Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Re-post From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

The Land Of And

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January 26, 2012 — by Anne Cetas
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. —2 Peter 3:13
Bible in a year:
Exodus 35-37

In a TV commercial I saw recently, the kids argued in the back seat of the car about where to stop for dinner. One wanted pizza; another chicken. Mom, in the front passenger seat, said, “No, we’ll stop for a hamburger.”

Dad quickly solved the family disagreement with this idea: “We’ll stop at the buffet restaurant, and you can each have what you want and all you want.” The commercial closes with the words, “Take care of family squabbles about what’s for dinner. Go to _____ Buffet, the ‘Land of And.’”

When I saw that commercial, I thought of another “Land of And”: heaven. It is a place that will have all we need. Foremost, we will be in the very presence of Almighty God. In describing heaven, the apostle John said, “The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it” (Rev. 22:3). Our thirsty souls will be completely satisfied from the “pure river of water of life” that proceeds from His throne (22:1), for He says to His people, “I will give . . . freely to him who thirsts” (21:6). Another “and” in this land will be the tree of life for “the healing of the nations” (22:2). What we won’t find in this Land of And are the curse (22:3), death, sorrow, and tears (21:4).

We’ll be completely satisfied in that Land of And. Are you ready to go?

There is a land of pure delight,
Where saints immortal reign;
Infinite day excludes the night,
And pleasures banish pain. —Watts

Earth—the land of trials; heaven—the land of joys.

Re-posted From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Re-post From Philip Yancey of Our Daily Bread

Worth The Effort?

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January 25, 2012 — by Philip Yancey
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for . . . righteousness. —2 Timothy 3:16
Bible in a year:
Exodus 32-34

I once resolved to read all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays in one year. To my surprise, fulfilling the task seemed far more like entertainment than work. I expected to learn about Shakespeare’s world and the people who inhabited it, but I found that Shakespeare mainly taught me about my world.

I went through precisely that same process in encountering the Old Testament. Why does it spend so much time on temples, priests, and rules about sacrifices that no longer exist? How can we make sense of the Old Testament, and how does it apply to our lives today?

As I worked past some of the barriers, I came to feel a need to read because of what it was teaching me. Eventually I found myself wanting to read those 39 books. They were satisfying a hunger in me that nothing else had. They taught me about life with God.

The Old Testament speaks to our hunger. It gives an advanced course of “Life With God,” expressed in a style both personal and passionate.

The rewards offered do not come easily. All achievements require a similar process of hard work; we persevere because the rewards will come.

A glory gilds the sacred page,
Majestic like the sun;
It gives a light to every age,
It gives, but borrows none. —Cowper

The Bible gives us a picture of who we really are.

Re-posted From Philip Yancey of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Re-post From Jennifer Benson Schuldt of Our Daily Bread

Gutters And Windows

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January 24, 2012 — by Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Love from a pure heart . . . and from sincere faith. —1 Timothy 1:5
Bible in a year:
Exodus 28-31

While we were out for a family drive, a spotless white sign with perfect red lettering caught my attention: “Gutters and Windows—Quality Work Guaranteed.” The sign was pristine, but I feared the house and barn directly behind it might collapse at any moment. The paint was peeling, the windows were cracked, and the gutters were nonexistent!

Many of us “advertise” for Jesus, but our spiritual houses are in disrepair. We may attend church, speak in “Christianese,” and mingle nicely with others. But when our conduct does not align with our hearts, our first-class behavior is just a performance of piety. When Jesus confronted the Pharisees, He said, “You . . . outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matt. 23:28).

Jesus had a different but equally direct message for His followers: “Do not be like the hypocrites” (6:16). The Bible encourages us to “love from a pure heart . . . and from sincere faith” (1 Tim. 1:5). These inner attitudes should pour out through our words and actions (Luke 6:45).

Today, consider the state of your spiritual house. If people look beyond the beautiful outward display, will they discover an authentic heart?

Hypocrisy is a common sin
That grieves the Lord above;
He longs for those who’ll worship Him
In faith and truth and love. —Bosch

God desires that our actions be a reflection of a pure heart.

Re-posted From Jennifer Benson Schuldt of Our Daily Bread

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