps. 139). Every human is an image-bearing likeness of God (Gen. 1:27) and a descendant of our first God-breathed parent, Adam.

Death robs us of a certain completion we desire in a life, but it also reminds us of the value of each life God creates (Col. 1:16). Cherish the gift of life and savor the joy of God’s handiwork.

Every life has been created—
God’s handiwork displayed;
When we cherish His creation,
We value what He’s made. —Sper

All life is created by God and bears His autograph.

Re-posted From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

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