Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

A Word To The Weary

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

The people of Israel were struggling. They had been taken captive by the Babylonians and forced to live in a country far from home. What could the prophet Isaiah give these weary people to help them?

He gave them a prophecy of hope. It was a message from God relating to the promised Messiah. In Isaiah 50:4, the Savior Himself described the comfort and consolation He would one day bring: “The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary.”

These were words of dual comfort—both to the people in exile and to future generations whose lives would be touched by Jesus’ compassion. In the Gospels we see how Christ fulfilled the prophecy with “a word in season to him who is weary.” To the crowds who followed Him, Christ proclaimed: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Words of compassion indeed!

Jesus left us an example of how to minister to people who have grown weary. Do you know someone who needs a timely word of encouragement or the listening ear of a concerned friend? A word of comfort to the weary can go a long way.

Neither life nor death can ever
From the Lord His children sever,
For His love and deep compassion
Comforts them in tribulation. —Berg
Compassion is needed to heal the hurts of others.

Re-posted From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

A Re-post From C. P. Hia of Our Daily Bread

You Fool!
March 16, 2012 — by C. P. Hia

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Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Read: Luke 12:16-21
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” —Psalm 14:1
Bible in a Year:
1 Samuel 8-10

It seems to me rather contradictory that Jesus, who was so gentle at times (Matt. 19:13-15), would call some people fools. Yet, as recorded in the Gospels a number of times, our Lord used this derogatory term to describe those He spoke about—especially the Pharisees (see Matt. 23:17-19; Luke 11:39-40).

Jesus also used the word fool in a parable after warning a man about coveting (Luke 12:13-21). What made him foolish is not the fact that he built bigger barns to store his abundant harvest (vv.16-18). It would have been more foolish of him to leave it out in the fields where inclement weather would spoil it. Nor was he foolish because of his thought that this unexpected windfall was enough to last him a long time (v.19). After all, we are urged to follow the example of the ant in “storing up” the harvest (Prov. 6:6-8).

What made the man foolish? He left God out of the picture. He was called a fool because he failed to realize that his life was in God’s hands. While he was planning carefully for his comfortable life on earth, he failed to plan for eternity and store up treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:20).

Does your plan for the future have God in it? You won’t want to be called foolish by Him in the end.
Oh, why not turn while yet you may;
Too late, it soon will be—
A glorious life you may possess
Throughout eternity. —Anon.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. —Jim Elliot

Re-posted From C. P. Hia of Our Daily Bread

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Re-post From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

A Search For The Top Ten

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

BibleGateway, an online Bible resource, looked at the viewing habits of some of their 8 million monthly visitors. They found that John 3:16 was the most-searched-for verse in 2010.

I don’t think it’s surprising that it would be number one on the list. It tells us that God loved us so much that He sent His Son to rescue us from our sin and give us everlasting life. Number 10 on the list is Jesus’ commission to His followers to spread that good news: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19). Also in the top 10 are Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28 about God’s good plans and purposes for His people.

The Scriptures are filled with truths to search out and share. In Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, the psalmist shared his thoughts about the Word and his desire to search it and be taught by God. He said, “Oh, how I love Your law!” (v.97). Our Bible reading for today shows some of the psalmist’s reasons for loving it: It gives him wisdom and understanding, it restrains his feet from evil, and it is sweet. Therefore, it’s his meditation “all the day.”

Let’s keep taking the time to read the Bible. The more we search the Word, the more we’ll grow in our love for it and its Author (v.97).

Search the Scriptures’ precious store—
As a miner digs for ore;
Search, and you will surely find
Treasures to enrich the mind. —Anon.
The more you read the Bible, the more you’ll love its Author.

Re-posted From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Re-post From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

The Catcher

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

Life is a risky enterprise. Sometimes we fly high, enjoying great success. But then suddenly we fall into deep disappointments and the haunting reality of failure, leaving our hearts wondering if there is anything worth looking forward to.

At a funeral recently, the pastor told the story about a trapeze artist. The performer admitted that although he is seen as the star of the show, the real star is the catcher—the teammate who hangs from another trapeze bar to grab him and guarantee a safe landing. The key, he explained, is trust. With outstretched arms, the flyer must trust that the catcher is ready and able to grab him. Dying is like trusting in God as the catcher. After we have flown through life, we can look forward to God reaching out to catch His followers and to pull us safely to Himself forever. I like that thought.

