Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Shine Anyway

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

To be honest, I wasn’t happy to be making another trip to the store. For the previous 4 weeks, my wife and I had been trying to get a refund for a bad refrigerator. As I spoke with the manager—again—it seemed that we were heading down another dead-end road. As we talked, I wondered if we would ever get our money back, but I tried to be gracious.

At one point the manager said, “By now, customers are usually yelling at me, but you’ve been so patient.” Then he said, “Let’s try something else.” He asked me some questions and punched some numbers into a cash register. After a short delay—and some stories about irate customers—the machine spit out a receipt showing a refund! Our appliance nightmare was over. “Thanks for being so good to work with,” he said as we parted ways.

While I think being nice when I didn’t feel nice helped in this process, getting refunds is not why we should show kindness to others. The real reason is that as Christians we are to reflect the light of Jesus (Eph. 5:8) on everyone—whether it’s an irate neighbor, a bumbling waiter, or a department store manager. Our speech and behavior are to be a positive witness (Eph. 4:29-32; Col. 4:6). Are you facing a conflict? Let Jesus’ light shine through.

Re-posted From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Re-post From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

Acts Of Gratitude

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

Few people knew me better as a boy than Francis Allen, the pastor who led me to Jesus Christ. A fire-and-brimstone preacher in the pulpit, he was a near-perfect example of the gentleness of God’s love outside of it.

Early on, Francis recognized a tendency in me to try to “buy” approval by working harder than expected and doing more than people asked. “These are good traits to give as gifts to others,” he would tell me, “but you should never use them to buy acceptance and love from people—or from God.”

To help me understand this, he told me to read Jesus’ promise in Matthew 11:30 that His “yoke is easy”—a statement that sometimes seems too simple to be true. Then, pointing to Micah 6:6-8, he said: “Now read this and ask yourself if there are any gifts you can give God that He doesn’t already have.” The answer, of course, is no.

Then he went on to explain that God cannot be bought—the gift of grace is free. Since this is true, what should be our response? “To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (v.8). I learned that these were acts of gratitude—not of purchase.

Let Micah 6 be a reminder that grace is free and that faithful living is our grateful response.

Re-posted From Randy Kilgore of Our Daily Bread

Thursday, March 8, 2012

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

The Enemy Of Trust

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

Military commanders always want to have enough troops to accomplish their mission. Most would prefer having too many not too few, but not everyone agrees on just how many troops will be enough.

When Gideon recruited an army of 32,000 men to stand against those who oppressed the Israelites, the Lord told him, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me’” (Judg. 7:2).

So the Lord began to reduce Gideon’s army. When the fearful were allowed to leave, 22,000 men went home (v.3). A second reduction cut the force from the remaining 10,000 to 300 troops, of whom the Lord said, “By the three hundred . . . I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand” (v.7). And so it happened (vv.19-23).

In our life of faith, our resources can become the enemy of trust. God wants us to depend on Him, not our own strength, whether physical, financial, or intellectual.

When the Lord reduces our resources from “32,000 to 300,” it is not punishment. It is preparation for Him to be glorified through our lives as we acknowledge and trust His power.

Trust in God and you will know
He can vanquish any foe;
Simply trust Him day by day—
He will be your strength and stay. —D. De Haan
When God gives us an impossible task— it becomes possible.

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

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Re-post From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Handle With Care

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

We live in a society that’s overrun with warning labels. From disclaimers on pills, to “use-by” dates on soup cans, to danger signs on chain saws—warning labels draw our attention to impending hazards. Recently I received a box with a precious gift inside. The sender had attached a big red sticker to the package that said, fragile: handle with care. When I think about life and its fragility, I wonder if we shouldn’t all wear one of those red stickers.

It’s not a good idea to cruise through life thinking that we are invincible and that everything is going to be just fine—only to discover that we are far more fragile than we thought. It takes only a call from the doctor telling us that we have a life-threatening disease, or the swerve of a careless driver in front of us to remind us that life is extremely uncertain. There are no guarantees! None of us can be certain of another breath. So the psalmist has an important piece of advice . . . a warning label of sorts: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12).

