Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Re-post From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Be Prepared

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

Just as her friends were doing, my daughter Melissa was busily preparing for adulthood. At school, she was getting ready for college by taking the right courses and had signed up for the ACT college entrance test.

Outside of class, Melissa was learning the socialization skills it takes to get along with people by spending time with friends, classmates, and teammates. At her job, she was learning the relational skills needed for a future career of work. At home, Mell was preparing for future family life by experiencing the way a Christian family would interact.

Getting ready for life as an adult takes work, and Melissa was making good progress.

But none of that preparation was what she would need. In 2002, when she died in a car accident at age 17, the only preparation that mattered was her readiness for heaven.

When the truest test of preparedness came so suddenly on that beautiful June evening—when eternity’s door opened for Melissa—she was prepared. She had put her faith in Jesus and trusted His sacrifice on the cross for her sins (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8-9).

When she faced the ultimate test of being prepared, Melissa was ready. Are you?

God’s time is now, for the days fly fast,
And swiftly the seasons roll;
Today is yours, it may be your last;
Choose life for your priceless soul! —Fithian
If death comes today, will you be prepared to meet God?

Re-posted From Dave Branon of Our Daily Bread

Friday, March 30, 2012

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

Who Do We See?

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

For many years, Allen Funt’s Candid Camera television program delighted viewers by using a hidden camera to catch the often hilarious reactions of ordinary people to unexpected situations. Their approach, according to his son Peter was: “We believe people are wonderful, and we’re out to confirm it.” Peter feels the perspective of some other similar shows is that “people are stupid, and we’re going to find ways to underscore that.”

His comments point out that our view of people determines how we treat them.

The citizens of Jericho were offended when Jesus went to the home of Zacchaeus the tax collector. “When they saw it, they all complained, saying, ‘He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner’” (Luke 19:7). Yet, when Zacchaeus had a deep change of heart (v.8), Jesus told him, “Today salvation has come to this house . . . for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (vv.9-10).

My friend Bob Horner says, “When we see people as losers, we treat them with contempt. When we see them as lost, we treat them with compassion.”

Jesus doesn’t see losers, only lost people He loves. When we look at others, who do we see?

Oh, give me, Lord, Your love for souls,
For lost and wandering sheep,
That I may see the multitudes
And weep as You did weep. —Harrison
Those who have been found should seek the lost.

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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Re-post From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread

Trust Me

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

When I was a little girl, my aunt and uncle took me to Lake Michigan. While some of my cousins ventured far out into the waves, I played close to shore. Then my Uncle Norm asked me, “Can you swim?” “No,” I admitted. “Don’t worry,” he said. “I’ll take you out there.” “But it’s too deep,” I protested. “Just hang on to me,” he assured me. “Do you trust me?” Then I took his hand and we began to walk farther out into the lake.

When my feet couldn’t touch the bottom anymore, Uncle Norm held me up and reassured me, “I’ve got you. I’ve got you.” Then finally he said, “Okay, let your feet down. You can stand here.” I was afraid because I thought we were still in deep water, but I trusted him and happily discovered that I was standing on a sandbar.

Have you ever been in so much despair that you felt as if you were sinking in deep water? The difficulties of life can be oppressive. God doesn’t promise that we will escape the turbulent seas of life, but He does promise, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

We can trust our faithful God to be there in all of our struggles. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you” (Isa. 43:2).

God, give me the faith of a little child! A faith that will look to Thee— That never will falter and never fail, But follow Thee trustingly. —Showerman
Before your burden overcomes you, trust God to put His arms underneath you.

Re-posted From Cindy Hess Kasper of Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

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

One Beautiful Moment

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

One snap of the shutter, and there it was . . . one beautiful moment captured in time for eternity. The late summer sun reflected in the breaking wave made the water look like liquid gold splashing onto the shore. If my friend had not been there with his camera, the wave would have gone unnoticed, like so many others that have come and gone, seen only by God.

Who can imagine how many waves Lake Michigan has sent rolling onto the shoreline? Yet each one is unique. As seen in every wave, God makes extravagant beauty out of seemingly mundane things. Using water and air, He makes wondrous works of art. We enjoy His gallery in skies above and on earth and sea below. But most of earth’s beauty remains invisible to us; it is seen only by God.