This reminds me of Jesus’ comforting words to His disciples: “Let not your heart be troubled . . . . I go to prepare a place for you. And . . . I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3).

Life is indeed a risky business, but be encouraged! If you have put your faith in Jesus Christ, the Catcher is waiting at the end to take you safely home.

Home from the earthly journey,
Safe for eternity;
All that the Savior promised—
That is what heaven will be. —Anon.
Our heavenly Father’s arms will one day catch His children.

Re-posted From Joe Stowell of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Re-post From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Celebrate The Fruit
March 13, 2012 — by Marvin Williams

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Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Read: Colossians 1:3-14
We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you. —Colossians 1:3
Bible in a Year:
Ruth 1-4

It’s easy to develop a critical spirit toward people who are not growing spiritually according to our expectations. We can easily spot areas of concern that need correction, but we also need to take note of what’s right. In his letters, Paul often needed to correct churches, but he also celebrated what was good.

In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, for example, he mentioned that the gospel had taken root and was producing fruit in the lives of the believers there (1:6). He celebrated them by directing his thanksgiving toward God for their spiritual growth. They had come to know Jesus and now were struggling against the false teachers (2:6-8). He thanked the Lord for their deep and abiding love for all the saints and for expressing tangible and sacrificial concern for them (1:4). Paul also thanked God because the Colossians’ faith and love grew out of their hope—the reality and assurance that this world is not the end (1:5).

Today may present us with opportunities to observe fellow believers. We can be critical or celebrate their spiritual progress. Let’s take the time to thank the Lord for the way the gospel of Jesus Christ has taken root and is producing fruit in their lives.
Help me, Lord, to reassure and strengthen
Others by the words I speak today;
I would always try to be affirming,
As our pathways cross along life’s way. —Hess
Correction does much, but encouragement does more.

Re-posted From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Re-post From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

The Greatest

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

What is the greatest thing in sports? Is it championships? Records? Honors? In the Palestra, the University of Pennsylvania basketball arena, a plaque offers a different perspective on the greatest thing in sports. It reads: “To win the game is great. To play the game is greater. But to love the game is the greatest of all.” This is a refreshing reminder that sports are, after all, just the games we played with joy as kids.

A religious leader once asked Jesus about greatness: “Which is the great commandment?” (Matt. 22:36). Jesus responded by challenging that leader to love—love God and love others. Jesus said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matt. 22:37-39).

Whatever else our faith in Christ compels us to do, there is nothing greater we can do than to show our love—for love reveals the heart of our holy heavenly Father. After all, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). It’s easy to be sidetracked by lesser things, but our focus must remain on the greatest thing—loving our God. That in turn enables us to love one another. There’s nothing greater.

When amazed by His love for me, To love Him back became my prayer. I sought an answer sincerely— It was: Love the neighbor who’s there. —Verway
The proof of our love for God is our obedience to the commands of God.

Re-posted From Bill Crowder of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, March 11, 2012

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

Beauty In The Church

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

When my husband, Jay, and I decided to build a new house, we didn’t recruit friends and family who enjoy working with power tools; instead we hired a skilled builder to create something both functional and beautiful.

Beauty in the church building, however, is not always a high priority. Some associate it with impracticality, so anything ornate or decorative is considered wasteful. But that wasn’t God’s attitude when He established a place of worship for the ancient Israelites. He didn’t recruit just anybody to set up an ordinary tent. He appointed skilled craftsmen, Bezalel and Oholiab (Ex. 36:1), to decorate the tabernacle with finely-woven tapestries and intricately designed ornaments (37:17-20).

I think the beauty was important then because it reminded the people of the worth of God in their worship. During the dry and dusty days of desert wanderings, they needed a reminder of God’s majesty.

The beauty created by God’s people in worship settings today can serve the same purpose. We offer God our best talents because He is worthy. Beauty also gives us a glimpse of heaven and whets our appetites for what God is preparing for our future.

Re-posted From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

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