Let’s choose to live as though this were our last moment on earth by loving more deeply, forgiving more readily, giving more generously, and speaking more kindly.

That’s how to handle life with care.

To run the race of life in Christ, This must become your daily goal: Confess your sins, trust God for strength, Use discipline and self-control. —Sper
Yesterday is gone; tomorrow is uncertain; today is here. Use it wisely.

Re-posted From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Re-post From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread

Dingo The Dog

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

Harry Tupper is a fishing legend here in Idaho where I live. There’s a spot on Henry’s Lake over on the east side of the state that’s named for him: “Tupper’s Hole.”

The thing I remember most about Harry, aside from his rare ability to catch those huge Henry’s Lake trout, was his dog, Dingo. Now there was a dog! Dingo used to sit alongside Harry in his boat and watch intently while he fished. When the old fisherman hooked a trout, Dingo would bark furiously until the fish was netted and released.

Dingo’s enthusiasm taught me something: It’s better to get more excited about what others are doing than what we are doing.

So, as I read Philippians 2:4 and think about Dingo, I ask myself: Do I spend time thinking about “the interests of others”? Do I get as excited about what God is doing in and through a friend as I do about what He is doing in and through me? Do I long to see others grow in grace and find success, though it may have been my efforts that made them prosper?

This is the measure of greatness, for we are most like God when our thoughts for ourselves are lost in our thoughts for others. Paul said it best: “Let each esteem others better than himself” (2:3). Is that how we live?

Love feels the sorrows others feel,
It longs to give support,
And love is quick to take delight
In every good report. —D. De Haan
A life filled with love for the Lord and for others is a fulfilling life.

Re-posted From David H. Roper of Our Daily Bread

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

The Dalton Gang

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

The Dalton brothers were infamous outlaws during the late 1800s in the US. They started out on the right side of the law as officers. But then they followed a gradual descent into crime and became known for bank and train robberies. Their day of reckoning came when they tried to hold up two banks at once. Hearing of the robberies, the townspeople armed themselves and began to fire on the Dalton Gang. When the smoke cleared, Emmett Dalton was the sole survivor.

After serving 15 years in the penitentiary, Emmett was pardoned and set free. While in prison, he had come to see the error of his ways. So when he was released, he wanted to deter young people from a life of crime. Drawing from his own experience, Emmett wrote and starred in a film about the Dalton Gang in which he showed the folly of being an outlaw. In many ways, Emmett’s film was telling others: “Do not enter the path of the wicked” (Prov. 4:14).

In a similar way, when we have sinned but have genuinely repented and experienced God’s forgiveness, we can tell our own story. We can encourage others not to make the same mistakes we have made. James wrote, “He who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death” (5:20).

If others learn from our mistakes, And it saves them from the pain That we ourselves experienced— Then it wasn’t all in vain. —Sper
When we learn from our mistakes, we are less likely to repeat them.

Re-posted From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, March 4, 2012

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

In This Very Room

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

At our church we often sing the beautiful song by Ron and Carol Harris: “In This Very Room.” It begins, “In this very room there’s quite enough love for one like me.” This song reminds me that although there is great encouragement in gathering with other Christians for worship, the important thing is that Christ is present. But it goes beyond that. He is with us not just at church but in every room of our lives.

I wonder where you’re reading this—a kitchen, a coffee shop, a prison cell, a military post? Perhaps you’re in a hospital or a courtroom. It may be a room that reflects everything that’s right in your life or a place that represents all that’s wrong. And you might be afraid.

In the aftermath of the awful reality of Jesus’ crucifixion, His followers met in a familiar room. John records that “when the doors were shut [locked] where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you’” (John 20:19). A week later it happened again when Jesus entered through locked doors to bring peace through His presence (vv.26-29).

Wherever you are today, “There’s quite enough hope and quite enough power to chase away any gloom, for Jesus, Lord Jesus, is in this very room.”

When in the midst of life with its problems,
Bent with our toil and burdens we bear;
Wonderful thought and deep consolation:
Jesus is always there. —Lillenas
Our loving God is always near—forever by our side.

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

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