God uses another gallery to display His glory—humans. We too are made out of something ordinary—dust (Gen. 2:7). But to us He added an extraordinary ingredient—His very own breath (v.7). Like waves of the sea and flowers of the field (Isa. 40:6), our lives are brief and seen by few. Yet each one is a beautiful “moment” created by God to say to the world, “Behold, your God!” whose Word will last forever (v.8).

Only one life, so live it well,
And keep your candle trimmed and bright;
Eternity, not time, will tell
The radius of that candle’s light. —Miller
We fulfill our purpose when we serve our Creator.

Re-posted From Julie Ackerman Link of Our Daily Bread

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Re-post From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

The Real Thing

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

A church in Naperville, Illinois, is basking in excitement about its brand-new bells in the belfry above its sanctuary. When the church was built many years ago, they didn’t have the money to purchase bells. However, for its 25th anniversary they were able to raise the funds to hang three bells in the vacant space. Even though they are stunning, there is one problem: the congregation will never hear the bells ring. Although they look real, they are artificial.

The apostle John wrote his first epistle to encourage believers not to just look like real Christians, but to prove they are genuine by how they live. The evidence that a person’s faith is real is not found in some mystical experience with God. The proof that people truly know and love God is found in submitting to His authority and to His Word. John writes, “But whoever keeps His Word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:5-6).

If we claim that we have been transformed by the gospel and intimately know and love God, we should validate it by our obedience to His Word.

Don’t listen to the Word of God
And then ignore what you have heard;
Instead obey God’s will for you—
Be doers of the Word. —Sper
Obedience to God is an expression of our love for God.

Re-posted From Marvin Williams of Our Daily Bread

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Re-post From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Avenue To Power

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

When Tarah was in high school, she had a growing fear that she would someday battle a serious illness. So she began to pray—asking God to spare her from this imagined illness. Then she reached a turning point in her thinking, and she yielded her future to God no matter what.

Years later, Tarah’s doctor found a cancerous tumor, which was successfully treated with chemotherapy. Tarah says that because she had entrusted her future to God, she was ready when the disease came. Her problem became an avenue for God’s strength.

This idea of surrendering to God can be seen in Paul’s life as well. His surrender came after the problem­—“a thorn in the flesh”—had developed (2 Cor. 12:7). Paul prayed repeatedly about this difficulty, pleading for the Lord to take it from him. But God responded, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (v.9). Understanding this, Paul adopted a positive view: “Most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. . . . For when I am weak, then I am strong” (vv.9-10).

In facing our fears and struggles, it’s vital that we yield totally to God. When we do, God can use our problems as an avenue for His power.

Whenever life’s burdens oppress you And trials are too much to face, Remember God’s strength in your weakness; He’ll give you His power and grace. —Sper
Wielding our power is no substitute for yielding our will to God’s power.

Re-posted From Dennis Fisher of Our Daily Bread

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Re-post From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

Sharing Space

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn

The number of people who run a business out of their homes is in the millions. But some have found that working alone can be a little too lonely. To give these lonely ones a community, “co-working” spaces have been designed. Large facilities are rented out where people working by themselves can share space with others. They have their own work area but can exchange ideas with fellow independent workers. It’s for those who feel they can work better together than they do alone.

Sometimes Christians think they work better alone. But we are meant to work together with others in the church. Every Christian has been placed into “the body of Christ” (1 Cor. 12:27). And the Lord desires that we take part in fellowship with a local community of believers—using our spiritual gifts and working together in His service.

Yet for various reasons, some aren’t able to join in. Because of health issues, they may be shut in at home or may not know how to fit in at church. Yet they are a needed part of the body (vv.22-25). That’s when others can meet their need for togetherness. Let’s do our part so that others may feel they’re an integral part of the community of faith. We work better together than alone.

Thinking It Over
What can you do to help others feel a part of your church
community? Visit, pray with them, read Scripture together,
drop a note, or invite them to join you in serving others.
Fellowship builds us up and binds us together.

Re-posted From Anne Cetas of Our Daily Bread

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